Guess I should chime in now that I've spent long enough waiting to edit what photos I took...
As stated by Duke, there was a hint of marital discord upon my decision to ride. I would have none of it! Since I could not obtain the originals from her for the ride, I got myself a set of these so I could confidently make my own decisions...
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That taken care of I moved on to packing for the trip. 0530 I was up and called Bitterroot (Jay). I woke him up and told him he had three hours to pack and meet me in Missoula. He made some excuses and I hung up on him. By Butte he'd called and left a message and we made the plan to meet at Hwy 93 North. Against my terrible judgment I skipped the inviting atmosphere of Freds while waiting for Bitterroot.
No matter how many times I've driven that highway, I'm always struck by the beauty of the Mission Valley as I crest the hill North of Ravalli. Made good time and didn't make many stops as we were trying to meet Duke along the route. Try as we might we were always a town behind until West Glacier. Didn't stop for photos but here's one looking east from the Ninepipes area from a few years back...
Duke covered the ride to Polebridge and a bit of the ride after finding out the wait time for the slab of beef.
Here's a view North from the bridge crossing the North Fork of the Flathead river at Polebridge.
Bitterroot on the bridge waiting for us to stop blocking traffic while we shot photos like tourists...
The initial plan had been to head for Bowman. Bitterroot used his keen sense of direction to take us in the opposite direction, and Dukes reliance on technology somehow ensured we continued on that path. I just sat back and followed, which according to my wife (with some additional adjectives) I am rather good at. Great views along the river from time to time, but a lot of this view:
I believe this was crossing Crystal Creek
Should we be concerned that a bike Duke dub's the "Assmangler" gives him a smile like this?
Originally Posted by MTDuke
Oh ya, that kid w bear spray in condition 0/1....crazy. So we are stopped on the east road heading south in the park and a young dude comes running out of he woods w bear spray at the ready. Following him was 2 dudes that looked like they just got done training in an Idaho (no offense intended) militia w rifles and leg- strapped sidearms. I was looking for cameras like this was a scene out of "Surviving the Game" and the kid was losing the chase. Weird.
After the fiber purge, from Dukes photo library above, is when bear spray dude and the deliverance twins came running by. I firmly believe they were after sasquatch as I sighted the creature moments before they ran through...
After getting our bearings straight (I advised them that I noticed the Forrest Circus sign indicating Bowman lake to the Left when we went Right) we took the dusty route to the lake.
Aside from the beargrass blooms, my favorite part of the trip was the ride to Bowman lake. The beargrass was absolutely incredible. particularly in the early morning light the next day. I still kick myself for not taking any of the shots I envisioned as we toured along. Anyways the Bowman road was twisty with slight banks to the corners. The surface was a nice packed dirt that was a bit damp still from the shade. Good traction and cool air made 25mph or so an absolute blast to me. Of course I may have sustained a closed head injury from the accident that they declined to tell me about.
All in all it was a great ride. As Duke said, it felt like a few days rather than basically a 24 hour ride. It was great to get back on the bike and stretch my wings (ribs).