It started out cold. We went to breakfast and I even order Hot Chocolate just to warm my hands and this was after only maybe a mile of riding. We ate slow since we only had a 30 mile ride and we were hoping it would warm up some.
But no, when we left the temperature was still only 40 degrees. This is summer?
The roads for the first 15 to 20 miles were great. Then we hit the gravel road which was a wash board gravel road. This is the type of road that will rattle your teeth right out of your head. It seemed like this road would never end but the truth is it was probably only 3 to 3.5 miles. Once we crossed the river and we hit the pavement again and we rejoiced.
The last part was just as nice as the first but nothing could take the gravel road out of our minds.
We reached White Fish before lunch so we went to PIGGYBACK BARBEQUE. As it turned out, the owner is from Houston Texas. I learned this when I told our server that I like the Texas flag on their stage.
You just never know when you are going to get a little bit of TEXAS.
To finish off the day we did our laundry so now we can sleep well and long tonight.
We had to ride just outside Glacier National Park to get some breakfast at a restaurant. Then we headed back in the park for most of today’s ride. Before leaving the restaurant area I had to fix a flat tire. We took our time today since it was a short day and we decided to take a lot of pictures. A couple of the early pictures were of a moose that crossed the road right in front of us then went back across the road and into the trees.
There were a lot of tourist that did not ride bikes but still got some open air views of the park.
This was a long climb but it was not one of the harder one I have done. The sights were breath taking, that is if we had any breath left to take. Here are just a few of the sights.
The summit, Logan Pass, was not one of the highest I have ridden but it was still a Continental Divide point and noteworthy.
As you can guess from that point we had a lot of downhill riding. For miles we were able to coast and keep up with the vehicles in front of us. A lot of times we were riding our breaks so we wouldn’t over run the vehicles in front.
Our second and last Rest Stop was at Lake McDonald. At this point we were not allowed on the road until after 4 p.m. due to heavy vehicle traffic. Even after 4 p.m. we had to watch to make sure we were not holding up traffic. This meant when we saw that 4 or more cars were backing up behind us we had to pull off the road to let the cars go by. This happened numerous times in the last 8 miles to our camp for the night.
We had a nice camp site but had to walk over half a mile to get a shower. We also had to ride about a mile to find a café for dinner, but it’s all in a day’s ride.
Left camp and stopped at McDonalds before 6:00 a.m. Had to wait for them to open.
We started climbing almost immediately after leaving McDonalds which was good since the temperature was 43 degrees and this helped us warm up.
About half way to the first rest area one of riders spotted these Antilope. You can see from the photo that their tails can be spotted from a great distance.
Our first rest stop had some historical significance in that near here was the furthest northly point reach by Lewis and Clark in 1806. This actual point can be seen on the horizon.
This rest stop was just on the side of the road so the food I bought at the grocery store last night came in handy.
Further down the road we came upon a sign that confirmed what we had already known. “Cross Winds”
At our last rest stop for the day we had our best breakfast. It was the second one of the day and it was at a bed and breakfast. The servings were very large and well prepared and for those that drank coffee it was never ending. We spent a lot of time there resting and watching the weather. It rained off and on during our time there.
When we did take off, we were still concerned about the rain but we were able to dodge it.
Later down the road we ran into road construction that would continue for some 5 miles. We didn’t have to ride it since they loaded us and our bikes in the back of a pickup and took us to the other end of it. This was great because we would have been out there forever.
Once we were back on our bikes we had a lot of downhill, but we still had to suffer through some uphill also.
At St. Mary we entered into the Glacier National Park which was home for the nigh.
Since we are not riding today everyone took this opportunity to sleep in, well most of them did. Some of us just can’t seem to pull that off.
This did give us time to take things like water bottles and rear bags off our bike so they wouldn’t blow off when going down the rode on top of the vans. We also had a nice leisurely breakfast at the Spuds House Cafe. The place was overrun by bikers. There was only one lady and she cooked, took orders, and was the cashier. She was amazing! There were also a couple of locals there.
Then back to the church to start loading the bikes and gear.
We were on the road by 9:30.
As we drove the wind kept getting stronger and stronger and the wind was directly in our face. By the time we got to, what would have been, the first rest stop the wind was over 30 mph with gust over 50 mph. The construction area was only a dirt trail. There were lots of areas where there wasn’t any shoulder and there were a lot of trucks on the road. This would have been a dangerous ride.
Decision confirmed and everyone was in agreement by the time we made it to Cut Bank.
McDonalds was the breakfast of choice today since it was directly on our route out of town. We started a climb right as we left town. On the way up one of our route leaders had a flat which was caused by a piece of a steel belted tire. It left a very small sliver of steel in her tire and was very hard to remove, in fact she never got it all out so she put a tube repair patch on the tire and hoped for the best. It worked as far as I know since I saw her riding later in the morning.
This part of Highway 2 was very desolate with few houses and fewer towns. We made our first stop before a scheduled rest stop at Kremlin where we had a Danish and Gatorade.
When we started riding again we knew we were on route because there was a bike sign in the back yard that told us so.
We rode the whole day on Highway 2 and the only thing of note was the persistent wind which came from every direction except form behind us.
The real action happened when we got to Chester.
We had heard from more than one local resident that we would not want to ride tomorrow. They had reports that the wind would get up to 30 mph or more with gusts upward to 50 mph. We had a team meeting to discuss this issue and others.
The leaders also had reports that there were areas in the road that was only dirt due to construction and a lot of areas where there wasn’t any shoulders. This caused major concerns so the leaders drove ahead to scout out the reports.
Upon return they confirmed the road construction and shoulder issues visually and had also confirmed the high wind and gust issues.
The decision based on safety issue to not ride tomorrow to Cut Bank but instead to load all our bikes on the van and in the trailer and drive there.
I am in total agreement with the decision. I hate to ride in the vans but tomorrow will verify if the decision was correct.