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Sunday, September 13, 2009


Thursday, July 23
Waterton Lakes, Canada to St. Mary, Montana

How many crazies are there? Apart from me, of course. When leaving Uganda last October, the friend of our Ugandan host drove me to the airport. Just entering the Entebbe airport property required a stop at a security checkpoint. Manned by soldiers. Who were armed. One of the guards leaned over and our driver (names withheld to protect the other crazies on board) looked at him and said, "If you are looking for the gun, it's in the boot." I said, well, nothing. I was thinking, "GUN! You have a GUN in the trunk! WHAT! Are you CRAZY?!" Or something more or less along those lines. The guard looked in the trunk then came back, smiled at the driver, and said, "It must be the little one. I don't see anything." And he waved us on. I asked about the encounter, as calmly as I could. Our driver smiled and said, "I was just joking with him."

If you think no one else could really be that crazy, well there was this one rider on the tour. Going through the border crossing at Chief Mountain, he told the agent that he'd dropped all of his drugs and related paraphernalia a few miles back. The agent dragged him away for interrogation smiled and waved him through.

I'm not sure who is crazier, those who joke around with security guards and border patrol officers or the guards and officers who smile and wave them through. Whatever, I heartily do NOT endorse such behavior. And yes, I have heard people say "Hi Jack. Oops, don't want to say THAT in an airport." More than once.

OK, maybe one of the other riders in the group was even crazier. In a different way. On a long, gradual descent, I just had to pull over to take a picture. As I turned to snap the photo, one of the other riders went whizzing by. He wanted a picture too. So, he took his hands off of the handlebars, dug his camera out of his jersey pocket, turned, took the picture, re-pocketed the camera and kept on going. That may be just plain good cycling. But I think he was crazy. One of the so many of us, it seems.

What a day. The ride from Waterton to the border was breathtaking. We left the main highway at Babb and rode in to Many Glacier. Lakes tucked into mountains with the remnants of glaciers on their upper flanks. It was you could hope for on a bicycle ride.

Here are some of the sights along the way...

This was the day of the bear for me. A few miles after crossing into Montana I was riding up a gentle slope when I saw a number of cars and few of our Cycle America group stopped on the far side of the road. There was a good sized cinnamon colored black bear walking away from the road. Just as I got my camera out, it disappeared into the tall grass. We saw another - a mother and her cub - just off the road as we entered the resort area of Many Glacier. The shot I got wasn't all that good, but here it is:

Today's Ride:      Tour Totals:
75.3 miles           312.4 miles
4341 feet            13850 feet


Spiffer said...

When in China at the airport, a security guard collapsed nearby, as I was stuck at the counter showing my passport. I'm a doctor! I said. Then tried again in terrible Chinese, I'm a doctor! Every fiber if my being wanted to jump past the armed guards to help that guy. But before I could make such (an idiotic) move, another guard swept him over his shoulders like a sack of potatoes and whisked him away. To this day, I hope he survived.

Great post, as always.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what beauty! Especially the lake shots. Smiling, but not waving.