08-06-2009, 08:59 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Day 2 started off as a tour of Whitefish—a lot of back country roads and farms—not real exciting as far as dirt riding since most all of it was PAVED! Did find some logging operations along the paved section—at least it made it smell good!
I did find a hitchhiker along the route—
Did finally get to some dirt
and as you move south toward Swan and Seeley Lakes it gets better—grizzly habitat, never saw one but I saw a lot of roads blocked to “improve the bear habitat”.
Using bigdog’s gps track results in dropping off the route at cold creek road and taking highway 83 south all the way to Seeley Lake then getting back on the track. I tried for two hours to find a way thru—including finding the famous rocks blocking the single track on the west side and all of the locked gates around Owl Lake—all with no success—my recommendation is just follow the track as laid out by bigdog in the Lolo National Forest area.
I thought about going on thru at the infamous rocks—while pondering my decision, a ranger pulls up and that kind of made it for me. He indicated this leads to private land and is blocked for that reason.
Anyway moved on and stopped at Seeley Lake.
Got started early to backtrack and try to find an open route thru Lolo National Forest—I’m a sucker for a challenge. Spent the better part of two hours trying and only found locked gates—and mosquitoes! Finally a ranger stopped me and asked if I was riding the CDR! Yep—he was a rider and member of this site and he said he had been working to get something for bikes to take thru the area but so far no luck with management—good luck hope you are successful at some point!
So with that I went back to Seeley Lake and picked up bigdog’s track toward Helena. Did find some neat signs
Didn’t see any just black cows—do they count? Roads between Seeley and Helena are generally good—dirt and gravel with neat creeks.
Bigdog’s track goes south of the route in the Lincoln area so I did the map thing and stuck to the CDR route—something to take a look at if you are riding this. I did find some neat curves on the route and some held some real interesting results if you “missed”.
There was some minimal challenging areas—mostly just some rocks.
Then there are some administrative jobs that I just never got offered…
Of course you have to EAT!
Then you get the ever present detour—this one around Lincoln for a bridge replacement—the construction guys were not interested in letting me try to cross so I had to go around.
Then finally the pass above Helena and on in for the night.
Day 4 begin’s with a night of rain and sunrise comes with some more of the same—but it was not excessive. Rode out of town and immediately met a CDR rider headed north. Maniac was his screen name here and he was headed north—said a RR will follow, hope to read it soon—safe travel.
Found a lot of gravel dumped and I love the start of the dump run where you get a whoop! Crusher run is not my idea of the best riding but it will do—interesting note in this area south of Helena.
The riding is good if you miss a turn—which I did and found this, went to the top of a long hill and ended, too bad.
Got turned around and to the other side of the interstate where you can see where I was in the last picture from this side.
Fianally found my way around and got to riding the old rail bed that parallels the interstate—some really good riding, not difficult but fun with things like this along the way.
But it was a bit wet----
Still more great lakes, they seem to be everywhere just like the free running streams.
This is a long downhill run heading toward I15 which you go under and continue on…
One of the few marked ones I have found on this end of the CDR.
This is on the old railroad bed I mentioned earlier—some interesting riding.
I was disappointed at the route from I-15 crossing north of Dillon to Polaris—way too much pavement! The trek into Wyoming and Colorado will be coming shortly, hope some of you are finding this informative.