Monday, August 29, 2011

The odd couple rides again - South of the boarder

Day 3 - surely the 'real' riding starts today!

Jerry and I got a slow start, by local time anyway. After all, we crossed into mountain time, though neither of us felt much like changing our clocks.

This did give me an opportunity to find out that this Super 8 didn't throttle their bandwidth (unlike the one the night before) and it allowed me to download the motorcycle races from that weekend. :)

After breakfast we checked the bikes and got to chatting with a guy who parked his old Kawi next to us. 300,000 km and at least 10 trips across Canada. We agreed that riding motorcycles was much cheaper than therapy. Some time on the road fixes many issues by providing perspective.

Once we headed south, along the same long boring highway, I'd meant to pull over at a grain elevator we spotted the night before. But I decided the light wasn't right that morning... mostly because I'm not very smart. I should have pulled over. So some time later on a vast open stretch I decided to get a somewhat 'representative' photo of the area:

It's pretty flat... and they like to grow wheat

Jerry tried to take a matching photo using is go-pro

Just before the border I remembered I had an apple in my pack, and that they don't like you taking fruit into the US so we stopped and I quickly ate it. The crossing itself was pretty easy and when we got to the other side we had to take a photo to document the crossing.

Welcome to Montana indeed :)

Now, if you have looked on a map and zoomed in, you know that the road through Glacier National Park is very windy. Jerry and I were quite excited to take it and start running some proper, tight and hairy twisties. If you've been to Glacier National Park during the summer, you might also realize just how busy the place is.

When we gassed up before hand we were completely ignorant of all this however and very excited to head towards some true hard riding.

Aside: It's always amazing to me how many people will talk to you when you're stopped on a motorbike. During this stop we chatted with a guy on a cruiser (he corrected us and said it was something else, but it was a cruiser ;) ). Nice guy, we enjoyed the chat. This happened during so many stops this trip and it was always a good time.

We got into Glacier, after paying for the access and immediately found ourselves in traffic. Followed by seeing a park ranger with someone pulled over giving them a speeding ticket. Followed by more traffic. Not ideal for what we had come for.

BUT, with some amazing views to make up for it. Once again, the day didn't quite provide the spectacular riding we'd come for.

The scale and scenery are not just hard to describe, but also very challenging to photograph. When we pulled over due to construction and the rain which was starting, I took the opportunity to try none-the-less

You can see the clouds and weather coming over the summit.

Just on the other side of the summit

Fast riding was not in the cards.

But once you looked past the cars, that didn't seem to matter very much

Just up the road, once we finally got moving, the sun was out and I was getting very hot under my raingear. So we stopped and I got back out of it (which of course, involves unloading the bike a bit so it takes 10 minutes or so).

But the scenery was still spectacular

These guys were all over the mountain in their tour buses

We briefly chatted with the driver. I'm not sure if I'd enjoy someone else taking me through there on their schedule.

Of course, immediately afterwards we get caught in a major rain shower. Right _after_ I took off my rain gear.

I was wet, traffic was bad and a I got bit cranky so when we got off the mountain I stopped by the river to dry out a bit and to have a small snack

Eventually Jerry and I were both starving so we stopped for lunch, though it was pretty late at this point, I think it was 3 pm. Appropriately enough this was in a town called 'Hungry Horse'.

We headed into Kalispell and found a place that seemed decent enough. It was a day of amazing scenery, but still, no 'hard' riding anywhere to be found.

Would we ever get to some lonely & twisty roads?

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