The adventures of Ken and Russ 01SEPT11 to 05SEPT11
01 SEPT11 Finished call that went overnight, with few calls. I was able to sign out to Sneller Moreller and then take off. I met Russ at his house and we took off at 8:15am. When we got to Whitefish, we had dinner and then stayed in a total dive of a motel. Drive was 570 miles, taking 9 hours.
Heading toward West Glacier
On the road to Essex
Izaac Walton Inn
Train headed to Marias Pass
02 SEPT11 Parked car at Columbia Falls Airport, and took off. Stayed at the Isaac Walton Inn in Essex, MT. 3297 Cal, 719 meters of ascent. 4:24 time 85.5 km. This hotel is a historic building that housed railway workers in yesteryear who maintained the tracks in winter. It is now an elegant hotel, where one could watch the trains go by, just west of Marias Pass.
03SEPT11 Essex to St. Mary via Looking Glass Hill Time 6:35, Distance 96.7 km, Ascent 1534 meters, cal 3883.
View from Looking Glass Hill
Marias Pass went quite smooth, about 400 meters of climbing, and we arrived in East Glacier Park at about 11:30, so had lunch there. The route immediately started climbing up Looking Glass Hill. The views were stupendous, but the road had no shoulder, was busy, and persistent 6-7% grade, another 400 meters of climbing. The rest of the trip to St. Mary was three subsequent climbs, finally exhausting me, but Russ was handling all okay. The final 8 km descent was glorious. We stayed in a small budget hotel in town.
04SEPT11 St Mary to West Glacier via Going to the Sun Road across Glacier National Park. 873 meters ascent, 3143 Calories, 4:44 time, 73.5 km. Seven miles of this trip (not counted) was via a mandatory shuttle bus along Lake McDonald. This was moderately strenuous after a very strenuous day. Russ handled it well, but he was performing the first Touring time trial up Logan Pass.
Peak seen from Going to the Sun Road
Near the top of Logan Pass
Peak seen from Logan Pass
Descent from Logan Pass
Western Going to the Sun Road
West end of Going to the Sun Road
05SEPT11 West Glacier back to Airport, and then drive home. 37 km, 1:43 time, 1222 Calories, 169 meters ascent.
We returned by way of route 2, which left a mile of tight canyon road, very suited for photography, except that there was no shoulder on the road so it was impossible to comfortably stop. After returning to the car, we were able to drive home in reasonable time.