Northern Tier 2010

July 17, 2010

Glacier, Ho!

Filed under: Montana, Section 02 — Henry Scott @ 9:00 pm

Today’s ride was uneventful, other than that I made it into Glacier National Park a few days ahead of schedule. Although some days have been better than others, I’ve had very good riding conditions, and it has been easier to get through the mountains than I expected; I’ve made good time without feeling rushed.

On my way to the park the route took me on some unpleasant roads: poor surfaces, narrow and debris filled shoulders, and a steady flow of large trucks, pickup trucks and SUVs (many with trailers). Even the towns I passed through, such as Whitefish, felt congested with loud, rumbling traffic.

I didn’t see any noteworthy outcrops on my way, but I did find a Dewalt variable-speed portable belt saw, in original case, in the grass by the side of the road. I flirted with the idea of taking it with me — I even attached some straps so I could wear it as a backpack, but I quickly realized that it was just too heavy. Rather than leave it where I found it, I decided to flag down a passing motorist. It took longer than I expected, but eventually someone stopped. In hindsight, it must’ve looked pretty weird to see a cyclist, filthy I’m sure, awkwardly carrying a large, contractor-grade power tool.

Upon reaching West Glacier and the entrance to the park, I was alarmed to see signs saying that all campgrounds were full. I proceeded to enter the park, optimistic that I’d find a “hiker / biker” site with occupants willing to share. However, before I even started looking, a man and a young girl pulled up beside me in their car, asked if I had a site, and offered to let me join them in the Apgar campground. I took them up on their hospitality, only to get dinner out of the deal as well. We spent a couple of hours talking (they’re wheat and cattle farmers from Montana), and it ended up being a great way to end the day.

The last photo is of Lake McDonald, an 11-mile long lake in a glacially scoured basin. Since no showers are available at Apgar, I made myself take a quick swim. It is cold enough that I couldn’t get “used” to it, or even breathe in other than short, panicked gasps. I lasted for maybe two minutes, but that was enough to remove the worst of today’s grime.

It’s great to be in the park.


1 Comment »

  1. Yes, I don’t think I would have stopped. I hope you found the saw a good home.

    Comment by Erika — July 21, 2010 @ 8:02 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: