Early morning Montana light is hard to beat.
Up a beautiful paved service road heading west into the Kootenai National forest where "creak master" John managed to locate the Colonel's creaking to the quick release. A little dab of oil and were were back rolling in stealth mode.
Back onto the crunchy stuff, we eased up towards Whitefish Divide.
Riding stream to stream with stops to soak up the icy goodness and beat the heat.
Past multiple avalanche chutes
before topping out
with a few friends along for the ride.
Backside splendor through the heavily treed forest
and then around one turn into a section both beetle infested and burned out in a not too distant fire. The dry stream gave the whole stretch of trail an apocalyptic feel.
Coated in fine dust, The Road started to feel closer and closer to being a reality. I later learned the dry stream bed is the result of a series of limestone caves underneath the area which divert the stream underground before it makes its way back topside further down.
Rounding another corner it was back into lush Montana forest cut by an afternoon of gravel grinding
with the final turn of the crank at the Polebriddge bakery, a pastry oasis at the end of a gravel road setting up travelers heading into the North Fork and the west side of Glacier National Park. Definitely worth the off-route mileage.
for zero-sum hydration and a huckleberry bear claw.
I flopped my tent at the North Fork Hostel which is home to an amazing green house tended to by Oliver and Amy
with everything needed for the chi
and skies good for the soul.