8/4/14 East Glacier to Rising Sun Campground, Glacier NP

Day 1 East Glacier to Rising Sun Campground, Glacier National Park
8/4/14 Monday 38 miles

wpid-img_0094.jpgThe East Glacier Amtrak station where we arrived the day before. The bikes are now assembled, the panniers packed and we are ready for the open road! We’ve officially started our bicycle ride! Woooohaaaaa!

wpid-img_0104.jpgWe took the beautiful Hwy49 out of town with little traffic and a nice shoulder. The views of the mountains were extraordinary! Wildflowers, sweeping views and great riding.  We were tempted to turn off to Two Medicine Lake but settled for this photo instead. Wow! We’ll be back. Lots more exploring to do here.

wpid-img_0102.jpgTerrance was loving the views as well! And loving his good luck! Terrance came to us from winning BINGO at The Green Parrot. Our good luck! He happily lived in the front basket of my fixie in my living room until Kerry grabbed him on the out the front door to leave on this trip. And now this very cute, very happy triceratops is on the road and ready for adventure!

wpid-img_0096.jpgAnother shot of  the lake and gorgeous, gorgeous mountain vistas. We steadily climbed a pass with the views intensifying with elevation. The decent required all of our attention on the road as we tried to avoid bad pavement, pot holes, rocks and gravel.  I tried to keep it under 25 and it was still hard to appreciate the views! Traffic was light and super polite. What a great day so far!

IMG_0106We turned left onto Hwy 89 and enjoyed the first bit of riding. The landscape was big and empty and we really started feeling like we were in the middle of nowhere. The was nothing new to the landscape besides the road and its ever shadowing power lines. We enjoyed a quick snack and stretch before continuing down the winding road  in the background, which was the beginning of one of the worst days of riding I have ever experienced. Super narrow road combined with heavy RV traffic along narrow, steep winding roads was a disaster. We were run off the road and almost hit several times by vehicles passing too close. Taking the lane woulda been suicidal. Hours of heavy, wide traffic on narrow roads lined with ditches. People were really being A-holes. Then it got worse. And it wasn’t even noon yet. Fuckshitdamn!

IMG_0109Soon after our last rest and the darkest hour, we crested another pass and gained not only the best views yet, but an actual shoulder down a long descent! All was well again in life. Kerry had never really ridden in hills before. Or heavy traffic. Or with fully loaded panniers. It was a true shit situation to be thrown into with any level of experience. But she persevered. She didn’t give up and she made it happen!

IMG_0112We knew the park roads would be a bit friendlier and that was a good feeling! We really felt like the trip had officially began as we entered the park. $12 per bike for a 7day pass that says “motorcycle”. Whats up with that?

IMG_0116The views really did just get better and better as the peaks grew higher and higher. There seemed to be some major construction going on up the road, so there wasn’t too much traffic.

IMG_0117St. Mary Lake cradling the Going to the Sun Road. Wow! So freaking amazing here!

IMG_0120Campground full……for cars, trucks and RV’s! But……not for us! The ranger near the sign smiled at us and directed us to site 6, the hiker/biker site. H/B sites are found at many state and national campgrounds and are only available to those who arrive under their own power. The fee is deeply discounted, often only $5, and sometimes includes a warm shower as well. Ohhhh yeah!

IMG_0153Gotta love the hiker/biker sites.  Great price and always room. Legend says no one is turned away ever! There’s is always more room. And that’s always been my experience. Hikers and bikers getting some respect!

Wow, what a day! Absolutely stunning views sandwiching some super stressful riding and so much more! What will tomorrow bring…….

8/5/14 Glacier National Park

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