Friday, July 22, 2011

Going to the Sun - Day Four

Today is the day. Going to the Sun Highway is OPEN.
I'm not fond of riding in traffic. I'm not fond of crowds. In fact I can get down right claustrophobic if I get too hemmed in by the hoards. There will be traffic and crowds, but none of that matters today. The plows have done their job and the pass is open. It was recommended to us to take Highway 2 over the mountains and ride Going to the Sun from east to west.

Highway 2
Dom and Martha waiting on construction, cameras in hand.
Bobskoot. I don't know why, but I really like this photo of Bob.
Rolling once more.
Requisite sign photos. See? We're here. These prove it!
We ride to Two Medicine Lake, which is one of the loveliest spots in the park.

Two Medicine Lake
Along the highway heading towards our destination ride.
Everywhere you look is fantastic scenery.
I'm pretty sure Bob is not fond of my habit of shooting photos while riding. I've tried to be a little discreet about it, but I throw discretion out the window today. Before the day is through I will be waving my arm around shooting images to the front, the sides and over my shoulder. Most are poorly composed, but somehow that is part of their charm.
Going to the Sun
Just some mountain
Ron and Kari
Snow near Logan Pass
The view from the "parking lot"
To say the road was crowded is an understatement. You can see the line up of cars all along the road on the distant ridge. I would recommend not visiting on opening day, but somehow being a part of the latest (or second latest) opening day ever is kind of cool. There will be no stopping except for construction. Photo ops are based on where you are in the line up.
Mountain Goats, Momma and kid.
The kid came right down to the cars.
Weeping Wall
Dom was drifting ever closer to the waterfalls. It's a good thing Martha has a camera with her in the sidecar, otherwise I think a shower would have been forth coming. 
More scenery on the fly
It wasn't long after this that Ron left us to make a run to Kalispell in search of a new rear tire. He thought he had enough tread to make it through the tour, but it was not to be. Leland Honda in Kalispell had a tire and got it on his bike that evening. Thanks Leland Honda! Great service. 

Riding Going to the Sun Highway has been the highlight of my time riding. I can't think of a ride I've enjoyed more. Yeah, it was crowded and slow, but I'm ready to go back and try it again...maybe not on the opening day! I'd like to try it by bicycle too, when the construction is wrapped up.


  1. Kari:

    You captured some nice riding photos. I used to take photos while riding but not any more. It means riding without my left glove on. It's too bad they don't make left handed cameras with larger switches, so I don't have any photos unless we stop.

    it's nice to see these views again. sort of daydreaming about the good times we had that day

    Riding the Wet Coast

  2. now that looks like fun! but im wondering how it is that you all matched gear (in pic standing in front of park sign) like that?!? :)

  3. The picture of Martha nearly getting a shower is a classic! On the fly photos often do not come out very well, but you have taken some good ones here. That looks like a "must do one day" road.

  4. Aahhh...very, very nice. Great images. Great day. Great friends. And Martha didn't threaten Dom with anything for that impromptu potential shower? I find it interesting that the asphalt goes all of the way to the rock face in some of your images.

    Thanks for sharing. Yes, that does look like a great riding location.


  5. Does this sidecar make my butt look big? :) I'm enjoying reading your take on the adventure. As warm as it was, if I didn't have the GoPro and Nikon on my lap/exposed, I think I would have been ok with Dom taking me right under the the waterfall!

  6. Kari, great set of shots....and you're right, the only thing that kept Martha from getting a shower that time was that she had the expensive cameras with her!


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  7. Hi Kari,
    I'm Laura, Martha's sister, the absent member of the family on this trip. It would have been so nice to have been able to join you guys as it sounds like you all had a wonderful time together. The scenery looks spectacular and I'm simply loving your pictures. It makes me feel as if I were there with my family. Thanks for getting photo's of my sister in the sidecar! Those are indeed a classic.

  8. Kari:
    The photos are just superb, thanks so much for sharing your journey. Tell me.... July is summer in the northern hemisphere yet you're either right near snow in some shots or it's not far above you. What sort of altitude are you at in those shots?

  9. Kari, these pictures are simply stunning, my favourite being the weeping wall pic. I find your riding shots a great idea. How do you do it? Do you have a mount on your handlebar, or is the camera around your neck? Please tell me.

  10. Awesome photos Kari. It is a talent to be able to take pictures on the fly like that and I am sure you only do it when speeds are safe enough. It looks as though you all had an amazing time.

  11. Great photos of some incredible scenery. I was also wondering what your technique was for using your camera on the fly.

    That's one of my favorite roads. The last time I was through there, I had a trailer in tow so I couldn't go through.


  12. Hi Bobskoot
    A left handed camera would be handy. Only some of my gloves work for shooting. I hold the camera in my left hand, and basically shoot blind. I don't know what I have until the end of the ride.

  13. Hi Mq01
    It was a very fun time! lol - the matched gear is coincidental. I sometimes get very tired of everything in black. :)

  14. Hi Steve,
    Thanks for the link. I'll check it out. Sounds like an interesting ride.

  15. Hi Gary,
    Definitely a must do road. As for the on the fly pics, well, I have a bunch that gets thrown out. Sky shots and lots of blurry tank bag shots seem to be common. :)

  16. Hi Lori
    Thanks. The road is a very narrow ribbon of road between rock face and drop off. Tight squeeze sometimes for cars to pass each other. On the bikes, a piece of cake.

  17. Hi Martha,
    lol - nah, side cars are very slimming don'cha know. :)
    I dunno, that water looked pretty cold! Not sure if it would be refreshing or freezing.

  18. Hi Dom,
    Note to self: keep expensive camera equipment close when in the presence of Dom and cold water.

  19. Hi Laura,
    It would have been fun to meet you. I really enjoyed meeting your family and spending time with them. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. :)

    I'm trying to get the rest uploaded to my photo album, but haven't gotten them there yet.

  20. Hi Geoff,
    Hmm, had to look it up. According to wikipedia: 6,646 ft (2,026 m) The snow was only near the summit of Logan Pass. We just have a lot of snow in the mountains this year that hasn't melted off yet. It was actually quite warm.

  21. Hi Sonja,
    The weeping wall was very pretty with all the sparkling water.

    The camera rides on top of my tank bag where I've punched down the top to make a little dip. It's either tethered to the tank bag, or hanging down from my neck. When road conditions allow, I can shoot with my left hand. I can't see what I'm shooting, so it's just luck and practice that gets the photo. I always have lots of fails.

  22. Hi Trobairitz,
    I can't say it's safe, being I have to let go of the bar with one hand, but it seems to work okay (and I can't seem to resist the temptation). Only done at moderate speeds and not in corners or over bumps. When we did a dirt road the other day, I didn't dare take pics even though I would love to have pics from that day.

  23. Hi Richard,
    I kind of described the technique in my post to Sonja. It's just on my tank bag where I can grab it quickly.

    Oh my, I'd hate to try that road with a trailer! Makes me wonder how some of the road construction stuff gets up there.

    One of my coworkers will be there this week in a motorhome. I told him he's going to regret not having his bike!

  24. Stunning scenery, now I'm even more upset that I didn't make the time to visit Glacier.
    I also take pictures while riding, I know it's not too safe but I pick moments when there aren't a lot of cars around. I have a small camera I hang with a strap around the neck and pick it up with the left hand, slide the front down and the camera goes on automatically. Make sure you set it up in sports mode so the camera will pick the highest speed possible ;-)
    If something appears in front of me I just drop the camera and grab the handlebar.

  25. Hi George,
    Yes, photos on the fly are just too tempting for me to give up. There are many times when I won't pick up the camera because it just isn't safe, but some places it works okay.

  26. "Most are poorly composed, but somehow that is part of their charm."

    Nice line. Think I'm going to try it!