Good Day, Good Food, Bad Food, Bad Day

Trip Start May 06, 2012
Trip End Jun 26, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Montana
Thursday, May 17, 2012

After my long and hot ride the day before, I set out from Kalispell near dawn and enjoyed a tailwind that sent me flying through Columbia Falls and onto West Glacier, which is the entrance to the Glacial National Park. Unfortunately, the road through the park which I was supposed to take which included many mountain passes and was 90m longer than the alternative route is closed till mid June due to snow, so I will just have to go the short way - damn.

Again the majority of the ride was uphill, unsurprising given that I had descended the day before into the valley and now had to ride up the other side. Fortunately, the road followed a mountain river and so though uphill but manageable. Having arrived at West Glacier 32m later in only 2.5hrs, I thought I should push on, so I cycled another 30m to Essex, where I found the only Hotel - the Izaak Walton Inn. This is again by the tracks of the Empire Railway (runs from Chicago to Seattle) - which is very famous in the US. Unfortunately for me it is heading exactly where I am going, it is very tempting to jump on one of the many cargo trains passing by!

The hotel is a wilderness venue where skiers come during the winter and walkers come in the summer. The Hotel was all wood and stone with a 100yr quaintness to it over 3 floors, and outside instead of log cabins they had converted some old railway carriages to rooms with living rooms and bathrooms. I had to go for those despite the cost as I knew I would regret it if I didn't. The room as you will see from the picture was a hoot.

Had a delicious lunch of fish and chips and an even better dinner of pork chops. The food was so good, that I went to the kitchen to congratulate the chef on his handiwork and we chatted for about 15mins. Unfotunately, I then went back to my carriage and then all the trouble started and for the next 15hrs I was never far from a loo.

The next day it wasn't really a decision, I had to take a day off and if I needed any confirmation it came when I had to take a pit stop on the 30yard walk to the Hotel from my room - as had decided I didn't need an expensive room to be ill in all day! Unfortunately, the quaintness of the Hotel wasn't just skin deep, there was no wifi except in the downstairs bar and there were no tvs so I stayed in bed all day until I braved some food at about 5pm. Fortunately there were no negative repercussions and I hoped that I would be feeling well enough to tackle my last major mountain pass the next day....... and what a smorgasbord of a marathon day that would turn out to be.................
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