By Fred Smoak
Last Friday we had a day off after reaching Glacier National Park. It had taken several grueling days to get there, and the question arose, ‘What should we do?’ The answer, of course, was ride our bikes up the Going-to-the-Sun Road!
Connor had worked it all out. We had to reach the summit by 11, and based on the distance and drop-off time, that meant I only needed to average 5.8mph. This was all nicely explained in an email that I didn’t read because, being in a national park, I didn’t have any cell service.
Nonetheless, I signed up for for the ride. At first I could zoom along at 17-20mph. I must really be getting into good shape, I thought. But around 3.5 miles into the ride, the fun was over. But as a compensation for the grade getting steeper, the views become even more spectacular. Mountains, waterfalls & vistas of the valley below everywhere.
When you bike, you move at a very human pace. In a car, you see something, and it’s gone before you can fully appreciate it. When you hike, the view changes too slowly for my taste. But when I cycle, there’s time to let the beauty sink in – and still be moving on to the next sight before the wonder fades. It was a hard ride up, but every time I looked around I could see something spectacular.
My cellphone camera can’t do justice to all the things I will keep in my memory. I hope you will wander over to one of the photo-blogs our media team keeps up for a better set of pics. But the best way to enjoy the Going-to-the-Sun Road is to grind your way up to Logan Pass and use the effort to appreciate the sights even more.