Monday, 4 September 2017

Day 6: Billings MT - Kalispell MT

Time to Defile the Wilderness with Rock'n'Roll!  "Where are you going today?" asks the Nice Man on reception.  "Why, to Glacier National Park" I reply, "to Defile it with Rock'n'Roll, as is my wont!"

"Ah," quoth he, "I have just seen on that The Internets, that they have now, that Glacier National Park is being evacuated because big burny fiery DETH!"

Oh.  Bugger.  Still, 'tis a fair way away from Billings so perhaps they will have changed their collective mind by the time I get there.  Last time I went to Glacier, I arrived in nearby Whitefish the very day they closed the through road in the park for the winter, so I am anxious to put this omission right.

The run up to the park's east entrance is neither exciting nor short.  It is, in fact, about 360 of the BRITONS' miles.  And it's more of the same Stuffs we've had since crossing the Mighty Missouri in South Dakota.  And it is forty old-skool Fahrenheits colder than yesterday, and only manages to lower the difference by ten over the course of those miles.  Scenic highlights:

This could be a mesa, but is more likely a butte fnarr fnarr
Montana is positively awash with cellotaphs like this, usually in places where even the most craptacularly inept moton would have difficulty in crashing.  The place is, however, also awash with signs warning of the dangers of crystal meth...
Another one of those incinerator/Dalek hybrids
Look, Mum, proper mountains at last!
I don't know why I should find it surprising that the main cash crop up here has changed from cows to wheat, because wheat is what the Prairie Province of Canada™ are known for, and they start a couple of hundred miles north, but the place is littered with combine harvesters doing their Thing.

And so to East Glacier Park.

Either we have a new Pope, or...
"Soz" says a helpful sign "the road over Logan Pass is closed because big fiery burny DETH!"  If I cannot take the road over Logan Pass - i.e. the through road to West Glacier Park and parts beyond - then there is little point in ponying up twenty bucks for the privet hedge.  Anyway, I expect it still looks like this:
and this:
Glacier National Park in 2009, yesterday
only with less ice because of some conspiracy theory invented by the Chinese1.

Instead I shall take US-2 around the south end of the park, because to go around the north end would require invading Canada.  US-2 is actually jolly scenic when the smoke doesn't get in your eyes and here is a picture to prove it.

And it gets a lot warmer on this side of the Continental Divide.  As things start to flatten out I turn off and potter four miles up a side road to visit this, which I missed last time because teh Stupidz:
Hungry Horse Dam
The crane has a capacity of 125 tons and runs on a pair of rails still sunk into the roadway across the top of the dam.  It was built in Portland OR, which is a very long way downstream...

You can actually drive all the way round the lake, but it's a hundred miles and I've already done over four hundred today.  No thanks.  Perhaps in another eight years' time I will be able both to drive right through the park and circumnavigate Hungry Horse Lake.  Put it in your diaries for 2025.

And so to Kalispell, where the Internets as as slow as those in the Super 8 in Battle Mountain when thirty spods are all trying to upload Stuffs at once.  I've only got 23 photos to upload, it's taken an hour and it appears not even to be halfway yet chiz.  
Oh, and my phone still doesn't work.

Another pearl of wisdom imparted by Billings Hotel Man was "It's2 even worse down around Missoula".  You do not need to guess which way I am going tomorrow.
  1. According to that basket case in the Awful Orifice, anyway.
  2. Big fiery burny DETH, that is.


  1. Great Empedocles, that ardent soul,
    Drove round Missoula
    And was roasted whole.

    (Bertrand Russell, a History of Western Philosophy.)

    1. Sounds more like Edmund Clerihew Bentley to this untutored oaf.