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Highway 2 Marias Pass MT to Sandpoint ID, MT
mini location map2014-07-22
47 by photographer avatartibber
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Highway 2 Marias Pass MT to Sandpoint ID, MT 
Highway 2 Marias Pass MT to Sandpoint ID, MT
 
Scenic Drive avatar Jul 22 2014
tibber
Scenic Drive357.00 Miles
Scenic Drive357.00 Miles
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1st trip
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JULY 22, 2014: We took the I-15 from Gt Falls for our drive to Big Fork, MT. We were supposed to crossover on the 44 but we were busy gabbing and catching up on things so missed the turn and ended up at Shelby on Highway 2 headed west. Well at least we were headed the right direction now :lol: . Our first stop was East Glacier to pick up some more Grizzly Rolls at Rock n Roll Bakery and Gear Shop to take to the relatives for tomorrow's breakfast. We also picked up a couple turnovers for a snack and they were delish as well. We walked over to Brown House Pottery. The Brown House was a grocery store that dates back to the early twenties. The main room still contains many of the fixtures, furniture, and even goods that were here when it was still a store. And the view from the store of the Rockies was pretty nice too.

I next wanted to stop at Marias Pass to see the unique geology I was reading about in my Natural History of Glacier Park book. Across the road (and there is an interpretive sign that describes the whole geology) are clear results of the Lewis Overthrust Fault that shoved older 1.6 billion year old rocks on top of 80 million year old stones :o . On the mountains there is an upward line of black/brown rock from the young dinosaur age. http://www.nps.gov/history/history/onli ... 3/sec5.htm

We continued on Highway 2 but had another place to stop that I had never bothered despite my many trips on this road back in the day. I had also read about it in the Natural History book and it wasn't exactly what I thot it was.
The Goat Lick Overlook: Glacier National Park goats travel as far as four miles to get to the Goat Lick, while others from more widely dispersed areas in the Flathead National Forest travel even further. The Goat Lick is an exposure of the Roosevelt Fault and is comprised of gypsum, kieserite, and sulfates.
No goats today though :cry: .

Next we had some lunch in West Glacier including huckleberry ice-cream. One of my fun goals on this trip was to see if I could OD on huckleberry...and speaking of huckleberry, our next stop was at the Huckleberry Patch in Hungry Horse to pick up a pie to also bring for the relatives; and me of course ;) . And I picked up some other huckleberry stuff too. We took the 2 as far as the 35 where we then headed to Big Fork; well actually Woods Bay where our cousin has a cabin on Flathead Lake.

JULY 24, 2014: Finally got to eat a piece of that huckleberry pie we had picked up at the Huckleberry Patch before heading out on the road for Priest Lake, ID to visit another set of cousins. Neither of us had driven Highway 2 any further than Kalispell so this would all be new to both of us. We were excited to see Libby; it's only a small town (2600 people) but we had always wondered about it up in the far NW corner of Montana where the Cabinet Mountains meet the Kootenai River. I didn't know this at the time but according to the city of Libby website:
Hiking trails include 1400 miles of moderate to strenuous hikes that follow huckleberry laden hills to breathtaking views of the Cabinet peaks.

Huckleberry laden :D ; wow, wish I had known and we would have stayed another day to check it out.

I did get a picture of the Gateway Eagle sculpture on a cross bar over the highway though. It was right next to the Subway where we picked up lunch. Our next stop on Highway 2 would be the Swinging Bridge over Kootenai River and Kootenai Falls - http://hikearizona.com/photoset=32087. The weather was overcast and windy and sometimes rainy as it would be for the rest of the day but we did the short jaunt to both places. It was very impressive.

Detour: Next up as recommended by an old classmate via FB were the Ross Creek Cedars :) . On the way it started to rain pretty good but we made the drive turning off on Hwy 56 http://hikearizona.com/photoset=32131.
Back on Hwy 2 we passed thru Bonners Ferry (2600 people) next to the Kootenai River, a quaint little town across the Idaho border. FYI the Kootenai River was born in glaciers and runs 485 miles from the Canadian Rockies. I don't know, it wasn't what I expected but not in a bad way. Our last touristy stop for the day would be the
Moyie River Canyon Overlook that includes the 1223 ft long, 476 ft high bridge that crosses it. Up river is the hydroelectric power dam where water drops 212 ft :o (Niagara Falls drops 168 ft). The 100 mile long Moyie River eventually joins up with the Kootenai 1.5 miles downstream.


Last, before arriving late at Coolin, ID, we decided to get dinner at Sandpoint, ID (7400 people). Sandpoint lies on the shores of Idaho's largest lake, 43-mile-long Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced ponderay), and is surrounded by three major mountain ranges, the Selkirk, Cabinet and Bitterroot ranges. After checking out one tapas-like Italian restaurant and the one across the street having too long a wait, we walked to the end of main street for our little Italian feast altho the service was extremely slow.

JULY 26, 2014: After our stay at Priest Lake, ID and continuing on our glacial tour - we got back to Hwy 2 to join up with the Pend Oreille (pronounced pon der ay) Scenic Byway Idaho 200 at Sandpoint, ID and then the Montana 200 to Missoula (separate trip report and photos).

from Wiki: U.S. Route 2 (US 2) is an east–west U.S. Highway spanning 2,571 miles (4,138 km) across the northern continental United States. US 2 consists of two segments connected by various roadways in southern Canada. Unlike some routes, which are disconnected into segments because of encroaching Interstate Highways, the two portions of US 2 were designed to be separate in the original 1926 highway plan.
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For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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tibber's
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