At last the waiting is over. Our Glaciers to the Sea cycling trip has been months in the planning. And we've spent the past three days in the car getting to the start. After all that forced inactivity I was just itching to start pedaling.
We were up for a bright and early start, per our normal routine, but our plans soon changed. With the temperature at 37 degrees, it made little sense to set off in the morning chill. Knowing that the clear skies and bright sun would soon warm things up, we lingered in our motel room until it was a balmy 45 degrees. Finally, we could hit the road!
Our route today took us from Whitefish, Montana south to the midpoint of Flathead Lake. We were pleased to find fairly quiet local roads, which then met up with a bike trail that took us right to the top of the lake. It was idyllic cycling, mostly downhill, a tailwind and the sun beating down. It wasn't long before I discarded all my extra layers of clothing. To the east the Rocky Mountains formed an endless ridge line that stayed with us all day. To the west were lower, softer tree covered rises. We were happy to ride in the flat valley between.
We knew nothing about Flathead Lake, but soon became enamoured with this huge pristine lake. It is the largest inland lake in the western US, and it is a Montana passion to preserve the integrity of the clear deep lake. We followed the shore of its blue waters for 25 miles, never tiring of its glistening surface.
Further down the lake, the road cut across some of the lake's peninsulas, delivering uphill and downhill stretches just to remind us that we were still in mountainous country. We figured they were good warm-ups for what is yet to come. We made such good time that by mid-afternoon we reached our Warm Showers host home. We were warmly greeted by Al and his sister Sharon, who graciously shared their home with a view of the lake and a bountiful dinner.
Oh yes, it sure feels good to be cycling again. And this is just the beginning.