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Old 05-05-2004, 10:47 PM   #68
MikeO OP
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Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Scarning, Norfolk, today...
Oddometer: 6,632
17th April

I set off bright and early – on the road at 0815. It’s cold (34) and overcast – the Rocky Mountains have their tops removed by a layer of cloud. I ride along the Eastern shore of Flathead Lake, which looks cold, calm and beautiful…



The water level is low, though – it almost looks as if the tide is out. When I get to Big Fork, the effects of the drought show in some lakefront accommodation…



…where the jetties provided for residents' craft are high and dry.

I continue North towards Hungry Horse, when my attention is distracted by something in the mirror…



…it’s Officer Lerrette, from the Montana Highway Patrol. He tells me that he’s just clocked me doing 70 in a 60 limit. I say I’m sorry. He says he’s going to have to ‘cite’ me. I say OK and give him my licence and other documents. He does some checks, then asks if I’ve any money on me, as this is an ‘on the spot’ fine. I have $35 but the fine is $55. No problem, he’ll follow me to the next town where I can use an ATM. He sits in his car for a few more minutes, then gets out and asks if I know where I’m going – I say I don’t (true on so many levels :P) and that I’ll follow him. He gets back in his car, then gets out again and, inexplicably, says he’s changed his mind and has ‘voided’ the ticket and is going to give me a warning instead. I thank him and we chat for a while about how his job differed from mine when I was a cop and I look around the spectacularly well equipped patrol car…



…as well as video recording, he has a wireless microphone on his uniform to record conversations with evil miscreants like me, a very advanced radar system (it has 2 transmitters & 2 receivers – one measuring the patrol car’s speed, the other an approaching car - or bike's : - relative speed – allowing him to detect someone doing 70 in a 60, for example…), shotgun, huge coffee cup, doughnuts etc etc.
I ride on, at 60mph, past some spectacular sculpture…



…to Glacier National Park



Unfortunately, Going to the Sun Road, the main road through the Park, is closed at the 16 mile point. I ride along the South Eastern shore of Lake McDonald, which is eerily quiet and still…



…unlike McDonald Creek, which feeds into it from the North East…



The low cloud keeps clearing and giving me tantalising glimpses of Mount Brown (8560ft)…



…but soon, the road closed signs appear…



…and it’s time to turn back. Mount Brown is still being coy…



I ride the long way round the South of the Park, which has some great views of the Flathead River and the mountains of the Lewis Range…



…the road follows a railway line, which crosses a slightly larger version of yesterday’s ‘Indiana Jones’ viaduct…



Where there is a particular avalanche risk, the railway line is protected by a wooden shelter…



The railway is very busy – I saw 3 trains in the short time I was riding alongside it. I also saw this rather odd sight…



…a pick-up truck adapted to be able to drive on the railway line :

I re-enter Glacier National Park from the Eastern entrance. Once again, access is restricted because of the snow and ice…



…and it is cold – Two Medicine Lake is frozen…



I head off towards Great Falls, where I plan to spend the night. As I head South East away from the park, the landscape changes to low undulating, grass covered hills, which remind me, for some reason, of the Outer Hebrides.



Or the Falklands (*shudder*).

I check into the Hampton Inn at Great Falls and warm up…

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All text & original photos Mike Oughton 2004 - 2014

MikeO screwed with this post 12-11-2010 at 02:37 PM
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