Saturday, August 4, 2012

Midnight Madness Reprise on Going to the Sun

Last night the weather was perfect, albeit a little cold, for a last midnight bike ride up Going to the Sun. This time I started at the Avalanche parking lot, hoping that I would see others and have some bear scaring company for the first part of the hill climb. Unfortunately it wasn't to be, so I headed out solo at around 11 pm, with late fall clothing. I was wearing thermal tops and bottoms, my jacket, hat and gloves, and I really needed every stitch of clothing, since it got really cold.

Before the tunnel I encountered a frantic man looking for his wife who started the hill climb from the other side at 7:30. He stopped me to ask if I had seen a woman riding solo, and told me that he was deathly afraid of heights. Fortunately just as I took off again, she showed up. She miscalculated when the moon would be high.

The moonlight wasn't quite as bright as on Tuesday, but it was still an amazing thing to see the celestial high beams come on as I turned a corner. It's both eerie and serene to ride this hill in the moonlight.

Last night I encountered around 20 cyclists going from east to west and less than 10 going in my direction. I was significantly less nervous, and the climb was uneventful except for a few clueless drivers who forgot to turn off their high beams.

I had two animal sightings last night, both in the car. On the way to Avalanche I spotted a bear cub near the water, and on the way back to the campground just before 2 am I saw a fox in the middle of the road. What a beautiful creature!

Today we're taking the shuttle to Logan Pass and will be attempting the high line trail. Gail is gung ho about testing her limits, but I promised that we'd turn around if she had mixed feelings. It's another beautiful day at Glacier, and that's lucky because it's our last day here. Tomorrow it's off to Sheridan, Wyoming.

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