In 1992, I abandoned Cycle America for the opportunity to ride with a group of friends who thought it would be fun to bicycle across Montana (what were they thinking?). The riders were Mark Larson, Pam Fritz, Sallie Wylie and a friend of Sallie’s named Harold. Mark and Harold had spouses with vehicles to accompany us.
We began the trip with a few days of hiking and whitewater rafting at Glacier National Park. The ride began at Lake McDonald, and from there climbed the Going to the Sun Road. Wow!
Another great stop: the Museum of the Plains Indians in Browning. Leaving the mountains behind, our entire ride across the Montana plains was done into headwinds. Due to the sparse vegetation, it was like riding uphill all day long.
Our original plan was to ride to Minot, ND, but the rest of the group gave up in Williston. I tried to carry on alone, but quit the next day in Tioga, ND in the face of continuing headwinds and an approaching storm. I hitchhiked (two rides) into Minot. Getting a ride was surprisingly easy—folks in western North Dakota understand the need to help one another in this large and geographically hostile place.
Photos: The Going-to-the-Sun Road at Glacier National Park is a tough and long climb, but the views make it all worthwhile. The “high point” of the ride: Logan Pass in Glacier National Park. Horizontal Row 1: Another view from the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Looking back at the mountains from the plains to the east. Resting on a stretch of open road. Row 2: A shower ahead—somehow it missed us. Horses on the plains. Fueling up for the miles in front of us. Row 3: Mark puts on his poker face at a roadside bar where we stopped for a drink. The two folks who gave me rides after I gave up and decided to hitchhike. Last photo: Finally leaving Montana after more than 700 miles of travel, the Welcome to North Dakota sign was a welcome milestone for the trip.