Rain, rain, rain – that’s what the forecast for Radium Hot Springs, CA called for today. Not good. Instead, we decided to move laterally (west) to make our roundabout approach to Banff where better weather was expected later in the week. No big deal really, since this trip isn’t always about taking the most direct route.On the AAA maps we have, secondary roads are colored black whereas the main ones are red. Red usually means plenty of traffic, so we picked route 37 (black) for a break from the crowds, especially after yesterdays ride through Glacier NP. I’m glad we did :-).
Going north towards Eureka quickly got us into thick cloud cover. Only six miles or so from the Canadian border before heading back in a southwesterly direction along Lake Koocanusa. Cruiser heaven. Decent road with large, sweeping turns and great scenery, a pure joy to ride. Shortly after we started down 37 the weather cleared as well.
After a lunch stop in Libby where Diane chatted up the locals we continued on US 2 westward towards Bonners Ferry where we hoped to camp since the forecast showed blue skies and only a ten percent chance of rain. Hah. It kept getting darker the closer we got to Bonners Ferry. The first campground we tried took us down some deep packed dirt switchbacks. After the first one I stopped, prepared to turn around since I knew this wouldn’t work for Diane. Not only was it a rough dirt road but there were no guard rails at all – a straight drop down. When I saw her in my rear view mirror walking and waving I knew that was not a good sign.
Sure enough, her F650GS was ‘sleeping’ in the middle of the turn :-(. Diane was OK, but the pannier now has some new scratches. After picking it up and turning the bike around we regrouped, checked for damage and continued into town. The tip and directions for a nearby campground we received at the gas station didn’t work out so after riding 10 miles south on US 95 we turned back to stop at the visitor center in town.
By now it’s really dark and thundering. I’m getting mad at the weather (silly, yes I know), getting all flustered and just say ‘f* it’ – and we ride to the hotel we saw on the way in. Since we are back in pacific time zone we gained an hour so it’s only 15:30. By 16:00, once we are checked in, of course, the skies clear up with the sun occasionally peeking through and no rain in sight. Aargh. Aggravating.
At least I got to play with fire tonight by cooking our dinner on the gas stove ;-). Maybe again tomorrow to make breakfast.