Day 11: Peck Gulch to Kalispell, MT – 229 Miles
I got lucky and it didn’t rain last night. I had another great camp night. Super peaceful and scenic. The stars shine very brilliant here in Montana and I haven’t seen any this bright since I was last in remote Afghanistan. The sound of the waves from the lake lapping at the shore just a few feet from my tent put me to sleep real quick.
My neighbor camping/RVing next to me brought me over a cup of coffee and chatted for bit. I had met them last night and they were real nice people. They spend their summers up here in Montana camping around the state with their RV and then retreat to Arizona for the winters. Seems like a good idea to me 😉 Thanks for the coffee! After packing up camp and riding into the town of Eureka, I grabbed breakfast at a cool cafe/diner called Cafe Jax. I had another cup of coffee. Now I was really wired and ready to ride.
The plan for today was to start riding part of the Continental Divide Trail and later in the day ride through Glacier National Park along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. I started off riding the CDT from Eureka and headed towards the real small town of Polebridge.
A few minutes into riding towards the CDT and I had already come across other dual-sport riders heading in the same direction to meet up with the trail. They had much lighter weight setups than me, so they rode a bit faster once we hit the trail. I was excited to finally be riding some dirt. Once I lowered the tire pressure down a bit, the bike was right at home even with all the extra weight on the back.
Once I caught up with them at a rest spot, they told me they were from Pennsylvania and were going to ride the entire CDT over the next 15 days. Sounds awesome to me. I only plan on riding a portion of the CDT through Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. I might have to come back one day and do the entire trail 😮
Polebridge is a cool little town (if you can even call it a town?) I have read about it before from other CDT ride reports on ADVrider and it seemed like an interesting place to check out. I definitely wanted to stop by the bakery there and get some fresh baked goodies.
After riding some of the CDT and checking out Polebridge, I rode towards the Kalispell/Whitefish area to get gas and grab chow. After lunch, I rode to Glacier National Park to ride the famous Going-to-the-Sun road. Lots of pics of the park and road:
The rivers and lakes were very very clear. You could see the fish swimming around along with the anglers trying to catch them. It was pretty hot out and I was seriously tempted to ditch the riding gear and go for a swim.
Awesome road that goes all the way up the mountain. Even with all the traffic it was an amazing ride up to the top. Much cooler once I started gaining elevation too.
It was very busy at the top of summit. The parking lot was packed with only spots for motorcycles left. Another win for 2 wheels!
More road/park photos:
Once out of the park, it was back down to the heat and farm lands of Montana.
I rode to Kalispell to find a hotel for the night and had actually had a little bit of trouble finding a room for the night. Every place was booked up. I finally found a place after riding around for a bit and inquiring. I found the Kalispell Hilltop Inn which had one room left and actually wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. Clean modern place with super friendly staff/owner. Highly recommend you check this place out if you’re riding through Kalispell.
Depending on how I feel tomorrow morning, I might decide to stay in Kalispell for a day off from riding to relax and do some errands.
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