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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default 28th June.

    Next morning I had to be in Missoula before noon, and knowing how I got lost there in 2012, I figured I best leave myself lots of time.

    Arrived at the place with almost half an hour to spare, but despite having rung the day before, the person whom I had to see was not there. (Efficiency at it's best!) After a short wait, I was seen by "boss cocky', and owner of the firm. We managed to sort out the issues which had arisen, and spent some time chatting about roadtripping, and any other issues I had had along the way, such as the auto insurance. I should now no longer have any issues for as long as I have this vehicle.

    I recalled Missoula being a nice little place, ever since, in 2012, I had a forced layover there. Spent the rest of my day in town, before heading to a TA truck stop just out of town. An early night, as next day I wanted to enjoy Idaho at my leisure.

    (Odo - 143070)

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 07-22-2016 at 07:56 PM. Reason: butter fingers

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default 29th June.

    Back on US-12 the drive over Lolo pass was great. Just inside ID is their visitor centre. Actually, I don't know if it was the State visitor centre of the Ranger's visitor centre. But it was a great place, having a couple of loops through wetlands and the associated forests, complete with explanation boards telling those interested which plant was what and it's significance in the forest. The same with birds and small mammals. One of the paths was sealed and boardwalk, which made it easy for me to take with my little tricycle..... well, almost. It is after ll electric.

    Spent quite some time at the centre, which was indicated along the road as a 'rest area'.This day started out on a high, and ended on a bit of a low.

    US-12 Continued to be just as interesting through scenic Idaho. There was a brief stop in a couple of the many little towns along the way. Then, just as I was approaching Lewiston, and looking forward to the end of my drive for the day, There were several vehicles parked on the side of the road, one sticking out a little further than the rest. These were vehicles from some service (roads, electricity or ????), they were all big heavy work vehicles. On this two lane road, with traffic going both ways, I must have been a little too far over (or I simply was a poor judge of the width of my vehicle).

    Bottom line is, my passenger mirror hit that vehicles driver's side mirror. I have no idea what happened to that mirror, but mine was completely smashed, with only about a quarter of the glass still in place. It was not possible to stop, as I was in a long line of traffic all going at speed.

    Now, for some, that may not be a disaster. However, my rear windows in the van are covered, and I am not able to see out the back, so the side mirror is vital. In Lewiston no one could help me. The Ford dealer said it would take a minimum of 2 days to get a replacement - and then it may not be the correct one. Other places where I enquired, gave the same response.

    Stayed the night at Stinker Shop, A Sinclair truck stop, in Lewiston.

    (Odo - 143139)

    Lifey
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 07-25-2016 at 12:52 AM. Reason: Removed duplicate type.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default 30th June.

    Destination - Seattle.

    From Lewiston my route took me north on US-195 to Colifax, whence it went west on route 26 to I-90. At that intersection there is a large rest area, with a large roadhouse and fuel available. This is where I stopped to make a few phone calls, in the middle of what seemed to be 'nowhere'! Result was that my appointment in Seattle was postponed for some weeks.

    I now changed my route, and headed for Spokane. Not long before I got to Sprague, there is a rest area, by the side of Sprague Lake, with a walking path along the cliff, high above the lake. It was paved most of the way, and I made the most of being able to get out of my van, and enjoy this short respite. Took quite a lot of photos, but alas, am still not able to upload them.

    Drove straight through Spokane and on to Post Falls. The Ford Dealer here gave the same response to my question as others had, but suggested I go see the Auto Glass Specialists nearby. They were not able to replace the mirror, or make a replacement, but they were able to cut some ordinary mirror glss to size and put that on. Not quite the same as the convex mirror the passenger side had, but it helped, and with a small convex mirror stuck on I coped for a while. After a wander through the shops, and dinner, I called it a day.

    FJ in Post Falls ID.

    )Odo - 143566)

    Lifey

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default 1st July

    On this, the first day of the second half of the year, I felt as if my roadtrip was just starting. No more appointments to arrange or attend. My time was now my own, so long as I get back to Boston before the last weekend of August.

    Having been to Glacier NP before and never had the chance to drive the GTTSR, I thought this time might be my chance. The first time there I was knocked out cold in a gust of wind, which blew the boot lid of my Camry shut, hitting me on the head. The second time, I was too early, the road was not yet open.

    From Coeur d'Alene I headed north to pick up scenic US-2. Stopped in Sandpoint, but, even though I found the largest covered bridge, there was no parking to be found for love nor money. Followed US-2 through to Columbia Falls. US-2 never disappoint, it is such a scenic route, and passes through interesting places. Stayed the night in Columbia Falls - where there aren't any falls.

    Columbia Falls.

    (Odo - 143813)

    Lifey

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default 2nd July - Glacier Nationa Park.

    Started out early and got to the gate before 9am, after having stopped at the ranger's station in Hungry Horse - where in 2007 I was given information for a great trip I did up a mountain, at the top of which one could see the glacial valleys of GNP. Unfortunately they were closed.

    At the park visitor centre there was a ranger explaining lots of things to a husband who was wheeling his wife in a wheelchair. I joined them, saying that is what I needed.

    In the end his advice was that the Cedar Trail was the only one which was accessible.... other than the visitor centres. The lines were already long and the visitor centre was already crowded. Only then did it dawn on me that I had fallen on a holiday weekend. The roads too were crowded, and turnouts were mostly full. When I saw a spot to park, it was usually too late to turn into it. Took my photos from the car when stopped on the crowded roads.

    The Cedar Trail did not disappoint. Fortunately, even though the parking area was marked full, I was shepherded in to the permit parking area, behind the main parking area. I went round the boardwalk twice, taking in all it had to offer, and fully aware that this was basically all I was going to see, away from the road.

    Being a solo tripper has its ups and downs, and this day was to be one of the downs. By the time I got back to my car and on the road again, it was very crowded, turnouts were overflowing, people were parked on the road forcing others to cross the double lines to get through, which in turn gave the oncoming traffic very little room, especially by the sheer cliffs, close to the road. Unfortunately I did not have anyone to fold in my passenger side external mirror, and yes, you guessed it, for the second time my mirror was shattered. I was left with about a quarter of the big mirror and half of the little round convex mirror.

    At the visitor centre at the top, there was an opportunity to ask a ranger about Hungry Horse, and she reminded me that they were possibly closed because one of their rangers had been taken by a grizzly on the previous Wednesday. I then recalled having read about it in the local paper. She told me that most of the rangers up there knew the lass who lost her life, and it cast a shadow over the whole holiday weekend.

    There were no more stops, but I resolved that I would take a boat trip next day. Not sure on which lake, but whichever suited my timeline.

    Headed down to East Glacier on what turned out to be an awful road - #49. I had stayed there before, and planned to again, until I came to a roadside sign which pointed to Cut Bank Ranger Station camp ground. I followed the road, and came to an unattended entry into Glacier National Park. A little further on was the campground.

    Driving through I spoke with the family who had just occupied the last vacant spot. It was a self registration campground. The brochure with the rules and regulations stated among other things, no more than two vehicles per site. I drove around slowly, and saw two young man with a small vehicle and a tent way at the back of the site. I asked them if I could be the second vehicle on their site. I had everything I wanted in my van, and just wanted to park. They agreed, and I paid them the registration fee, so that they had a free night. (The first and only night I have stayed in a NP.)

    I was asleep long before their fire was out.

    Cut Bank Ranger Station camground - GNP.

    (Odo - 143920)

    Lifey

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default 3rd July - Waterton Lakes National Park.

    When I awoke in the morning, the boys were nowhere to be seen, though their car and tent were still there. I had not heard a thing. Heading out of the campground, I noticed a lot of vehicles which had camped/parked at the trailheads. The actual ranger station had a sign discouraging approaching it.

    In East Glacier I filled my tank, and spent some time at the World's Largest Wooden Spoon Shop, as well as at the World's Largest Purple Wooden Spoon. Great tourist attractions. Hard to take a photo without other folk in it. (Thought this would be of interest to roadtrippers who are wanting to visit the largest this-and-that.)

    I managed to get hold of the boat times for lake tours, for the lake I did not yet have. Not sure which lake it was, but I could get there in time. However, when I went there, no one was able to tell me where to go. There was not a single sign. I was sent to a hotel, to ask there. From there, it was a staircase down to the boat.... some two dozen (plus) steps. When it became clear to the teenager in charge that my scooter would not cope with the steps, I was told how to get there the long way round. By now it was only a few minutes to departure time. The path I had been told to take was loose gravel, which I cannot do on my scooter, so I went back to get my car. As I approached the corner where I had to turn to get to the ticket office, I saw the boat pull out. The teenager at the information counter said she was forbidden to call them to say I was on my way. I could have cried, but instead, in sheer frustration headed for the border.

    Crossed the border on MT-17, where the only delay was that I joined the incorrect line, not realising my van was too tall. A mature gentleman went along the lines and asked the initial questions, so all we had to do was hand over the passport and get it stamped. Very efficient.

    Headed straight for the visitor centre. Not sure how much it cost to enter Waterton NP, I handed over US$100 and received CA$123+ in change. Seems that the CA$ is almost on par with the AU$.

    Waterton was a most delightful place to get around. With the car parked at the waterfall in town, I spent almost the whole day in town, along the lake and the boardwalks. It was a sunny day - as most of my time had been - with lots of folk in kayaks and canoes on the lake. It was idyllic until around 4pm, when the wind blew up. Now the waves on the lake were washing up on the stony beach. My little scooter was almost blown of the path.

    After dinner I headed to the Crandell campground, just short of Crandell Mountain. It was a lovely campground, with ample room between sites. A first come best dressed campground, it was nowhere near full.

    Crandwell campground - Waterton Lakes NP.

    (Odo - 144077)

    Lifey

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,648

    Default

    Lake tours -- the ones I can think that would take you up MT-49 (yes, we agree, AWFUL road!) would have been Two Medicine Lake, Swiftcurrent or Josephine Lake (Many Glacier region).

    It amazes me that you, Pmount, and myself were all in this area within a couple of weeks of each other. We were there just about 3 or 4 days behind you, and believe me, the crowds weren't much better.


    Donna

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default

    It amazes me that you, Pmount, and myself were all in this area within a couple of weeks of each other.
    Great minds think alike!

    Lifey

  9. #29

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    Great minds think alike!

    Lifey
    Thinking back to our visit to Glacier NP in June brings cool thoughts! Today we were in Topeka, KS waiting for solar cars to pass by Brown vs Board of Education NHS with a heat index of 106! Glad we all got to experience Glacier NP this year! Thanks for bringing back cool thoughts!
    Pat

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default 4th, 5th and 6th July.

    Lethbridge, AB.

    After leaving Waterton, I headed for Lethbridge AB. A pleasant trip on roads not too busy, nor too dull. When I arrived, my first visit was to the visitor centre. After chatting for while with the lady, getting brochures about the area, I mentioned that I was not sure how much I would be able to do, because my head was so sore. Eventually she convinced me to go to the ER. Can't live on Tylenol forever.

    Result was that I was not critically ill, and was told I would live. However, what stunned me was their diagnosis that I was dehydrated. They wanted to put me on a drip, but I vetoed that and asked what alternative was available. They were quite happy for me to accept the prescription of 1 litre of water every hour, for a few days. Checked myself into Motel 6, and set about trying to drink 2 bottles of water every hour...... or 6.4 US galls per day. Lemon was the only flavouring permitted - nothing sweet allowed.. I was so pleased that I had stocked up on Mineral Water - Perrier and Pellegrino.

    Think I managed about 10 litres in 24 hours - way short of what was prescribed, but after drinking nothing but water for three days, my headache had subsided. I kept up the water regime for many days, by which time I was really hankering for some coffee, tea, milk, anything but water.

    The Motel 6 where I spent my three days is one of the best I have ever stayed in. It was the cheapest in town, spotlessly clean and came with fridge and microwave as well as excellent free wifi. Even better than all that was the fact that it did not have carpet on the floor. The timber (or look a like) floor was spotless. It was so nice not to have carpet, which can harbour all sorts of things and bugs - despite vacuuming.

    As I started to feel better, I was able to go get some groceries and Canadian dollars. Then, on that last day, I went to have my hair done. That made me feel much better. The motel was very central and all these facilities were within a mile or so.... the bank and hairdresser were right across the road.

    Lifey

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