Saturday, July 18, 2009

AK '09 - Day 28

Today was a new day because we had the girls, and Reagan and I needed to pack some things in John's trailer. So we were all up early and standing around the bikes at 6:30. It seemed like it took 2 seconds to pack up the trailer and we were done. Breakfast next door didn't start until 7 so we sat around in the hotel lobby drinking tea and coffee.

At 7 o'clock we went over to breakfast. The waitress wasn't used to working the morning service so she didn't really know the menu and almost didn't serve me hot tea. Lydia didn't get her bacon until the meal was almost over. In the grand scheme of service though it wasn't a bad meal, it just wasn't great service.

Afterwards we went back to the motel, checked out, and left the parking lot with lots of people standing outside looking at the bikes. The Spyder seems to be a magnet for questions from bikers and non-bikers alike. We filled up across the street and then headed out of town.

We took US 2 north toward Glacier National Park. As we rolled through Columbia Falls we noticed a few quaint motels that are probably worth staying at next time. They are about the same distance from the Glacier International air port and the town looks a lot more friendly. There might even be better places to eat.

Entering the park was a snap as this was a free weekend. We pulled into the visitor center to look for information, snap a few pictures and look for stickers. No stickers but we did get an idea about the road we were about to ride. So after talking to a few other riders about possible future improvements that Can Am can make to the Spyder we mounted up and took off on the Road to the Sun.

Going up the road was beautiful. At first we were riding along the lake and temps remained in the low 60s. Past the lake we stopped to look at a beautiful water fall.

After taking a few photos we continued on our way. The road began to climb as it snaked along the edge of the mountains. There were magnificent waterfalls and views. We saw mountain sheep and tourists trying taking pictures of them. But as we climbed in elevation, so did the temperatures climb. It was 71 degrees when we got to the Logan visitor center.

Glacier NP doesn't really have any large glaciers like I've seen at other parks. But the views are beautiful and the ride is worthwhile. After visiting the visitor center we headed out of the park going west. We stopped at the St. Mary Vistor Center, watched the videos, looked through the telescope at an Osprey nest. Then we left the park and stopped at a lodge for lunch and some shopping where I found some stickers.

We followed Hwy 89 south. We stopped for fuel in Browning and a quick break. After the stop we resumed our ride on 89.

About 10 miles later, Reagan keyed up the mike and told me she wanted to be the rider instead of the passenger. We pulled over and swapped positions. She took the lead and did an outstanding job at setting the pace. As any good rider should do, she started out nice and slow going into the corners. As her confidence grew so did the speeds. Before long she was ripping through corners at speeds above posted limits.

We rode through a few small towns without issue. I would read the GPS over her shoulder and John would call directions over the CB. There were no problems navigating through the towns.

Just before we got to I-15, Reagan pulled off the road to switch places with me. I was thankful for the change in seating. The pillion seat is OK but the footrests are pretty short. I've already seen some extensions that other owners have made, I think I'll be making a set when we get home.

The first part of I-15 had plenty of twisties and a zesty 75mph speed limit. Once out of the mountains and on the flat straight road it seemed as if there wouldn't be any further excitement. That was until the deer decided to cross the highway in front of John and Lydia. It looked like the deer was going to stay in the median but at the last minute she sprung out in front of them. John managed to dramatically slow the trike without hitting the deer. It was definitely an andrenaline pumping event for all.

After that, I was scanning for deer even more than before. Fortunately we rolled into Helena without any further excitement. We checked into our hotel and unpacked. Then after a post-ride totty, we walked next door for food and spirits. They served Moose Drool beer which is a brown ale. It's definitely a beer to drink if you like darker beers. When dinner was over we went back to the rooms and retired for the evening.

Tomorrow we have a short day of riding, only 175 miles. We are going to Gardiner which will act as our base camp for 2 days while we explore Bear tooth pass and the northern part of Yellowstone. Hopefully Reagan will be nice enough to let me drive across Bear tooth at least in one direction.

No comments: