Thursday, June 16, 2011

West Glacier to East Glacier, MT

Tuesday was our day off.  Cal has ridden 7 straight days (like on RAGBRAI), and he needs a break. We drove back into the Flathead River Valley for a late breakfast, shopping, and internet access.  Later in the day we drove into Glacier NP to the point where we could go no farther (16 miles).  Logan Pass on the ‘Going to the Sun Road’ probably will not be open until at least July 4th – they not only have to complete snow removal, but rebuild the road due to avalanche destruction.      

What a great feeling this morning when we opened the curtains in our motel room to see clear skies, as we have been in a lot of rain the last two days.  Cal had 44 miles to Marias Pass – the summit – the Continental Divide on Rt 2, around the southern edge of Glacier. Actually the climb was quite gradual in comparison to the Passes over the Cascades.  We had some fabulous views of snow capped mountain in southern Glacier.  However the road was not the best - narrow shoulder to no shoulder, rough surface and a construction area with a Pilot car.  

The road follows the Flathead River and its tributaries plus the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway/Amtrak route. As we neared the Pass the storms rolled in and over, in and over within minutes. If you didn’t take photos at the right second, the next second it would be look different. I stayed very close to Cal today, and twice he crawled into the vehicle for a few minutes. During one of the storms there was also sleet. So today we had sun, rain and sleet.  The temperature was down to 46 and a high of 53. COLD!!  

After the going over Marias Pass it was downhill to East Glacier. It was interesting to see the rivers running east now, instead of west.  In East Glacier we found a motel, Cal cleaned up and then we drove into the Two Medicine area of Glacier.

We are going to include photos of some of the scenery we enjoyed today.            

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad following Flathead River
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Crossing Railroad Tressel near the Flathead River

Summit of Marias Pass

Edible Glacier Lilly used to Garnish our plates at Dinner

Going to Two Medicine in Glacier National Park

One of the many Spring Snow Melt Water Falls - Had Lunch here

Panorama of The Continental Divide south of East Glacier

The following two photo were taken within 20 minutes of each other.  The first one was taken on the way into the Two Medicine area and the second taken as we were leaving.  Note the dark storm clouds that moved into the area - an example of the weather today. 
Photo taken entering Two Medicine

Photo taken leaving Two Medicine