2017 trip – Day 2 – to Glacier National Park – sort of

About 280 miles today.  2 new states, Idaho and Montana. Saw license plates from 4 more states and another Canadian province. That makes a total of 22 & 5. The western states we have not seen are New Mexico, North Dakota, Kansas & Missouri. Highest elevation was at Lookout Pass at 4725 feet. A lot going on at that point. Continental Divide, state line between Idaho and Montana, and change of time zones from Pacific to Mountain.

Second day of our trip was pretty uneventful. The fires throughout the northwest continue to fill the air with a thick haze. Visibility varies between about a quarter of a mile and a mile. Even with the low visibility you can still see the some of the wonderful variety of landscapes around our country. The rocky mountain slopes in Washington look different than those in Idaho and different from those in Montana. Even the round hay bales the making of which paid for part of my college education back in Iowa, look different in Montana where they like to stack them to look like the mountains surrounding the fields, somewhere beyond the smoky haze.

In traveling you also adjust to the subtle cultural differences. In Seattle the citywide speed limit has been reduced to a maximum of 30 mph even on major arterials. So getting out on the freeway it takes awhile to adjust to speeds of 55 then 65 then 70 mph across the state. Then you get to Montana.  The freeway speed limit is posted as being 75 mph. But you get the feeling that is merely a suggestion – a suggestion quite a few people pay little attention to. Even after getting off the freeway, on an ordinary back country 2 lane paved highway the posted limit is 70 mph. I think many locals think of that as a minimum rather than a maximum. If I set the cruise control at 67 or 68 and one of the few other cars on the road came up behind me they could not wait for a chance to get around the “slow vehicle” ahead of them. Just adjusting to the local culture.

Our plans for a tour bus trip to the Crown of the Continent in Glacier Park are postponed from Thursday to Saturday.  We are hoping for some rain and wind on Friday to clear out some of the haze and make the journey through the mountains more enjoyable.

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