Howdy! Grab a chair an’ a beer! Man, I think I’m gettin’ too old for these long trips. It takes me longer to recuperate from vacation than it did to need one! Reggie an’ I just got back from a 2,700 mile round trip to Glacier National Park, an’ I have to tell ya, I wanted to stay there with the bears, cougars, an’ wolves. We’d never been there, an’ couldn’t get over the beauty of the place.
Kudos to my little Reggie for plannin’ the trip during the hottest week of the year here in Madtown, with temperatures near 110 degrees. In Montana, the high was 78 an’ everyone at home was jealous.
No mechanical problems made for a great trip, and we rolled along at 75 and 80 most of the way through Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Yeah, there were rough roads, road work slowdowns, an’ potholes you could lose a bagger in, but the scenery more than made up for it. Being summer, there were bikes everywhere, an’ mosquitoes big enough to stand flat footed an’ drink out of a water trough.
On the way in, we made a stop at Glacier Harley-Davidson in Kalispell to work out the kinks, shoot the breeze with my buddy, Dennis, an’ pick up a couple of shirts. On the door, I saw a sign that had a picture of a Glock pistol, an’ said “Legal concealed weapons welcome in this establishment.” I told Reggie, “You don’t see that kind of common sense in California! Montana truly still is America!”
If you’re in the area, stop in an’ check the place out, an’ tell Dennis and the rest of the crew howdy! Great, friendly folks, an’ great service!
When we got into Whitefish, Brother Bear, a.k.a. Dale Kidder, and his wife Christine were already there waitin’ for us, an’ we roared into a quiet neighborhood of chalets an’ condos to find the one we were supposed to be stayin’ in. We found that it was right on the edge of a wildlife preserve. There was a nature trail that meandered through the flora an’ fauna, an’ the girls wanted to check it out. The crushed gravel was pretty easy for Reggie to negotiate with her wheelchair, an’ we watched deer munchin’ on leaves just a few feet away. When we got back, the guy cleanin’ the pool said “Don’t go over there after dark, because the bears, mountain lions, and wolves come out in force!” So naturally, me an’ The Bear went over there after dark, and saw… nothin’. Going to Montana and not seeing bears is kinda like going to the beach and not seeing sand, but we managed…
We kicked back for a day to recover from the road, ate at the great local restaurants, an’ the girls enjoyed the shopping. I really wanted an elk steak, but the closest I could find was elk chili, an’ I was afraid if I ate that, Reggie would make me sleep outside with the skeeters!
I really wanted to take The Road to the Sun but it was still closed because of snow, an’ one of the other main roads was closed due to “bear activity.” Not sure what kinda activities bears do on the road, but I do know what they do in the woods, an’ the answer is yeah, they do! Whatever they were doin’, I didn’t want to disturb ’em. Those guys aren’t Yogi an’ Boo-Boo, or Smokey, either. Those bad boys consider us fast food.
We roamed around Flathead Lake after we left the park, an’ that lake is huge! We did all the touristy stuff, an’ just took it easy, stoppin’ at every Harley dealer we saw along the way. Space was limited, but there’s always room for one more shirt!
On the way back, the farther south we went, the hotter it got, but in the distance, we could see the Cascade Range, with Mount Hood, Mount Shasta, and the rest all covered with snow. I don’t think there’s a more majestic, awesome sight anywhere. It dwarfs the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, and even The Rockies.
We stopped for the night in Weed, California. Yeah, we bought some souvenirs, an’ took a picture by the big Welcome to Weed sign. It kinda reminded me of life back in the 60’s.
When I look in the mirror, I see some old dude lookin’ back at me, but inside, that little voice keeps tellin’ me to travel as far as I can for as long as I can. There’s still a lot of roads to travel, an’ a lot of places I haven’t seen. I’ve been to Mexico and Canada, and they both have their unique persona and customs, and interesting places to see, but I’d rather see America, and the beauty that belongs to you and me. This is our country, so see as much of it as you can, from freeways to two lane blacktop, to high mountain lakes where the trout jump to catch mosquitoes, to the primal wilderness where the bears and cougars are king. So hose off the bugs, check the oil, an’ get ready for the next adventure, an’ maybe I’ll see ya out there on the road, livin’ the dream!