Favorite Rides & Destinations

Fall 2017

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www.FavoriteRidesAndDestinations.com | ridermagazine.com PAGE 74 FALL 2017 ISSUE 02 / VOL. 02 At the tiny burg of Fairfield we took a detour to travel Highway 287, a bit closer to the Front and with views of rocky cliffs and peaks jutting up from the Plains like so many exclamation points. Highway 287 continues alongside the glorious Front, hugging the contours of the land in short, straight sections interspersed with short twisties that climb up and over the numerous hills—up and down and around and around! We converged again with Highway 89 at the tidy, tree-lined ranching town of Choteau. From here the Rockies, ever-present on the west horizon, change from a wall of cliffs to a parade of peaks as you approach the crown jewel of the continent that is Glacier National Park. This is not an area teeming with Hollywood types, although comedian David Letterman owns property along the Rocky Mountain Front, not far from Choteau. For the most part, this section of the state is much less affluent, and declines into outright poverty in the town of Browning, the administrative center for the Blackfeet Indian Reser vation. In Browning, the Museum of the Plains Indian is worth checking out for its display of Indian dress, said to be one of the best in the West. As beautiful as the scenery has been up to this point, it all falls away like so many cardboard cutouts amid the splendor of Glacier National Park. The highway winds among snowcapped alpine peaks so close you feel almost as if you can reach out and touch them, but you don't dare: You might cut yourself on these cold, sharp edges. At this point, you'll find yourself facing a pleasant dilemma: Which to watch, the scenery or the road? For, as the stunning vistas command your attention, so do the almost constant twists as the narrow, two-lane highway ascends into alpine heaven through stand after stand of quaking aspen trees, with their delicate, trembling leaves. Aspen groves, incidentally, are actually a single organism—each tree is a shoot off a single plant, making the species one of the largest single living organisms on the planet. Left: At the western base of Going-to-the-Sun Road, Avalanche Creek continues to carve this moss-encrusted gorge after tumbling more than 1,000 feet from Avalanche Lake. Above: Sunset is a magical time in the Rockies.

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