We had dinner in Lincoln and pitched a tent for a chilly night’s sleep. It wasn’t the same without Chaka with us anymore. Todd and I both missed him.
Time to Get Rolling
We got an early start on the cold morning, since we have heated clothing for our bikes- we figured that was the only way to get warm. We travelled for about an hour through the Helena National Forest, and saw some amazing views. On the descent of the mountain, we passed a group of 5 bicyclists that looked like they were riding the Great Divide. It would be great fun to ride with that many people, and the group dynamic would add an interesting twist.
It’s Play Time!
We stopped for coffee at a gas station, and noted the diversity of recreational vehicles in the parking lot. It was a Thursday morning, and we were on our bikes, there was a truck pulling a large 5th wheel camper, there was a fishing boat, a group of 3 senior citizens that seemed to be doing some sort of sightseeing, a car with a kayak on the top, a truck with 2 kayaks, and 2 mountain bikes, a group of 20 children that just got finished with a horseback riding lesson, and a competitive speed boat. Nobody was on their way to work! It seems Montana might give Colorado a run for its money in the outdoor recreation department.
As we were sitting there waking up, it was discussed that we would ride half of the day, and then head to the Missoula Airport to get our truck from the parking lot. Chaka had driven it there to make his flight in the morning, and he left it in airport parking for us. Todd and I both really wanted to visit Glacier National Park, but it seems we were out of time. I suggested that we skip our last half day of riding, make a bee line to the truck, and then drive the truck through Glacier on the way home. I didn’t have to ask twice. Todd quickly agreed, and we were off to Missoula.
We found the truck without any problems, and got the bikes and all the gear loaded in a record time of 90 minutes, and of course, we put Brad’s underwear back to work.
Glacier National Park was amazing. We did not see much wildlife, but there was a little bit of snow, lots of waterfalls, a beautiful, clear river, and lots of mountains. I would definitely recommend a visit to this park.
We pointed Big Red (our truck) East for our 36 hour drive home. It was strange to be on a paved road, and not have all of the wind noise, and the smells that we had grown accustomed to. Montana gave us a beautiful farewell sunset on the way.
So did we ride the Great Divide? We didn’t start in Mexico, and we did not finish in Canada. We missed many parts of the route because we were lost, or there was something that was more appealing to us. We road more miles than the route maps said we would, but we also spent more time on the street than we were supposed to. Since this is a big subject, I’m going to give it it’s own blog post. Check it out here.