by2wingsor2wheels

I read something this morning that defined how I felt yesterday moving through Montana. The landscape in Montana can make you feel very small. Unlike the expanse of the praires which are a test of patience, Montana adds elevation and depth. I was descending down a straight grade for 12 miles looking down upon a mountain range as a river twice the size of the interstate powerfully tumbled down the same terrain. It is simply awesome and overwhelming.

Interstate travel through this state is the most fun you will encounter on a big highway. I got off I-90 to take Highway 12 West through the Helena National Forest and into Missoula. ‘A River Runs through It’ is one of my favourite novels and movies. This is the country which Norman McLean writes about. I followed the Missouri River, Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers for hundreds of miles. Elevation changes of 7000 feet made me plug in my heated vest and set my grips on low.

Helena National Forest

Back down through Missoula and onto 1-90 puts you in the Lolo National Forest and Pass. Again these are fantastic turns. I have forgotten what highways are supposed to feel like. Huge sweeping high speed turns up through massive mountain passes. This is the continental divide and gave me a sense of being home.

I crossed over into Idaho and the final time zone change. The descent into Coeur d’Alene is just as hairy as the ride up the pass. Because of the time change I had an extra hour to use even though I had put well over 500 miles in the saddle. Executive decision to go on to Spokane and pass by Coeur d’Alene which was my original plan.

Today I will head North to Grand Forks to cross back into Canada. Looking forward to todays ride. Another day of secondary highways through some of the most beautiful scenic twisties…..

Helena National Forest

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