Going-to-the-Sun

Attacking Glacier National Park's Iconic Road at Rip-Roaring Speed

Story by Seth Putnam
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Mike Hermsmeyer and Jesse Lenz

  200 PAGES PERFECT BOUND 4 COLOR LITHO PRINTING FSC APPROVED PAPER PRINTED IN USA

 

200 PAGES
PERFECT BOUND
4 COLOR LITHO PRINTING
FSC APPROVED PAPER
PRINTED IN USA

CQ-The Road04.jpg

For two scant weeks at the end of June, before motorized vehicles are allowed on Going-to-the-Sun Road, cyclists rule the thoroughfare. The road, which takes its name from the legend of Sour Spirit, a Blackfoot deity who lived in the sun but came down to show braves how to hunt bridges theContinental Divide at Logan Pass. This slim window offers a rare look at visceral life at 7,681 feet.

The climb is brutal. Your pumping, burning legs won’t let you forget that. This time of year, the pavement is cracked from the cold, and there are no guardrails to protect riders from careening over the edge. The bones of winter kill are beginning to show as the snow melts.

The descent is breakneck. Animals who haven’t seen humans in 10 months are abundant. You almost clatter into the back of a ram, his hooves slipping on the wet road as he tries to scamper away. The wind whistles in your ears. Your skin is gooseflesh. Steady. Courage.