Trip Report gathering data on riding

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by Alex MacDonald, Oct 12, 2017.

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  1. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Cranberry Country...a glorified coastal swamp!
    Go to: Red Meadow Pass Loop, Montana - BIKEPACKING.com

    I couldn't upload the link, for some reason.
    There's an informative trip report there, with an elevation profile for the whole loop!
    Haas some great still photos, too.
     
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  2. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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    He's riding from Whitefish all the way to Quartz Creek, which is-for me-way too long a distance for one day, especially over hill & valley. But yes, it's the same loop pretty much. We should have a lot of fun!!
     
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  3. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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    OK, I just learned that the road from Polebridge to Logging Creek Campground is open to vehicles. Beyond Logging Creek, it's closed all the way to Fish Creek campground. Not all the 17 mile distance is rough going, but there are multiple trees down along the way, as well as some washouts that the Forest Service has no immediate plans to work on. So, it's mountain bike territory!
     
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  4. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Thanks for doing the intel. So I hope I have this right. Leave from Whitefish, heading along the lake and up the valley and then up to Red Meadow Lake sounds like a pretty good ride for the first day, with a couple of climbs involved. Looks like from Red Meadow over to Polebridge is mostly a nice cruise. From Polebridge to Logging Creek or beyond, then to Fish Creek? Then eventually back to Whitefish.
     
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  5. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Well-Known Member

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    Looks like a good route overall. Looks like we could have SAG service every night and most of the route. That makes beer and wine viable meal accompaniments.

    From Fish Creek back to Whitefish, is there a back roads route, or do you plan to ride along Hwy 40 to get back there? If memory serves, I think the highway has a good paved shoulder.
     
  6. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Looks like the route might get on some backroads a couple of miles after leaving West Glacier.
     
  7. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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    Yep, that's pretty much the route!
     
  8. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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    There's a mostly pavement route that doesn't involve riding on busy roads thanks to the good folks at Glacier Cyclery. We have their map and directions once we get to Columbia Falls. I'll have to copy it, and Tandy and I will drive it next Spring just because we should...that way, I'm familiar with it. Can't drive past Logging Creek or maybe Quartz Creek Campground, but we'll be able to hook up with any support vehicle again at Fish Creek. Theoretically, if we can drive to Logging Creek, which I'm understanding is ok, then we'll not be without sag support the entire route!! Wouldn't THAT be something!!
     
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  9. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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    OK, got a response from GNP about Inside North Fork Road: they said depends on where the closure is each year-which strikes me as strange. Apparently though, they work to keep the campgrounds open. Here's what they said:
    "The Inside North Fork Road is 28 miles long (from Fish Creek to Polebridge). The distance from Polebridge Ranger Station to Logging Creek Campground is 8 miles. If the closure is to Fish Creek then about 20 miles will be closed. If the closure is to Camas Creek then the closed section will be about 10.5 miles long".

    There appears to be a bridge over Camas Creek (in Google Maps). In the satellite shot of the bridge, there's a vehicle parked on the East side of the road, so it was open when this was captured.
     
  10. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Once we get to West Glacier, it looks like its possible to take less traveled roads down past Lake Five, then head West from there crossing the Flathead just below the confluence of the Middle Fork, then heading West through Blankenship and beyond, eventually returning to Whitefish. If we're lucky, we won't have to pedal along Hwy 2 at all when leaving West Glacier!
    This entire trip, from start to finish, looks like a road tour. I'll have to pump up my tire pressures!

    I'm trying to plan a different trip for some other time, where the entire route is on bike paths or multi-use trails, logging roads, single track, animal trails, or country roads... avoiding any highways, if possible. Would plan to re-supply at stores en route, but no SAG vehicle.

    For example, shorter practice rides might be on the Olympic Discovery Trail and segments of the Chehalis-Western Trail. Most likely be doing all-day out-and-backs, or maybe a 2-day overnighter.
    I'm also looking for places where I can car-camp, and do a few different daytime out-and-backs from a base camp, where there's some fishing.
    Taking the ferry up to Stehikin and bike camping from there has always been on my A-list.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  11. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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    Well, if you really want a "boonies" experience, there's always the Tour Divide-part of which goes through Red Meadow Lake, and on to Polebridge. Other than leaving Whitefish, and GNP heading South to C-Falls/whitefish, it's all dirt. I would like to do parts of the Tour Divide route, just skip the desert sections. Colorado, Wyoming, and Idaho would be especially nice!
     
  12. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    I mainly plan my day rides to go where I can avoid riding alongside highways whenever possible. On multi-day trips when trying to make the route a loop, that isn't always possible. Usually, I don't want to be riding where there's much traffic, or where everyone is doing 60+ and intent on getting somewhere fast, whizzing by me just off my left elbow. This way I can still go for rides even when my meds are making me feel "lightheaded." I would even tolerate horse traffic;), if it meant that I could avoid highways.
    Lately, I've been loading my bike on my racks and driving a mile and a half or so to begin riding, just so that I can avoid riding alongside the 2-miles of 60mph straightaway. Once I'm at the state park I can ride trails there, or head out onto the beach (and pedal 5 or 6 miles to Westport), or get on a short 40mph stretch of hwy with wide shoulders, that drops to 35mph and then finally intersects some neighborhood backroads.
    The hwy section would be an easy level ride that only takes 10 minutes or less, but I avoid it, even though there's an average of 18" to 24" of paved shoulder to the right of the fog line, and I've survived riding it hundreds of times in the past. Too many drivers seem to be in a big hurry these days.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  13. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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    Two more thought, gentlemen, and first is, if we decide to ride the 30 miles from Polebridge, into the Park, and down Inside North Fork to Fish Creek, we can do that in a day. that means all the camp spots would be vehicle-accessible. if we get somebody who will drive a rig with our food and camping gear, we won't have to carry anything but lunches and a few odds & ends.

    Second, and more important, is picking a date. Tandy and I are planning on doing an Adventure Cycling Assn tour on one of two dates-either in July, or in September. Which one at this point, depends on what they say when they get back to me on a question I had about the July ride. She's an RN, and needs to have this tied down before the end of December. That's when they have to put in for their year's worth of time off. So think about it, and please let me know by the end of this month?
     
  14. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    I should be open for either time period. July is before "wildfire season," and the days are longer, but I hear that the mosquitoes are worse than they would be in Sept. Perhaps the river will be experiencing lower flows in Sept, and wet wading should be more comfortable with the higher water temps.
    If we have a support vehicle, we can haul waders and boots, more fly fishing gear than we actually need, maybe a stand-up cooking tent made out of mosquito netting, folding camp chairs, a folding table, your "WFF Traveling Bar, maybe even a huge extreme cooler packed full of real food, and some cast-iron cookware! We can show those bike-packing minimalists what a proper "Red Meadow Hilton" looks like.;):D

    edit: My main concern is being in shape for 30-mile days of loaded touring over mountainous or hilly terrain. I fat-biked 9+ miles on the beach Friday. That was about 2-hours worth of mixed hard-packed low tideline cruising and upper beach soft-sand slogging in lower gears on the Pugs. The steel fat-bike weighs 40 lbs with just water bottles and day-cruising stuff. I didn't ride yesterday due to rain and drizzle, and its raining now with no letup in sight for the coming week.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  15. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    At first, the logistics involving a SAG vehicle seemed a bit perplexing to me. But it should work out fine. One of us could drive ahead to the next stop for any places along our route that are open to vehicles, and cop some fly fishing while waiting for the others to arrive and help set up camp.:D For any segments that are closed to motor vehicles? One of us would have to drive whatever route it takes to get around it and be at the destination.