Sunday, June 29, 2014

No sheeting rain for us...

We were so wiped out from yesterday that we decided to rent a car to visit Glacier today. The weather has been crazy, torrential downpours one minute, weak sun the next. We have re - joined our friends Lorriann and Dale so were tourists together for today. We figure being old and having good credit trumps being young and strong!
I finally saw Glacier National Park after coming close 36 years ago. I traveled after college and was on my way to see Glacier. Instead I ended up in a job as a backcountry hunting camp cook in the Bob Marshall wilderness area in Montana.  I stayed in the backcountry until it snowed so I never made it to Glacier. But I have lots of other good stories to tell.
Going to the Sun Highway is closed for who knows how long so we will do the alternate route going over a lower pass. If you want to read a dramatic account of how another biker did climb to Logan Pass, check out WOW we are not that brave (or as willing to be wet and cold).
We drove as high as we could to the gate that is at Avalanche campground. See the photo to see several bikers who headed up there. We took a picture on the way up that may show the variable weather to you; we are standing in sunshine while behind us  across the lake, rain is pouring down. 5 minutes later we were looking out again (from the car)at pouring rain.
We drove up to Marias Pass. The wind was so strong up there it pushes you sideways.  I'm hoping that isn't the case when we get up there, although the weather reports look much better starting tomorrow.
Tomorrow we are going to start climbing towards Marias Pass, although doing it in stages to make it easier. Marias Pass is at 5216 feet and we are climbing from Whitefish at 3000 feet. As a contrast Logan Pass is 6664 feet. I wouldn't be surprised if these rainstorms dropped more snow up there. Whitefish was 60° today, it was 48° at Marias Pass.
We are looking forward to getting out to the plains since we just don't seem to have the oomph to do climbs very well in the mountains. Of course the plains has it's own challenges, we will have the heat seemingly for the first time on this trip. Jumping from the 50's and rain into 80's and 90's will be interesting...

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