I’m not done Montana yet, but I have a pretty crazy amount of photos to dump here. I don’t have much to say except the past week has been incredible weather and riding. This trip has gone from so much uncertainty to openness and moment to moment magic.
The big group I was riding with split up around Whitefish, Montana. I continue to believe that the hardest part of these trips isn’t the physical endurance but the moment when the ‘Ill see you later’ pleasantries are exchanged knowing full well that’s highly unlikely. It makes the moments together with the amazing people you meet even more special though.
Glacier NP was the obvious highlight but I found so many other awesome places the past few days. 10 miles into Montana the terrain changes and the Cabinet Mountains stuck out for an amazing first day. The hills don’t matter out here because you’re too busy smiling. Camping out at Bull Lake while Mike played his guitar and harmonicas was another amazing night.
Whitefish (basically Queenstown but smaller) and the stress of riding the going-to-the-sun road in glacier weighed on me heavily so I left the next morning instead of taking a rest day. Thankfully I ran into Mike and Gary and they were both going over the pass the next morning. After the road opened at 4pm for cyclist, I felt like I was riding in the Tour but the peloton was made up of cars. I had a lady with a lot of anger in her life yelled our of her car ‘You ever hear of a car?!?!?!’. Sadly for her, I haven’t.
I left for the climb at 6 am and road 2 hours uphill while the sun crested over the giant rocks above me. Watching the sun paint the opposing rock walls through the climb was one of the more magical moments of my life. The road was not that busy and suprisngly a lot of turnouts to get out of the way. Washington Pass and some of the other passes were much harder in my opinion. Probably because those were all in the first 500 miles. I waited at the top for Mike and Gary to congratulate them and I ran into Kevin from Aus who I meet a few days back. It was a blissful down hill (not my favorite though) and turned even more north to Canada.
The route I’m on takes you up to Waterton Lakes National Park. After a rather intense border crossing interrogation (I should really get a new passport photo), the ride around the park was absolutely stunning. I got to watch a black bear walk across the road in front of me, from behind a car thankfully.
Instantly the road turns east and I’m now in the plains. Sweet rolling hills. I’m excited for this new challenge but I miss the mountains deeply. Carving down hills and screaming up hills. I’ll be back, but now it’s time to pray for that glorious tail wind.