PostedAug-26-2006 09:52 PM
Altitude5,551.17 ft.
HeadlineHere We Go
Entry I think we smell a first day coming on.

We're up and rolling out of the tent with a few cockeyed looks from our next door neighbors who never signed up for the relationship. Heading north to Roosville we have the gps recessed with decals above it and the set of protruding light force lights.

Relocating the DeLorme Earthmate LT-20 gps receiver to the roof we use a zip lock bag and duct tape to mount it on a storm case with a total and uninterrupted view of the sky. Though working fine on the dash we didn't want to afford even one moment of questioned signal.

Jumping back in the car I don't notice I'm barefoot after climbing on the roof and turning around moments later the flip flops are already gone. I try to will myself to punch myself in the face but with no success. We arrive at the border stopping into Last Chance bar which looks as if it has been frozen in time since the mid 70's and you can picture Hell's Angels waltzing through the door to complete the visual. I think its necessary to be part of a bar fight in a place like this at least once in your life. {ed. note: Brent weighs 150 lbs.}

The menu consists of hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, and beer. So in reality I guess there is really just one choice to make. We head out front backing up as far as possible to the border before provoking a confrontation with border patrol.

You've got to take a moment and appreciate moments like this. Flipping through the list of cd's, Audio Slave finds its way to the player. After almost a year in planning it feels surreal to be sitting at the peak of the North American Divide looking South and knowing we're making a chute the whole way to Mexico. Though our view is obviously limited it all suddenly somehow comes into perspective. What was once just a light hearted conversation is now fully grown monster of an expedition and lying before us.

We tear out and though we've been driving for a week at this point there's a fire behind us and the clock's ticking. The known mode of travel turns in an instant as within a quarter mile we're ripping off onto a dirt road. Every turn is testing the limits and riding the line for our top heavy rig. Too many rally videos.

After a few hours we stop at Red Meadow Lake hidden back upon the edge of Glacier grabbing a sandwich and enjoy the view. Quiet, it's insanely quiet to the point we whisper to each other even though there are only a couple people near us and a fly fisher on the far side.

We run into a couple of guys in their early 60's who've been biking the divide taking two weeks out of every year to take it on peice by peice. These guys are a couple of characters. Listing off all the secret spots they'd found along the way and what they would have done if they'd have taken the trip at 25. We only hope we're able to take on the challenge like these guys have when we're 60 as well. Ha.

They told us that the past winter had caused a giant avalanche down the very mountain the lake nudged up to. The avalanch had actually slammed into the lake so hard it pushed the water out of the lake and onto shore killing one and leaving the levels much lower than normal. Whoa. We drive on passing through Whitefish to grab a bite to eat at the Bulldog Saloon in the center of town.

Outside we suck down a couple Monsters and are feeling good, why stop now? Before us is a massive run through the span of Flathead National Forest and an hour later we've rolled to a stop before it. Both of us are feeling awake so we decide to make a go of it.

Four million candle power later we're blasting down back forest roads while I'm giving turn by turn instructions with the National Geographic software. This is beyond fun, we're pulling a midnight rally through the middle of nowhere and after running until 4 AM we've only seen one spooky pickup pulled to the side of the road. On the flip side we're almost glad we haven't seen anyone, honestly what good reason does anyone have to be back here at this time of night anyways. Save us. :)

Soft U-turn to the left in 100 feet, quarter mile straight ahead, 90 degree turn to the left. The nerdy fun is too much to handle. We pull over to ask where the nearest camping spot is when two of the shadiest characters approach us saying they've run out of gas trying to get to their mother's house. Sounds fishy as all hell but we allow them to hold on to the truck riding on the running boards where we find their car a little ways up the road. They explain the cops wouldn't help them out and we pull off a jerry can giving them a few gallons. They toss us 5 bucks but seem too drunk for a potential solution as to where we should park the rig to sleep for the night.

Pulling into Seely Lake we consider the back of a doctor's office lot but it seems too visible. We find a series of construction roads leading into the woods and wind our way to the top of a huge hill through the woods to park next to a radio tower with a view over looking the town. We pass out.