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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dear Montana

You thought I didn't have anyone to write to upon returning from the trip? You don't know me very well, then. Here are my notes to those that affected me in one way or another during the Glacier/Waterton Tour.

To the Delta (nee Northwest) agent in La Crosse,
Kalispell is in Montana, one of our 50 states. It is a destination on your route map. Yes, you are now the world's largest airline, but try to keep track of ALL of your cities, please. Especially the ones I want to get to. And our pilot; he is better informed on navigational issues ~ right?

To the designers of the CRJ Regional Jet,
Mine was a window seat. It took me a while, however, to find it ~ the window that is. I finally looked down and, what do you know, it was there all the time ~ the top of the window not quite coming up to shoulder height. Now I know you think I'm going to complain, but not so. I've never felt so, well, tall. Thanks!

To all of you on cell phones while in stalls in the airport men's rooms,

To a few of the passengers on the plane to Kalispell,
One, two, even three calls AFTER the announcement to "Turn off and stow all electronic devices!" Are you the same select group that gets to go through the intersection after the light turns red?

To the Delta/Northwest baggage agents in Kalispell,
Where do you keep the badger and the mountain lion when they aren't fighting over passengers' bags? If they had been better fed, maybe they wouldn't have worked themselves into such a frenzy trying to get to the Gu and energy bars packed in my sports bag.

However, might I say that the new American Tourister rolling duffel that you gave me as a replacement worked OK. And you had it right there behind the counter. Cool.

To the Flathead-Glacier Transportation driver at the Kalispell airport,
I don't know why I agreed to let you take off with a passenger ~ AND my one still intact bag ~ for the "quick run into town" while I dealt with the not-still-intact-bag issue. Thanks for coming back as you said you would.

To the young man at the ice cream stand in Whitefish,
I like the way you count. THREE big scoops on my "single" huckleberry cone!

To the huckleberry growers or pickers or whoever in the Northwest,
Can't you export those things? We are only a couple of states over. To the east. Think about it.

To the self-supporting riders in Eureka,
Riding the Continental Divide Trail. From Canada to Mexico. I am humbled and impressed. I know you are not finished yet. Good luck and be safe.

To Bill,
The yellow arrow on the road means "Turn. Here. Now."

To The Cutting Board in Eureka,
You might have the country's best burger. And a mean huckleberry shake, too. But you'll have to actually come up with them before I can render my own opinion. Maybe next time.

To the British Columbia highway department,
Keep filling in those shoulder rumble strips. Alberta is way ahead of you on this, so you'd better get cracking.

To Waterton Lakes Park,

To the bears in Montana and Canada,
Bicyclists are not "meals on wheels." I was relieved to find that you see it the same way. Just remember, huckleberries taste better and don't generally move as quickly as we do.

To the ranger who was SUPPOSED to be at the Glacier Park entrance in St. Mary's,
My park pass really was with my passport. Which was in my suitcase. Which was in the van. Which would soon be on its way to West Glacier on a different road. I'm sure you would have believed me, but I was OK with you not being there to actually make me try and convince you.

To the designers and builders of Going to the Sun Road,
It was truly an epic road to ride over with spectacular vistas at every turn. And not as difficult as I had expected. Don't worry, I know you had nothing to do with the cold rain we rode through on the way up.

To the brewers of the Huckleberry Lager,
Good use of berries! This observation gives me cause to rethink my opinion of the Grasshopper beer I enjoyed in Waterton Lakes Village, however.

To Montana, British Columbia and Alberta,
Thanks for a truly awesome ride. I'll not likely do it again as there are other roads to explore. But I'll not forget the seven days of this unique tour.

To Shirley,
Thanks for tolerating my riding habit. It was a great week. And so nice seeing you at the airport.

And to you, my legion of readers few who have stumbled in, postings about the ride itself will continue soon. Coming up - Day 3.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The day i rode my bike up Going-to-the-Sun Hwy, the year it wasn't closed due to an avalanche, i turned a hairpin corner and gasped. The sky was so clear and deep blue and the mountains so beautiful against it!!!