Day 2 – Castelgar to West Glacier National Park


Not enough long of a day…only 443 Km’s. Will try to make up for a short day tomorrow.

The ride from Castelgar to West Glacier National Park initially looked like it was going to be another wet day. Even the motel lady was like you are going to get wet. But to my surprise this is what I was greeted with heading into the Kootenay Pass.

Yep, sunny with some showers but only had the heated gear on for the summit and then off all day. Temps up to 19 C.
Kootenay Pass
Mountain pass in Canada
Kootenay Pass, known locally as “the Salmo-Creston” is a mountain pass in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. It is utilized by the Crowsnest Highway to transverse the Selkirks, connecting the communities of Salmo and Creston.

Beautiful ride down Rt 3 with little or no traffic. This so far seems to be a good time of year to travel. Kids still in school and not a ton of people traveling.

I had a better day today regarding my domestic issues. Less thinking about home and more obsessed with my damn SPOT eating batteries. But hey, this is a lesson in giving up control isn’t it? A ride to heal and learn from my mistakes. I will call SPOT tomorrow and find out if there is a solution but if not I will ask for them to send me a Generation 3 and give back the Connect.

In any case the good news is I had decent weather and less ruminations.

Ah, the sun! I never have good weather on trips perhaps going SOLO my luck will change? The bike seems to be running well…I hate talking about my bike when on the road but I will say that much. I am not that happy with the gas mileage yet. I have noticed on BMW’s the mileage gets better around 15,000 KM or more. These twin engines take time to ripen I believe.

I am setting my GPS route day by day. Don’t really have a plan except I need to get moving and start heading towards North Carolina. That is where my brother and his family live and I have never been down there ever to see where they live. He moved when I did in 1998.

Some views heading towards the summit of Kootenay Pass. All I did was listen to some great tunes and soaked it in.

This is where is got chilly but only for a short while. As a matter of fact it’s chilly right now near Glacier National Park. Temp has dropped quite a bit since I arrived. Cold enough for pants, fleece and my toque

I am not very organized I have to admit. Cheryl had her stuff to do as I did myself. She was the packer and I was the wisher. I need to get better at the end of the day routine. Find time to shower if I can and eat. Oh, I need to eat better throughout the day. I am a Type II diabetic and today I fell short of almost killing myself getting hypoglycemic. Take those breaks everyone told me and I said I would.

When I stop for gas I forget to eat. So, this is also on my list of things to get better at being by myself. That is a MUST because having low sugars on two wheels is more deadly than when alert.

5.5 C is not that cold but it was with how fast I was going….windchill. There is my nemesis. The dreadful SPOT. Yes…i am letting it go.

Quite a bit of snow up there still…

All left-handed on the fly shots. I got so used to doing this with Cheryl I don’t even stop myself. Better this way, keeps the flow.

As soon as you hit the summit you start the decent rather quickly and the snow turns to…

and then this…

Not too bad. Again I have gone down this way in 2010. Not Rt 3 but to Glacier and did the Sun Road then..went to Sturgis etc. This ride is more of a power ride. I really believe being on the bike is great therapy for me and missing side gigs isn’t my priority this time. I want to push myself a bit and just see how far I can go and try to make time to see family and other adv riders.

I feel sort of selfish this time but not so guilty.

That tube to my left is from my Hydrapack. I am wearing one this road trip and it’s great. Just can’t fill it up that much because my dry bag is right behind me. At least I am staying hydrated.

I crossed over the border into the States here

The dude at the border asked me what I do for a living. I said Organ Donation. He said, “you are a donor?” I said “NO, not yet at least sheesh”. He laughed and said “OKAY, what do you do for a living?” I was like “WHAT?” I said I manage organ donors when they are dead or almost dead, find homes for their organs and manage and take care of families and ICU staff. He said “OH, tough job.” Then, how much money do you have…I said probably none after my newly separation. Off I went. Oh, I asked do they have a bathroom he said yeah the porto-jons. Nice.

My bike hit 14,000 KM’s today and I actually got a shot.

and my Heidenau tires also have over 14,000 KM’s on them. I think they will last until I get to Toronto.

Love these tires I really do…but anyone who “knows” me knows this.

Stopped off in Kalispell to get more batteries and I met a guy named Tyler who knows someone who knows me. Small world. He pulled up to where I was gassing up…wait was this in Kalispell? Tyler if you read this where did we meet? Anyway, he said I past his house and he had to meet someone who was riding with an ADV decal on their bike. He is an iron butt man. He also thought I was a guy. I think the Altitude suit from KLIM makes me look like a chick on a GS, but what do I know.

It rained in Kalispell hard at times but once I left the sun came back then I got hit with hail heading into West Glacier National Park. I am at a KOA, got a cabin for cheaper than a tent site because the woman felt badly for me getting creamed by hail. I took it. I noticed though I brought a large MSR bottle for my stove. My stove pump will not screw into the top. I forgot to check this before I left. Should have taken the smaller canister.

Lesson learned and I can try yo find a small one so I can use my stove. Here at the KOA I made a fire and boiled water for this…

These are not that bad. Could not eat the entire meal but enough to make me feel full. They have smaller portions and these are just left overs from previous trips for two.

I was trying to get a pic of the hail but was not successful…

So, too short of a day but I get to stay here. Not roughing it. Just need a sleeping bag which I have and a pillow. Have that too. It’s getting even colder out as I type. I am outside on a picnic table.

Cute eh?

Tomorrow will be day 3. Have to make up some mileage that I lost today. Think I am heading to Wyoming. Buffalo, Wyoming I hope. Might be too ambitious but if the weather is good I will try to make it. Over 700 KM’s.

Here’s to hoping each day I make head way in my own head and on the road.

11 thoughts on “Day 2 – Castelgar to West Glacier National Park

  1. Loving the up dates! Beautiful pictures too! Don’t forget to eat and be kind to yourself…. :) Ride safe and enjoy every minute.

  2. we are going to nag you to EAT !
    please ?
    so you can enjoy your trip and we get to enjoy the read and the photos
    thanks

  3. Wee, tea, gas and grub – treat yourself and bike with love! Stupid little thing I say to myself every time I stop for fuel. Might help?

  4. Please be kind to yourself! You are anything but selfish and good that you don’t feel guilty. You are doing what you love, pat yourself on the back! The rest of us are at home reading about your adventures, wishing we were there! :D

    Gorgeous pictures, but hoping you get the Spot back working…and love the KOA cabin.

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