Day 6: Glacier NP’s Apgar to Cedar Creek Campground (83 miles)
After two days of relative rest (hiking in Glacier aside), David and I started out early from the campground, fully loaded, expecting to see Anna, the kids, and the rest of her family in 2-day’s time.
We rode 20 miles before arriving at our route (and a delicious breakfast at the Montana Coffee Traders) in Columbia Falls.
From there we continued on the route, south, riding through gentle rolling countryside in the valley, past lakes and rivers.
Alternating between paved and dirt roads, the miles flew by—probably our easiest section yet of on-route riding; before we knew it we’d ridden 50 miles and had arrived in Ferndale.
A few miles south of Ferndale we continued onto a dirt forest service road and began a relatively long, but relatively mild, ascent on the west side of Swan Lake. Of course, with every ascent there’s a pay-off on the other side, and we enjoyed the next 10 miles, losing most of the elevation we’d just gained. From there, the dirt road continued roughly south, following parallel to the Swan River, going upstream. Just after passing a sign for Fatty Creek Road to the right, we turned left, off-route, and descended to Cedar Creek, where we found a wonderful little campsite along the creek, complete with picnic table and pit toilet.
As it turned out, forest fires east of Seeley Lake—the intended end point for the following day, where Anna and her family were planning to meet us—closed the lake; so Anna and her family drove down to the Cedar Creek campsite to avoid the smoke further south.
Joining us, too, later and fully-loaded, towing full sets of pannier bags and a BOB trailer—these riders worked a little harder on the uphills than we did—were Dave and Cathy, a retired couple from Napa, California.