Sunday, August 12, 2012

Going-to-the-Sun-Road - 11 August 2012

This romantically named road was carved out of the mountainsides in the 1930s and is now a National Civil Engineering Landmark, a National Historic Landmark and is on the Register of Historic Places, the only road in the US with all three designations.

The name comes from 2939m high Going-to-the-Sun Mountain which dominates the central part of the drive.

Apparently referred to as the Mt Everest of routes for motorcyclists, it is not really a patch on the alpine passes of Europe for driving fun, but a great drive, nevertheless.

There are ample pull-off places for photography stops but only one major carpark at Logan Pass.  The info says that the carpark is full by 10:30 and that was certainly our experience. Within 15 minutes of our arrival, there was not a park to be had and 2 hours later when we were about to leave the
"vultures" were circling ready to pounce on anyone looking like they were heading for a vehicle.  I considered offering our park on eBay but there was no 3G signal, scuppering a fantastic money-making proposition.

It is only 50 miles from end to end but photo stops and walks extend the trip to fill the bulk of the day quite easily.  To round off the day we drove north from St Mary to the booming metropolis of Babb (Pop. 1 horse) and then up to Many Glacier where we went bear hunting and if we had been lucky enough to capture a shot of
Goldilocks we could have completed the set as we were privileged enough to see a big old daddy grizzly and a mother black bear with a cub. Because we spent too long snapping the grizzly we missed the spectacle of a moose ambling over the road and swimming across the lake to the other side.  When we arrived the moose was still distinguishable on the far shore, about a kilometre away..
The bears were totally oblivious to their furiously snapping adoring public as they occupied themselves working their way through their quota of 100,000 huckleberries per day that they eat during the summer to prepare for the winter hibernation.

107 miles today, total trip 4833  States: Montana

No comments: