Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Finally, a challenge!

Yesterday we traveled along the Lewis and Clark trail, through the Marias Pass, and through Glacier National Park. We don't really know what any of it looked like though, because we drove through there at night.
We've seen plenty of RVers come into a park after dark, with icicles hanging off of them and snow piled on their roofs. We've pitied them, wished them well, and wondered whether their resting campsite was really their destination or were they just too tired to go on. Thankfully, we did not have it quite as bad as that, but our experience did teach us how easy it is to miscalculate the time that a journey will take and come to that very situation.

Our trip began in Glasgow, MT and ended in Columbia Falls, MT. Between these two city lie some 403 miles and approximately 18 other towns. The road was good and we had daylight, until we reached Cutbank, MT. Shortly after we passed  through that town, we spotted a truly chilling sight: a frozen pond. After we passed through Browning, things got a little scary. Browning is 84 miles from Columbia Falls. Once begun, the 84 miles must be traversed in their entirety. There really is nowhere to turn around, particularly if it is after nightfall, icy, and you are in a bus. It is kind of like watching a really good scary movie. No matter how much you want to get out of it, you know that you will not be able to rest until you've seen it through to a good solid ending.
In East Glacier Park, 71 miles to go, the road got icy. The signs got scary too. Fortunately, we had no idea, and still have no idea what the scenery looked like, so we were not unnerved by the sheer cliff sides that we were driving along. The several inches of snow up the sides of the mountain appeared to us as sand dunes on the beach road from Gulf Shores to Pensacola. And no, we were not at all cold, because it is not cold in south Alabama right now. The sand that seemed to fill the trees must have been blown there by the tropical storm that just hit. No big deal. Right. One hour down, 40 miles to go.
OK, so, what's that rumbling sound? Avalanche? Crumbling Bridge? Is the rock that the signs have been warning us about finally falling? Oh wait, we're just crossing a bridge over the train tracks and there's a train underneath. Laugh it off. Until the next happy little signs appear.
Ice On Road
Fallen Rock
Watch For Ice On Bridge
Falling Rock
Steep Grades
Sharp Turns
Deer X-ing
Sharp Turns and Steep Grades
Watch For Wildlife On Road
Icy Spots Next 27 Miles

We finally reached West Glacier,at about 7:35 and we finally had enough phone service to call the Admiral, who, had gone on ahead  He assured us that the road got better and the snow went away. It did, after a while and we were all so ecstatic that we had to sing our own version of Jim Croce's Speedball Tucker.  We left Browning at 31 degrees at 5:30 and arrived in Columbia Falls at 41 degrees at 8:15.Speedball alright!

We settled down into the Mountainview RV park, happily oblivious of exactly what we had come through. Then, we woke up this morning, and looked over and shoulders.

Danger? We laugh at Danger!

1 comment:

  1. If you could have only heard the exitement in her voice as both phones were able to have signal after about 2 hrs.