Birthday shout out to Pluvius.
Pictured is Pokie and I out at breakfast. While most places have lifted their mask mandates, our breakfast restaurant has asked people to wear them while not eating. Dane County has taken the pandemic very seriously and as a result has the country's best vaccinate rate of all counties over 300,000 people.
This truck has been equip with some extra large nuts. I'm not exactly sure what these nuts would be used for, but I have a feeling said bolts are not part of this truck. Still, I find this significantly more humorous than the plastic scrotum some truck drivers have hanging from their vehicles.
I do not know what all is in that trailer, but it reminds me of the time I first saw a sign warning of rattle snakes. Its presents bring where you are into prospective. While Glacier National Park is a tourist destination it is not a theme park. It is not controlled and visitors must make allotment for the place, not the place for the visitors. The trailer sits there for what could happen because the mountain does whatever it wants.
It is hard to describe the serene desolation at Logan Pass in early June. It was a kind of restful quiet I didn't find anywhere else on the trip. The landscape was still under a thick blanket of snow and spring had not yet come this far up the mountain. Although the temperature was likely in the 60s or 70s I was standing on about 4 feet of snow. The earth beneath my feet was still asleep including a hoard of ground squirrels. When I was last at Logan Pass in September of 2019, the ground squirrels were already hibernating. Interesting to think that life for them exists just a couple months a year. This whole place lives for just a couple months a year. In a few weeks, this snow will be gone and a field of green dotted with flowers. Everything that lives here must do so quickly, and then be ready for long months beneath the snow.
Seeing Logan Pass like this really gives me an appreciation for what most people see when they visit. They don't understand that the lush green fields and flowers are the rare site, and what the snow desert is the norm. Most people can't appreciate it because most people cannot get to this place before the snow is gone. Strange to consider I am seeing the land for what it usually is when most see it as it usually isn't.
So how does one get ready to bike over 60 miles with over 3,000 feet of climb? Practice and eating right. I did the first, but not the really the second. For lunch, my only actual meal of the day, I had a buffalo burger with onion rings followed by a bunch of junk food. Had I eaten better I think I would have performed better.
The Going-to-the-Sun road took quite the beating this winter. I'm not sure when this happened, but a sizeable rock has fallen and embedded itself near the edge of the road. It punched through the concrete and pushed out the railing. The road was littered with fallen rock, and one of the cyclists I talked to said he heard falling rock on this assent. Not sure how long it takes to repair something like this, but the road crews still had a lot of work ahead of them before the road is ready for general travel this year.
A couple of years ago there was a rule change that allowed electric bikes to be used in Glacier National Park. The bike rental shops were quick at add e-bikes and now there are a great deal more people biking up the mountain. While I'm pleased more people are able to appreciate the beauty of this place I am also rather concerned. When I first biked up the mountain in 2017, I narrowly avoided hypothermia due to poor planning. The Going-to-the-Sun road isn't a trivial ride. There is about 30 miles between Logan Pass and Apgar Village, and most that distance has no cellphone service. The cyclists who can make it to the top of the mountain on their own leg power have likely had enough cycling experience to know how to handle a flat tire, or a broken chain. However, these people riding rental electric bikes would have no reason to have such experience. The road is littered with fallen rock and puncturing a tire is very much a reality. What are they going to do if they have a flat or break their chain?
One of the things I like about biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road before it has opened is the raw state it is in. This section by the Triple Arches not yet had the guard railing install. Fallen rock litters the road and water streams across it. Due to the spring melt all of the waterfalls are torrents. One can not get the same experience driving.