Day 4 – 8/7/10

Another great day of riding today.  No rain and temperatures between 70-80 most of the day.

I left around 8:00 am again today and headed West on RT 2 towards Glacier National Park.  There were hardly any cars on the road at all making it a nice peaceful ride through miles and miles of wheat fields.

When I got to Browning MT around 2:00 and turned down a road that was supposed to bring me to one of the entrances to the park.  Unfortunately, the road turned into a mess as it had recently been resurfaced using the tar and gravel method making it rather treacherous to ride on.  After about 4 miles of this, I decided to turn around and head to a different park entrance.

SDC10442Now that I was back on good pavement, I rode to the Two Medicine entrance.  It was about 2:30 now and I went ahead and paid the $12 admission fee.  I took a look at the map that they give you when you enter and saw that this particular entrance didn’t lead to the Going-to-the-Sun road that I wanted to drive on but since I was there, I rode the length of the road until it ended at Two Medicine Lake.

After looking around for a few minutes, I decided to head back out and towards the St. Mary entrance where the Going-to-the-Sun road starts.  It took almost an hour to get the other entrance but it was a nice ride through the mountains.

SDC10455 Once I re-entered at the St. Mary entrance, I found out that they were doing some major road construction.  The first couple of miles were a hard packed dirt road with bumper-to-bumper traffic.  There were also a couple of sections of one-way road where there were traffic lights that controlled traffic.  I got lucky at the first traffic light as it was green when I got to it.  However, I wasn’t so lucky the second time.  I had to wait for about 15 minutes before moving through the one lane road.  Soon after this second traffic light, the road was paved again and traffic thinned out and wasn’t too bad.

SDC10459 The Going-to-the-Sun road is the road that takes you through Logan Pass.  The views are spectacular with high mountain peaks, exposed rock faces, and spots of snow still lingering even in August.  The road winds along the side of the mountains down to the bottom where there’s a large lake.  Once at the bottom, the road follows along a small, shallow river with blue-green water.  It was well worth the ride from NY to Montana.  The whole road is around 50 miles long with numerous campgrounds and hiking paths throughout the park.  Every campground had a sign saying that it was full so it’s definitely a popular vacation destination.

Once I got to the park exit, I headed down RT 35 which goes along the shoreline of Flathead Lake.  Flathead Lake is huge – probably close to 20 miles long with beautiful views along the way.  One thing that I found interesting was the fact that there were dozens of places with small plots of Cherry trees.  It was odd in that people seemed to plant a bunch of cherry trees, set up a roadside stand, and sell cherries.  The only place I’ve seem cherries for sale was along the shore of Flathead Lake so I guess there must be something special about the soil or the climate that is perfect for growing cherries.

At the end of RT 35,  I got on RT 93 and headed south to Missoula to find a place to stay for the night.  Missoula is on I90 and since I’m not sure where I;m going next, it seemed like as good a place to stay as any.  I’m thinking that I may head through Washington toward the Pacific coast and go South from there.  On the other hand, maybe I’ll go south through Idaho and then across RT 50 in Nevada.  I guess I’ll figure it out tomorrow.

Miles Today: 620
Total Miles: 2,743
States: MT

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