North to Alaska

Day 14


I did something today that I usually don’t like to do – I turned North.  You see, being from Connecticut turning South or West means you are beginning the trip – and turning North or East means the trip is over and I’m heading home.


But today, turning North means turning toward Alaska – actually Canada first – but Alaska will come along in due time.


It’s 63 degrees when I walk out of the hotel this morning, but I am not deceived.  Weather reports are warning of extreme heat again today – so I understand that by noon traveling is going to get difficult.


I have about four hours of really enjoyable traveling along I-90 West across Montana – the temperature rises slowly, but Montana and I are enjoying each others company once again.


Today’s National Park stop is at Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site in Deer Lodge, MT – it preserves the essential elements of the Grant-Kohrs Cattle Ranch depicting  the frontier cattle industry from about 1850 to 1880.  This is one of those out of the way parks that few people visit – and it is pleasant to just stroll around the farm and enjoy the historic displays.  I would have stayed longer, but the temperature was rising rapidly to over 100 degrees – and I have many miles yet to travel.


Just west of Missoula, I find the end of the prairie and the beginning of the mountains – and it is time to say goodbye to the Interstate Highways for an extended period of time – as I head north on 93 toward Canada.  I am disappointed at the very heavy traffic on this road – there is more traffic here than there was on I-90.  I’m hoping that traffic will lighten up as I go further north – Highway 93 and I are going to become good friends – because she will take me all the way to the junction of Canada Highway 1 in Banff National Park.


I happen upon Flathead Lake in Polson, and I immediately understand the heavy traffic.  Had I checked the map more carefully, I would have discovered that Friday afternoon on the way to the lake would be a busy drive.  93 winds its way all around the lake and provides some spectacular scenery as well as some cool breezes – and traffic disappears once I pass the resort areas of the lake.


Its north to Whitefish today – and then into Canada tomorrow morning.  I’m hoping the border crossing will be uneventful – this is my first trip out of this country on a motorcycle – so I’m not quite sure what to expect.  One thing I’m hoping for is some cooler riding temperatures.  Four or five hours riding in excess of 100 degrees is not fun – so here’s hoping for cooler riding tomorrow.


So to you and Iowa Sioux and Git Ander, German Shepherd, Plainfield, NJ – I say goodnight from Whitefish, MT.