Libby Montana. 2nd leg of the trip - August, 2014


Libby MontanaAfter a beautiful ride down scenic RT 2 from Glacier National Park we arrived in Libby Montana. 

Yaak FallsOur first outing was a loop we had read about in a book on Motorcycle Adventures in the west.  A short ride down RT 2 brought us to local road 508 towards Yaak Falls.  508 is practically deserted and with gorgeous mountains surrounding us we leisurely meandered our way to Yaak Falls where we stopped to take a few snapshots. 

Yaak MontanaAfter getting our fill of the falls we got back on the bike pointing ourselves towards the town of Yaak.  As we were leaving we noticed a sign at the far north end of the area.   It turns out it was there to warn tourists that grizzly bears frequent the area and to be extra careful.  If nothing else it reminded us of the stories and warnings from our Harley friends in St. Mary. 

WildernessYaak is about a block long, but had a general store where we enjoyed sitting on the porch sipping a cold drink.  With Yaak being about as remote as a town could be, I was not surprised when I overheard the owner of the general store tell his friend "yup, I'm selling out and moving. I've been here for twelve years and that's about enough". It made me wonder, why would anybody move here in the first place?


Not too far north of Yaak the road forks.  My GPS and my maps were conflicting so we stopped to get our bearings.  Actually, the GPS said one thing, the map said another, and the road sign a third! As we’re sitting there two deer strolled by, ignoring us.  A few minutes later a lady and her daughter rode up on an ATV and offered us a little guidance.  After thanking her we rode off, only to have another deer run right in front of us.  Along with everything else we’d seen we couldn’t help but realize that this was truly wilderness. 

Kootenai River508 has some great scenery and just as it was becoming a little bit too much of the same thing we arrived in Eureka, Montana.  Heading north out of Eureka we stopped about a mile short of the Canadian border to have lunch at Trapper's Saloon.  Normally I enjoy sitting outside when it’s available but it didn’t take long before we realized that the grasshoppers owned this place and we moved inside.  Once again we enjoyed great food and cold beer in unique surroundings.

Leaving Eureka we worked our way to RT 37 that follows the Kootenai River back towards Libby.  Back on a “real” highway the pace quickened and the views with the mountains on one side and the river on the other were once again spectacular. 

Kootenai FallsThe following morning there was a light drizzle as we got on the bike and headed for Kootenai Falls.  Kootenai Falls is the last major river in the northwest that doesn’t have a damn and was the location of the filming of the movie “The River Wild” with Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon.  If you saw the movie you’ll remember their run at the “gauntlet”, where their raft ride became ferocious.  I was somewhat familiar with these falls before we got there but still was impressed by the velocity of the river so late in August when the flow is diminished. 

Kootenai RiverBy the time we got there the rain had practically stopped, but the hike to the falls was muddy and a little more difficult than we would have liked.  Plus, it was still heavily overcast and taking good pictures was challenging.  By the time we got back to the bike we were ready for some relaxed cruising down the back roads of Montana.

Kootenai National ForestNF-398 is a deserted road through the Kootenai National Forest.  After a couple of hours on this road we could count the number of cars we encountered on one hand, but once again the scenery was terrific and we thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon. Our daily reminder of the remoteness of this area came when we stopped at a local bar for lunch and overheard a man ordering lunch.  He told the waitress in no uncertain terms that he did not want “none of them ‘ja lop a nose’ peppers”! 

Bison CafeLeaving Libby we stopped at the Bison Inn Café, just off of U.S. 93 in Ravalli, Montana, where we had been advised by our Harley friends was the world’s best Huckleberry milk shake. Once again they were spot on!  Well, I’ve never actually had another Huckleberry milk shake to compare this one to, but it was good.

Next stop – Yellowstone, Jackson Hole and the Tetons. 


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1st leg - Glacier National Park