In August 2009, I went on a 7 day motorcycle trip with P-Dawg and E-Dawg to the USA on my 2008 Harley Davidson. We rode down I5 to Highway 20 and headed east up the Skagit Valley. That was the first time I had travelled that highway, and I was blown away by the scenery. We stopped at Three Fingered Jack’s Saloon in Winthrop Wa., and then carried on and stayed the night at Coulee City.
There is not much to do in Coulee City after 7:00 PM, so the three of us hung around the motel and consumed several beers. I think Perry (P-Dawg) must of overdone the beer thing as he managed to puke on my Harley before passing out. P-Dawg has a bit of a blog at his site The DawgPound.
The second day of our trip, we toured the Coulee Dam and then headed further south. I should have mentioned earlier that when we left Nanaimo we really did not have a plan. Later that afternoon we stopped at the Harley dealer in Spokane Wa. to have a look at the new 2010 models. Unfortunately they had none of the new ones in stock yet. I got talking to the Sales Manager about our trip, and he suggested that we head for Lewiston, and then ride up the Clearwater river to Orofino, Idaho and stay at the Best Western Lodge at River’s Edge in Orofino. When we told the desk clerk that the Harley Dealer had sent us, she gave us the HOG discount, what a great hotel. Just as we were checking in, E-Dawg noticed that they had cold beer in a cooler next to the patio doors for $2 a bottle. After riding all day in heat well over 110 F, the cooler was soon empty. We did have some help from a group of riders that we met from Portland. We ended up travelling with that group for the rest of our adventures in Idaho and Montana. Dave (from Portland) must have lots of energy as the riders with him were Melanie, Ellen and Kat, none of whom are his wife or steady girlfriend. Hmm?
The next morning, we got back on the Harleys and headed east over Lolo pass, and then stopped at Lolo Springs for lunch at the only bar in “town”, I think there are only two business in Lolo Springs, the bar being one of them. After a quick lunch it was off to Missoula for a quick stop at Walmart, and then we headed north. That night we stopped at Flathead Lake and got a room at the Best Western KwaTaqNuk Resort.
The Hotel let us park our Harley Davidsons in their underground parking lot. It has closed circiut video surveillance, and the security staff patrol the lot continuously. After a great meal and a good night’s sleep, we headed out on the bikes again, and stopped to visit a friend of Dave’s at who is the chef at Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge.
What a fabulous place, but the rates must be really high.
We then headed north with a stop at the Harley Davidson dealer in Kelispel and then lunch at Whitefish.
We left Whitefish to head for Glacier National Park and for the first time on our trip we pitched our tents. Ranger Mike gave us a deal on the campsite as he only charged us $20 for the site, and all seven of us split the cost. We got rained on for a few minutes, but other than being a little cloudy, the weather was fine.
The next morning we headed up the “Going To The Sun Road”. The road is carved into the side of the mountains and there is no shoulder on most of it. They do have a rock wall at the edge of the road, and it is just at the right height to grab your foot boards and toss you over………1500 feet down! What a great road on a Harley!
The road officially received its name, “The Going-to-the-Sun Road”, during the 1933 dedication at Logan Pass. The road borrowed its name from nearby Going-to-the-Sun Mountain. Local legend, and a 1933 press release issued by the Department of the Interior, told the story of ” Sour Spirit”, who came down from the sun to teach Blackfeet braves the rudiments of the hunt. On his way back to the sun, “Sour Spirit” had his image reproduced on the top of the mountain for inspiration to the Blackfeet. An alternate story suggests a white explorer in the 1880s concocted the name and the legend.
We stopped for lunch at St. Mary at the eastern end of St. Mary Lake before returning to Kelispel by the back roads and then continuing on to Bonner’s Ferry in Idaho.
We stayed the night at Bonner’s ferry and went for dinner at one of Dave’s relatives small saloon in Naples, about five miles south. After staying the night at Bonner’s us three Canuks went our own way and headed north to BC for the ride home. We took Highway 3 through Osoyoos where we stayed overnight, and I rode my Harley back to Vancouver Island the next day.