Day Four – Bozeman MT to Whitefish MT
Miles: 381
Elapsed Time: 9:35

We decided to skip breakfast in town and eat at the Hampton. It is never that good but it is convenient. We were able to eat and get on the road before 8:00. We booked it over to Helena where we took in the State Capitol building and gassed up. We stayed on I-15 until we exited on US287 and began our run up towards Glacier Park. It was only 10:30 so we were making pretty good time. In our review of the Glacier Park conditions the night before we were fairly certain the Going-to-the-Sun Road would still be closed but we weren't certain since the website hadn't been updated for a few days. As we began our trek up US287 the two lane road was pretty straight and the rolling hills were barren making the area seem very desolate. The road ascended and descended among the hills and valleys. We began picking up speed and running at a very good pace. We stopped at Egg Mountain which is just a wide spot in the road. Egg Mountain is the site of the world's first discovery of dinosaur embryos by paleontologists on September 14, 1983. Egg Mountain is one of 16 places in Montana that a team of geologists, paleontologists and Montana historians have identified as geological wonders. It was a little lost on us, but the view was nice and expansive. As we left Egg Mt we were descending at a good rate as we approached Choteau. We decided to continue on and hit Buffalo Joe's for lunch. We had seen some pics that showed biker's were welcome at this establishment and indeed we were. It was just after noon so the timing was perfect. It was crowded but the service and food were very good. We continued on, stopping for gas in Browning. This town is on an Indian Reservation and we usually try to steer clear of these towns but we needed gas. I cannot begin to express how uncomfortable we all felt as we pumped gas. People coming up asking for money, and just lots of unseemliness. Anyway we confirmed that the Going-to-the-Sun Road was indeed closed so we stayed on US2 through the park. This was the second time in four years we had to by-pass Going-to-the-Sun Road due to weather. Instead we did do something we had not previously done and that was to ride US 89 to MT 49 which took us around Lower Two Medicine Lake and a nice and close-up view of the Eastern edge of the Mountain range that makes up Glacier. We stopped for some pics and took our time through the area since we knew we had extra time at this point. We continued the ride through the park on US2 stopping once at the Silver Staircase Falls. It was our first time stopping here and it was worth the stop. Once to West Glacier the scenery turns very commercial essentially all the way to Whitefish. We did stop at Back Slope Brewing in Columbia Falls on our way in and this very new taproom served up a nice IPA. Once we arrived at our hotel in Whitefish we unpacked and headed to the car wash to clean the bikes a little before riding into town for dinner. We stopped at the Great Northern Brewing Company for a beer before going to Tupelo Grille for dinner after a fairly extensive walk around town in search of the best place. It was fairly high-end but we hadn't had a really dinner since we left so we felt justified. Other than the disappointment of part of the park being closed we had a nice day of riding.