Saturday, June 16, 2007

Summer 2007 Tour - Day 08

Day 08
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Great Falls, MT to Kalispell, MT
350 miles

Birdrunner (Jeff & Colleen) were already on their way back to Canada by the time I finished packing the bike. Ninjagirl and her guy were still around though.

Initially, it was a warm morning. However, as I approached Glacier National Park over the plains on US89, it got progressively colder. I stopped to put in my liners only an hour or so after taking them out at the campground.

I had lunch in Browning, the heart of a large Blackfoot reservation, before entering the east side of Glacier at St Mary.

I knew that Going to the Sun road was not yet opened all the way through, but I wanted to do a little of each side to get the full “Glacier” experience.

Sadly, the day was overcast, and the tops of the mountains were in the clouds.

Leaving Glacier, I took little MT-49 to the town of East Glacier before continuing on US-2 toward the west side.

MT-49 was narrow and dirty, with very little shoulder and a 25 mph speed limit. I *probably* had too much fun on it.

I stopped briefly at the Continental Divide on US-2. The clouds were lifting and I was beginning to be able to see the snow covered peaks that dominate my memories of Glacier.

US-2 dipped in to Glacier at one point. I saw several cars stopped on the side of the road and decided to check out what they were looking at. Mountain goats!

I went through a little rainstorm while approaching West Glacier. I strongly considered ditching the visit to West Glacier and just continuing on my way. Happily, the rain ended and the skies cleared by the time I reached the turn off. I entered the park again and was not disappointed.

I’m not sure how far Going to the Sun road was opened, but I went about twenty miles in before I decided that it was getting late and I needed to move on.

Reaching Kalispell, I followed my GPS to the home of a “motorcycling friend of a motorcycling friend.” Erin was a great host! We went out to dinner at a local restaurant and then spent a pleasant evening over our laptops, discussing riding, touring, gear, and various other issues of interest to riders. I did a load of laundry and then went to sleep in probably the most comfortable bed I’ve experienced this week.

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