Days 14 & 15 – Sunday, June 27th and Monday, June 28th

Glacier National Park, Montana, to Smithfield, Utah

Touring the park, and the trip home

Before leaving the motel the next morning, we talked to someone who used to work doing trail maintenance in the park. He particularly liked the northwest section of the park, and based on that conversation, Emily & Jennifer decided that was the part of the park they wanted to see, despite having to make a long drive on gravel roads to do it.

But before going there, we did stop at the visitor center.

Lake McDonald, from near the visitor center

From there, we headed to the remote northwest section of the park. So there are not a lot of pictures here (most of the time spent driving slowly on a gravel road), but the pictures are from a part of Glacier National Park you probably have never seen.

Kintla Lake, in the far northwest section of the park – the mountains to center/left are in Canada

Another view of Kintla Lake – note the water is so clear you can see the bottom

Emily and Jennifer

Aere and Malcolm

From there we headed for home. On the way back, we took highway 35, which goes down the east side of Flathead Lake. We were in a hurry, and didn't stop. You'll notice annoying reflections because it's seen through the glass, but that's the way you see most of the scenery in a car. When traveling by bicycle, there's nothing between you and the scenery – no matter which way you turn, and you hear the birds singing. And yes, it does rain on you...

Driving south, on the east side of Flathead Lake

Driving south, on the east side of Flathead Lake

Driving south, on the east side of Flathead Lake

Driving south, on the east side of Flathead Lake

At the south end of Flathead Lake, in Polson, we ate at a Thai restaurant called The Hot Spot. The food was very good, as was the décor, and the view from the windows. We had hoped to eat there when we passed through on bicycles, but it was closed in the early afternoon when we stopped.

We drove late, trading-off drivers, and stayed the night in a motel in Salmon. The next day we traveled highway 28 to Idaho Falls, which was a road I had never yet driven. On that road, we met a cross-country hiker, and were briefly stopped for a cattle-drive.

Stopped for a cattle-drive, on highway 28

We made it back to Smithfield, Utah, in plenty of time for Emily to get to work.

There, we moved our stuff to our car, and drove to Salt Lake, taking Jennifer with us.

It was a memorable trip, and a wonderful life experience – perhaps a dress rehearsal for crossing the continent by bicycle. You've seen the pictures, but the fond memories that live with us in our minds are harder to share.

I hope my story gave you a sense of what it was like to do this. Perhaps you will go on a similar adventure of your own.

Adventure doesn't come cheap.

- Aere

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