Glacier National Park, Going to the Sun Rd, Lolo Pass ~ MT, ID, WA, OR (and ND) in 5 days

July 2019 - How come vacation goes so fast but reality goes so slow? In just 5 days, I managed to put on over 3,500 miles, and have ridden through MN, ND, MT, ID, WA, and OR. I ran the gamut of weather from sun shine, extreme heat, mid 50°, and a side of sleet/hail. Stiffy and I took off from MN with West Virginia on our minds for a destination. Until the morning we were leaving... I checked weather and saw over 70% chance of rain every day in WV. Screw it. Weather looks amazingly perfect to the west - we shall go west! So, with 'Montana' as a new destination, we headed west. That was legit our plan. Montana. Which didn't narrow it down much! As we were headed west, doing an Iron Butt to get there, my brain was reverting to childhood - where we often headed west for family trips. Going to the Sun Road! I remember being in the truck, on going to the sun road, and seeing my dad driving the narrow corners with steep cliffs on the side of us, with the ginormous old school video camera on his shoulder. My mom gets car sick on twisty roads, so she slept, therefor leaving 'no one' to videotape the epic road we were on. Needless to say, when she awoke to see my dad with the big old video camera on his shoulder, driving one handed, with a truck and camper on the back and two young kids in the backseat... she was less than happy!!! That settles it - destination: Going to the Sun Road!

I was surprised after riding through MN, ND, MT, ID, WA, and OR..that we didn’t see much for wildlife. We saw several deer, one elk, some bird that resembles an eagle, cows, horses, and that was basically it.

Plenty of amazing views, challenging corners complete with gravel due to road construction happening, a brief shower of sleet/borderline hail, and some snow still on the ground.

It’s always fun to people watch and doing so while riding is no different. We followed this old brown beat up pickup from Wisconsin, with three younger guys in it, higher than the elevation in which we started behind them..and if red were my favorite color I’d have been in heaven because they had their brakes on the WHOLE time we were behind them. I finally pulled over and have then several minutes because I got tired of smelling their brakes. No more than 3 corners later we see them pulled over on the side of the mountain, brown beater pickup truck hood raised as all three Wisconsinites stood and looked at it, hands on their hips, mystified...I hope they have good hiking shoes with them because I doubt they will make it off of the mountains on wheels at that rate.

Next up: Lolo Pass

We found some gravel on Lolo Pass that landed us both a rest stop and scenic viewpoint all to ourselves. Shelly was super pleased with me that I managed to not only find a gravel road with my name on it... but one with switchbacks at that... haha

We hit Lolo Pass in Idaho - aka Highway 12. Twice. The first time was for sightseeing. The second time was for cornering. And MAN was it fun! Minimal traffic, a couple of deer, and our music blaring as we dip left, then right, then left again and again. The road was recently paved (so it seemed) in most areas which led to some great, smooth cornering FUN for 99 miles back to MT!

We did part of the Lewis and Clark Highway (12). Fun fact.. we camped in Clarkston WA, on an island. Across the way was Lewiston, ID. It took me until today to put it all together... Highway 12 = Lewis and Clark Highway. Clarkston and Lewiston ... towns on 12 in each state. I’m Sometimes a little slow with the obvious..

😂 we stayed at Chief Timothy’s campground- literally an island. It was cheap and a nice change in pace. After setting up camp we did what most people these days do- ignore each other and go into social media world for a bit. Next thing we know, a guy from the Victory group messages and says he’s 7 miles away. He joined us at camp to chat about our journeys, stops, and destinations so far. Such a small world when we know someone 7 miles away but yet we are all several states from home!

We also met a couple from the twin cities (10 miles from me!) who inspired me immensely. Idk if that’s good or bad. They were on a sweet new Indian dresser. He works for an airline, she works for a local PD. They ride all over, then when it’s time to work, they fly back to MN, work 4 days, and fly back to wherever they last left the bike for their 3 day weekend. They’ve been all over the western US and up to Banff so far this year. Hmmmm.... 2020 goals: Change career path. Buy another bike. He also said, after I mentioned I’d be applying soon, that I could work in customer service for an airline... from my home... and get the same perks. Well that might require a little research on my end!!!

We hit 129 from Clarkston WA to Enterprise OR. Another amazing road with fun twisties for miles and miles. The road starts in Clarkston and there’s so many corners going uphill you wonder what will be at the top. Nothing. Nothing is at the top at that point. Fields for miles and miles - but it’s a fun lol start of what’s to come. Because several miles later there’s suddenly trees again, wildlife, and corner after corner. We stopped to soak it all in but picture just can’t capture the excitement ahead!

Life is all about the adventure, whether it be the roads traveled, the places I end up, or the people I meet along the way- I love every aspect of travel!!!! 

More random pictures of Nature's Beauty:
   A lake in Glacier National PArk

 Flathead Lake - GNP

Mountain twisties

Logan Pass:

Going to the sun road