Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Taking the Road Less Traveled
On Wednesday we decided to take a less popular route into the park. It included a short section of dirt/gravel road. We were riding along dealing with car sick kids when we heard a rumble and sure enough, a flat tire. So, no big deal. We stopped. Rick got out the jack and the lug wrench. But, he has custom wheels on his truck which requires a custom lug thingy. It is supposed to be in the glove compartment. At least that is where it was before his last tire rotation, they must have used it and then not put it back. So, here we sit on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere without the little part to get the flat tire off. A few people stopped, but weren't much help because they didn't have the part we needed. After just a minute, Greg from the FlatHead County Road and Bridge Department stopped. We were about 30 minutes from anything, including cell phone coverage. So, he turned around and took us back to Polebridge to make a phone call. Polebridge is a very remote area that allows access into Glacier. Greg wouldn't let me take a picture of him and us in his truck because of insurance and liability. So, I had to sneak this picture of him. Rick couldn't find anyone to help us with the part we needed, so Greg got on the phone and found a tire center in Kalispell who had someone who could drive the part out to us. If it were not for Greg, we could probably still be sitting on a dirt road in Flathead County, MT.
This is the store in Polebridge. They don't have running water or electricity. But, they have a dang good bakery. And Cole DID use the outhouse in Polebridge. I think he knew we were desperate.
So, we found a tire center who could run the part that we needed out to us: a 45 minute drive, when they were done with their current jobs. So, Greg hauled us all back down the dirt road to sit at the truck and wait for our part to arrive. It was at least an hour, but we were occupied.
Cole and Rick waiting on the bridge.
Summer, Sierra and I went down by the river and built towers out of rocks. The rocks were totally cool. We were having a good time, but we didn't want to get to far away from the road since we were in "bear country".
This is the tire man, "Dion". He brought us the part that we needed to change the flat tire. Since it cost the same to deliver part as it did to just go ahead and change the flat, we let him do it. He was amazingly fast. And it only cost $325 dollars. seriously. wow.
But, it was OK, because once we got on our way and finally got into the park, we saw a mama bear and her 3 cubs. I almost missed them when I was reaching for my camera, so I ditched that idea because I knew I'd never get a good shot. Rick stopped the truck, turned it off, and rolled down the windows. The bears were quick, but we could hear them as they rumbled down into the thick pine forest. it was so cool. We decided to skip the hike that we had planned for that day since we had spent 3 hours with the tire drama and because there were obviously bear in the area.