oregon adventures

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Montana Running

After doing Ironman Canada, I went to Banff for three days and then on the way home I decided to go down through Montana since I was even with it and had never been to Montana. Crossed over the border at Eureka Montana and filled the thirsty Jeep up with 3.69 per gallon gas after paying 1.19 per litre at Banff and 1.30 per litre at Penticton. Drove down to Kalispell and checked into a really nice Hampton. It was dinner time and I had read in a guide book about a good pizza place, so I found the Moose saloon and it looked rundown on the outside. Walked through the door and had to stand there a bit to get used to the dark and saw sawdust floor and tons of people. It was standing room only and loud. Ordered a pizza and found a seat as someone left. Really good pizza. The next day I headed for Glacier National Park and went in the west entrance to drive the Going to the Sun Road. Not too crowded at first, I would let anyone coming up go around so I could look around. Views kept getting better the farther I went. Then it started climbing and the views got incredible, but the road was on the edge and was dizzying to look over. Got to the high point, Logan Pass, and had planned to hike the Highline trail, but it was Labor Day weekend and the parking lot was swarming with circling cars looking for a space. So I continued down the road to Mary's Falls and did that hike to Mary's Falls and Victoria Falls. Then stopped and hiked to Sun point overlooking St. Mary's Lake. Beautiful park and great drive. Then out the east side and down to Helena to another Hampton that was not that nice. I was beat by then and didn't see anyplace to eat nearby, so I walked over to a Walmart, which I try never to go to, and got frozen lasagna and cooked it in the room and ate the whole thing.
The next day I went to the capital and it was open, so I walked around and admired the art. The house and senate chambers were locked but I could look in. Then I decided to run for the first time since the Ironman. They had a "healthy heart" path marked out around the capital and a nearby park for a mile loop, so I did that and then again and felt great so a third time for 3 miles that felt fantastic. Then it was time to leave Helena, which other than the capital area looked pretty ghetto- hundreds of casinos, every gas station and cafe was a casino. The capital area was very pretty and casino free, so I found downtown and it was very nice and casino free. The tale of two towns, they have a problem there. Radio, billboards, TV, all talked about a huge meth problem in Montana, get rid of 90 percent of the casinos and they'd still have too many. On the way out of Montana I drove through Missoula and downtown and by the college was nice and the rest was not. Then in Idaho, I had to drive through the town of Kellogg since I'm from Battle Creek. Nice little town with a dead downtown, but I saw a beautiful bike path through town and noticed it running by the highway for awhile. It's a 73 mile long path that crosses the top of Idaho and is maintained really well. Have to go back over and ride that one.
Got to Spokane and checked into the downtown Doubletree, the picture is from the room on the 14th floor. Walked over to the large park with the Spokane Falls that was really pretty. They were having a big concert, food event going on in the park, so I got crepes for dinner from a vendor and walked around the fair. Nice downtown in Spokane. Next day the long scenic drive home. Now that I've been to Montana, the only states I haven't been to are North and South Dakota.


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