Rain fell much of last night. When we awoke at 7 am, rain pattering on the tent; some of my clothes got wet in the night. We arose and packed our gear in the nearby shelter. I dried my wet clothes in the RV park laundry room. We ate our usual breakfast then headed east in the rain, on US Hwy 2 to Columbia Falls. There was lots of traffic.
After 21 miles of riding in the rain along the green Flathead River (see photo), we reached West Glacier, the turnoff to Glacier National Park. We walked into a restaurant looking like drowned rats. We ordered a Greek omelet and coffee. Last night Helen convinced us to ride into the Park. Today’s weather report called for rain except for a few hours between 11 am and 3 pm. The low clouds blanketed the mountains.
We decided to forego a wet and not very scenic ride into the Park. After eating and warming up, we headed southeast on US Hwy 2 along the Flathead River, hoping for the rain to stop. In an hour, it did! We kept riding from one potential motel, or lodge stop, to the next. At each spot the rain held off, prompting us to keep going. At Essex we decided to reach the Continental Divide at Marias Pass (Elevation 5,236 ft.)
In a few miles, we left the Flathead River and climbed to the pass. The rain held off except for a few drops. At the pass, we stopped for a short break, then headed downhill- aided by a brisk tail wind. The conifers soon disappeared on the dry side of the Divide. Clumps of aspens, poplars, and grasses predominated. Dramatic clouds swirled over the mountains to the west. We soon arrived in East Glacier Park and checked into the Backpacker’s Inn. After a shower to warm us up and hanging our gear to dry, we ate dinner at the adjacent Solano’s. Afterwards, we called Riley for an update on his adventures. Today was a long and often wet 74 mile day.