Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Missoula to Glacier

We've finally landed at Glacier, a place that is very near and dear to me. This is my fourth visit, and we look forward to our week's worth of adventure here. Evidently the summer weather here has been a bit unsettled. A few weeks ago there was a massive mudslide that blocked Going to the Sun Road somewhere near Logan's Pass, so the road was closed for a while, but it's open again. Also, there is road construction west of the Continental Divide (chip seal road work or something), which is actually good news. It means that there are free shuttles running every 30 minutes, so we will be driving very little while in the park. Today we'll make our way via shuttle to the top and do some short hiking. 

Yesterday I spent a little time cleaning my bike's drivetrain and getting ready for riding the Going to the Sun Road at midnight, hopefully more than once. 
Climbing under a full moon back in 1991 was one of my most lasting memories, and I’ve been so looking forward to repeating it. Maybe I’ll go tonight, but if not, definitely on Wednesday.

The Fish Creek Campground has a swimming area on Lake McDonald right across from our site, and the view there is sumptuous. That’s the best place to be at the campground, especially since the mosquitos are unrelenting in this very heavily wooded campground. Gail was fairly miserable last night, but hopefully we’ll find a way of defeating them or at least ignoring them as much as possible.

On our way to Glacier we drove through Kalispell and Whitefish, two more cities which seem to have grown almost exponentially since I last passed through nearly 20 years ago. The tourist industry in northwestern Montana sure has matured…Whitefish is building its downtown like crazy, with an abundance of overpriced restaurants and tourist attractions, but we still managed to find a great and inexpensive pizza joint. We also visited Glacier Cyclery, where both boys got nice souvenirs. Leo really wanted a cool Going to the Sun jersey, but unfortunately they had no kid sizes. He did wind up with a women’s size Pearl Izumi jersey which he loves and is not likely to take off for a long time. He’s convinced that it makes him ride faster, and judging by how he was tearing around the campground last night, I think he’s right. Toby got some cycling sunglasses that fit him nicely, and he is quite pleased with how he spent the last of his souvenir cash.  I was sad to see that they retired my favorite jersey design, and wasn’t prepared to shell out $130 for a long-sleeved Merino wool jersey, even though it was just the thing I’m missing from my cycling wardrobe.

Images to follow soon…down to one bar of signal.

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