First of all I have to say that national parks piss me off! No, seriously, it’s ridiculous how much money they charge for the entrance and after that they just try to get more money from you by any opportunity. It feels like they became amusement parks of the nature. But about that later, because that’s the feeling with which I left Montana, but I entered to this huge state and spent first few days with completely different mood.
After I left Yellowstone I spent the night in the forest near West Yellowstone, it was nice to relax after a very long day (I started it at 7). The only negative thing of that evening is that I discovered that not far from me was a camping ground. And it means that people who want to spend some time in the nature and come to this beautiful forest, but they also don’t want to give up their comfort so they bring the entire house with them. I never understood RV camping. So as a result of it I was disturbed a few times by noises while trying to read a book, but once I was very shocked – I looked on the road because I heard a loud motor noise and I saw a man on ATV taking his dog for a “walk”. There are no limits for laziness! I really don’t know what’s wrong with this people.
On the next day I had a beautiful ride through the mountains of Montana and the weather was nice till I got to Butte and it started to rain, so I needed to find a shelter. I started to realize that the weather can change very fast in the mountains and I need to be prepared for that and pack my rain suite in more accessible way.
Finally I arrived to Stevensville to meet relatives of my friend David – Phil and Elaine, they were my hosts for the next 2 days and this was the best part of visiting Montana. They live in a beautiful house surrounded by mountains and have an amazing garden. So for me it was a great opportunity to rest and relax.
I enjoyed their company and had great conversations. It was fascinating to hear their life story. Sometimes I’m so busy thinking about the problems of my generation and listening to older and experienced people is the best way to put things into proportions. Hearing about the life in Berlin during the Cold War can make anyone less concern about modern security issues.
Also it was very interesting to hear the reasons why they moved to Montana from the East Coast. The beauty of the nature can’t be even compared. Obviously available space in one of the least dense states, but surprising availability of culture and entertainment – in Missoula (less then an hour drive) is possible to find almost everything, mostly because it’s a college town and brings many talented people to the area.
After 2 days of rest and great food (Elaine is amazing cook, I guess they have something with food in their family), I continued north to the Glacier National park to experience one of the most beautiful ride in the “Road to the sun”.
The ride there took only few hours, but I saw more spectacular views than in days of riding through the Midwest. But I was deeply disappointed when I discovered that they still didn’t open the route after some rocks fell few days ago, and they were not sure when it will happen. So I just wasted 12$ for the entrance, and when I asked about camping they told me that the only available place to camp is at one of the campgrounds for 28$ per night! I really don’t understand why I should pay to anyone to sleep in my own tent. Also rangers couldn’t give me any additional information about camping in the area, so I needed to ask local people about places in the forest where I can camp for free. I had a feeling that they simple didn’t want to help me because they wanted me to pay for camping, simply disgusting behavior.
Eventually I’ve found a beautiful spot just as a result of wondering on the forest roads outside of the park.