Days 24 -32 Friends, Bikes Rafts and Horses

We had a nice drive up to the I90 from Cody but when we drove from there to 3 forks junction, in Robs own words “that was the most difficult ever!” combination of long hauls up and down the mountains combined with single lane road works, poor roads and very high crosswinds. No fun when you are driving a large brick shaped coach.

We arrived at Three Forks Junction and set up at the campsite. Went for dinner at the local brewery and Rob had a much needed couple of pints of the local IPA. As we were staying there for 2 nights we scouted out for something to do the next morning and found a nice bike trail, total distance was about 20 miles and it took us out to the head of the Missouri River and then back through the town of Three Forks. It was a good ride and on the way into the state park, one of the houses had over 40 bird boxes – everyone was unique. Nice lunch in Three Forks and then back to the campsite. The last 10 mins of the ride was a bit of a struggle as there was a storm front moving through and the wind was very strong but we battled through.

July 3rd we arrived at Ronan, just down the road from Polson Montana, our location for the next 10 days. Drove up in the car to see Brenda’s new home and we were treated to a wonderful dinner cooked by Dave. The house is on the top of a hill with 360 degree views of the mountain ranges and valleys all around us. My friends Zaga and Dan were also there and then if the evening could not get any better we were treated to a double rainbow! Next day we were meeting an old friend from our New York State days.

By sheer coincidence he was visiting family that week and as we follow each other on instagram we realized that we had a one day cross over in Montana. Arrangements were hastily made to meet up the next day and there was one of the largest Pow Wow’s happening at Arlee, about 12 miles from where we were staying. Double bonus, getting to see Gil and also experiencing a traditional Native American gathering. There were representatives from many different tribes. This is a video of the Snake Dance The evening was rounded off by trip back to Brenda’s and the chance to savor some amazing home made Pizza’s.

Friday we had rest day and did all the mundane things that you need to do when staying in the RV and then Friday night we had a great dinner with Dan and Zaga at the Shoe, out on the patio overlooking Flat Head lake. Saturday morning, we met Dave Brenda and Jesse and off we went to the river to try white water rafting. We knew there was going to be Cat 3 rapids but when we reached the river, they informed us that the river was running high and we were going to hit a Cat 4 as our last rapid. Wave height was going to be between 16 and 18 feet. It was a blast even getting soaked, we all arrived back safe and exhilarated.

Saturday night, back to Brenda’s for dinner and then a trip to the local dirt track for monster truck night. Lot of fun but we were all hot and tired so only stayed for the first half.

Sunday Morning we were up at 4.30am for the drive to Glacier National Park. We had to book a ticket at 7pm the day before as regardless of your entrance to the park, if you don’t have the separate road access pass you are not getting in. We got to the park just after 6am and the ride up to Logan Pass took us to just after 7.15am and the car park was already just about full (hence the reason for the road pass). We started the trail to Hidden Lake and we were treated to some great views of the Mountain Goat and Big Horn sheep. The trail was about 3.5 miles out and back and covered in snow for most of the way which made the walk very tricky. It was certainly worth the effort and we were glad to do it.

After Logan Pass we headed on to Many Glacier, our destination for the night. The drive takes you out of the park and after 40 minutes takes you back in to the park, again be careful, you need a separate road pass for that gate as well! We were fine as we were staying at the hotel on Swift Current Lake which gave us access. Arrived at the lake and had lunch at the hotel, we were about 3 hours too early to check in and so we decided to hike around Swift Current lake and also up part of the lake Josephine trail, adding another 5 miles to our total for the day. Checked in and had a lovely room with a balcony overlooking the lake. Dinner at the hotel and an early night ready for our next adventure.

Monday morning up at 6am and having breakfast and preparing for our horse ride at 8am, The stables are really close to the hotel so quick stroll over and chance to see the 7.45, 2 hour group head off. Our group was just the 6 riders plus the guide, family of 4 from Michigan and us. The ride was fabulous, we were the two back riders in the group, my horse was called Kesla and he liked to hang back a little but then trot a bit faster to catch up. Rob’s horse liked to jump some of the smaller water pools. The ride was was through the trees up through the side of Piegan Valley total distance was about 8 miles. We both really enjoyed it although we were pretty tired by the end of it.

Long drive back to Ronan with a brief stop for Lunch at St Mary’s most of the road through the park is 25mph speed limit and so we arrived home about 5.30pm for a well earned dinner and relaxation.