I have relatives in Montana that I hadn't seen in a while, so while the aim of my trip was to see them, I was going to have a wicked roadtrip out of it.
Google Map of the whole route:
I left from Abbotsford at 7:30am and headed for the border.
Breezed through there and aimed for Sedro-Woolley. There weather turned a bit damp through the North Cascade section of HWY 20 but it was expected. After stopping for some Mexican lunch in Omak, I headed towards the border and road probably the best section of the trip in the Chesaw section.
As I rode into Kettle Falls, I expected to find a campsite and retire there for the night. Fortunately for me, I met a local at the gas station who was extremely hospitable and offered me a spare bedroom in his home. What made staying in his house even sweeter, was the fact that the weather turned to heavy rain that night and continued on through half of Day 2.
After having breakfast at roadside cafe with my host and his son, I headed East through heavy rain. While going up the pass on the way to Usk, I encountered snow. Needless to say, it didn't take very long before I couldn't feel my hands. As I arrived in Libby the rain passed and while stretching my legs I noticed that through the heavy rain, that my chain had been washed dry a long time prior and had stretched to huge amounts of slack. I lubed it and luckily, Libby had a powersports shop, the first one I had seen that day, so I had a mechanic snug it back up. I had been told to check out the Libby dam, but it was going to be closed for three more days, till June 5th.
That wasn't a problem because I got to ride the West side of Lake Koocanusa, which rivaled to be the best road of the trip (for the entire length of the road, I saw 3 vehicles).
After being poured on, I was pretty wet regardless of my rain gear. So I stayed in a motel in Columbia Falls, MT to dry out.
The "Road To The Sun" was still closed at this time, so I took the Southern route in Glacier National Park which was still spectacular scenery.
My uncle and aunt's ranch is way out in the flats, so I departed from great roads and rode straight for a few boring hours until I reached Malta. The plus side of being East of the mountains was the consistent blue skies and decent heat.
While visiting, I got to help out with the farm chores and got to wrestle calves at a branding. It was quite the experience, just I don't think I'd be able to castrate a bull, I was a little sick just watching.
I left Malta and headed for the Canadian border. The border crossing was little more then a shack with a one lane area to pull through. The guard didn't even look at my passport, just asked the normal 4 questions then started chatting about my trip. After I pulled away from the border, I didn't see another vehicle for 15 minutes, which is probably why the guy was so bored.
Heading to Cypress Hills N.P. I saw at least 20 deer and antelope just off the side of the road. At one point, a pair of antelope galloped at full tilt right next to me, just off the road (maybe 40 feet away) for a couple minutes while I just paced them going around 50 kmh. It was a pretty spectacular site!
The roads to Calgary were unevenful and flat. It was a nice treat to be able to see the Rockies again.