Day 18: Logan State Park Campground to Kalispell/Evergreen - Racpat Northern Tier - CycleBlaze

June 18, 2021

Day 18: Logan State Park Campground to Kalispell/Evergreen

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

“Are you the driver of that truck who slowed down the traffic on the hill for us?” all three of us ask. We are at Moose Crossing enjoying an ice cream when we notice the truck. “Yes,” answers Ken “the beer truck driver” and continues, “I saw that car pass you and thought it was unnecessary to go so close.” We were climbing a hill and could hear the truck slow down and stay behind us, when we could pull over to let him drive by, there were 4 vehicles behind him. “Thank you Ken, you are a road angel.”

That is the good.

Also good: After 12 miles we reached McGregor Lake Lodge restaurant for second breakfast. The three of us agreed, we have eaten, The…Best….Omelet….EVER!!  We also have a half order of the Best biscuits and gravy. We had a nice conversation about the traffic with another customer from Maine who is an ex- police officer.

Another good: “That bike path came just in time”, Patrick says as we reach Kila and see the Route 10 bike sign and then the bike path off to the side. We had just passed the Kalispell 15 miles sign. We ride the Historic Great Northern Rails to Trails bike path all the way into Kalispell, until we were about 2 miles from the campground for the night. What a relief from the traffic.                   

The Bad: Ordinarily, Rachel would list the hills as “bad”. There were two big ones from Logan State Park to the turnoff to McGregor Lake Campground, our original destination yesterday. In retrospect, a good decision to stop, because doing these at the end of day is harder that at the beginning. After McGregor Lodge, the nice shoulder went away pretty much all the way until we turned onto the bike path. While the surface isn’t perfect, it sure beat being in traffic.

Also bad: Montana drivers. Well, actually about 1% of Montana drivers. The ones with beat up trucks that like to “smoke” cyclists. We had several today. And the big trucks including a few logging trucks that won’t slow down or move over, on one hill Rachel is almost blown into the guard rail. 

The Ugly: One of the trucks pulling a trailer blew black, black smoke into Rachel’s face just as they passed. What kind of people get pleasure from this sort of thing? The ugliness of some people we feel are just building bad karma for themselves. In 2017 on our way back home from New Orleans to Boise we already noticed that Montana was the least pleasant place the cycle in. It was reconfirmed today. From now on we will avoid this state, there seems to be a certain meanness in the air. Agreed, it is only a very small percentage of the people, people like Ken “the beer truck driver” make up for a lot, but still very small minority that we would usually try to ignore make it very hard to enjoy being here. It is ironic to think that Adventure Cycling, one of the premier cycling advocacy groups has been headquartered in Missoula since 1976….

Ending with the Good: We arrive at the Three Bears RV park on the other side of Kalispell by early afternoon. We shower and do laundry, and use the electric outlets in unused sites to recharge devices. Patrick and Robert ride their unloaded bikes a half mile back to the grocery store. 

We cook together tonight: Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Baked Beans and Salad.

 

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Patrick finds another treasure, an Alaska License Plate
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Chris & Heather HartridgeThanks again for the stories in the past few days. Glad some things are 'feeling better'. Keep it goin'! Enjoy the Road to the Sun!
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3 months ago
Moose Crossing
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Jen GrumbyAaaaugh! Horrifying.
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3 months ago
Ken, the "beer truck driver" and road angel
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Jen GrumbyWhat a Rock Star .. especially on a day when you need to offset some ugliness.
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3 months ago
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Bill, caption this please
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Bill ShaneyfeltSand hill cranes.
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Sandhill_Crane/overview
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3 months ago
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Watch the obstacle
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Three Bears RV Park in Kalispell/Evergree
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Today's ride: 50 miles (80 km)
Total: 696 miles (1,120 km)

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George HallSorry to hear about your bad experiences with Montana drivers. When I rode the Transam in 2015, I did not experience any such bad behavior from the Montana drivers - but, of course, the Transam goes through the western portion of the state including Missoula, and perhaps the drivers are more civilized there. Hoping that the remainder of your Montana crossing is more pleasant,

Buddy Hall
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3 months ago
Andrea BrownI was so mortified to hear that Rachel got coal rolled that I wrote to the local paper there. Completely unacceptable and hostile. I am so sorry that happened.
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3 months ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensTo Andrea BrownThank you Andrea
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3 months ago
Jen GrumbyYour experiences with that small number of MT drivers sounds familiar.

I was quite sure that I would be killed riding over Rogers Pass and had a complete meltdown at the summit.

So glad that Ken the Road Angel was there to brighten your day.
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3 months ago
Ron SuchanekMy perspective was that Montanans were very friendly and hospitable, but insane behind the wheel. That was 3 years ago, and perhaps there's more bitterness about the election lately.
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3 months ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensTo Ron SuchanekInteresting thought about the election probably spot on. We met the couple life behind bars going up marias pass yesterday
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3 months ago