Day 16 – June 16 – Bigfork, MT to Clearwater camping area Junction of hwy. 83 and hwy. 200 – 98 hard earned miles

Wow.  Tough day.

Rode the ups and downs of the scenic but desolate Hwy. 83.

A couple nice lakes along the side of the route today included the lakes Swan, Alva, Inez, Seeley, and Salmon.

A picture at Swan Lake. The longest lake in Montana without a dam:

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All day, I looked for a day use area with a picnic table or place where I could effectively cook some noodles with my campstove, rather than the hassle of making my own makeshift camp, the breakfast sandwich in Bigfork and 3 bananas lasted me all day until I made it to where I would camp – a long story.

Because the day was going to be a long one, feasible places to stay were Seeley Lake, and Salmon Lake State Park if I needed it that far.  I made it to Seeley Lake and had time to spare, so I figured I’d push on the extra 8 miles to get to Salmon Lake State Park.  Upon arrival there, the outrageous price of a simple campsite put me right back on my bike and down the road another 7 miles.  This place was right at the junction of Hwy. 83 and Hwy. 200.

I arrived at this more primitive, but wildly more affordable camping area, and spoke with some people there – the news got better however as they said I could camp for free on the other side of the river! There were no fire pits or picnic tables on that side, but free camping could not be argued with.

Picture of my campsite:

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Picture of the river about 200 feet from my camping area:

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Scenic view st sunset:
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Day 15 – June 15th – Biking in Glacier National Park – Avalanche parking area to Logan Pass to West Glacier – 52 miles

I will let the pictures do most of the talking as words, no matter how exquisite, cannot portray the vastness or beauty.

When in this place, the majesty of the mountains and grandeur of the glaciers shock the visual sense of any human. Here, one obtains more wisdom than any other and the only knowledge one ever needs to know, the way of the land. I know no stress here, for nature provides all outlets for my thoughts and awe. Unmatched beauty, pristine land, and awesome wilderness. I hope this land remains for all generations to come. It needs to be preserved and protected, so all can know the value of untouched wilderness that once covered the entire globe.

Here are some photos of the day.

On the way up:

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First bear sighting!

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This one snuck up on me! I stopped for a short rest and he popped up over the side onto the road! Thankfully I didn’t startle him, I was easily within 40 feet of this guy.

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A couple miles ahead (and up), I saw these bighorn sheep. There were 4 total.

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One mile later, this guy got trapped on the road between two hikers on their way down, and me on my way up.  It ran toward me very quickly, within 30 feet, I steadied my camera as best I could and got this shot.  Also have a video of it scaling the rock face right next to the road as I stood and watched in awe.

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Snow!

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Conquered the pass :)

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Saw this on the way down!

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Overall great day here at Glacier National Park.  More photos to come after my tour.

Train Ride – Day 2

Today has consisted of gazing out into the wide open expanses of North Dakota and the big sky country of Montana.  Rain fell on the later half of the day, as the scenery outside began to transition from a flat plain to a hilly start of the mountains.

It really is hard to fathom how much open space there is, especially in the vast state of Montana (ask my brother Nathan or my sister Alicia about that reference).  Riding a train or passing through by car is a good way to appreciate the expanse  but I suspect riding through on my bike will help me truly appreciate the environment that I pass through.

Passed through Glacier National Park in the late evening.

Here is an image from Cut Bank, MT.  This town truly had a reason for it’s name.

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