Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Don't speed through Glacier National Park

Facing the daunting task ahead of us, Jill & I decided to "fatten up" the night before heading into back country for the next 3 days. We left our campground and had about 10 miles of driving through Glacier National Park before getting out of the park and heading to Columbia Falls.

If you've ever been to a National Park, you know that during peak times you always come up on slow traffic. Glacier is no exception. So as we drove along, it didn't take us long to catch the slow mover in front of us. That proved to be OK though as a Glacier Park Ranger (read traffic cop) pulled in behind us shortly after that. We had seen numerous people being pulled over for speeding and traffic offenses already in the park, so we decided we'd be on best behavior.

Things got better when the ranger turned into the Lake McDonald parking area, presumably just to do a quick sweep, but we were at least out of his sights for now. Still stuck behind the slow moving Chevy Blazer, I glanced up in my rear view as I see a group of 3 guys on motorcycles racing up behind us. They are on sport bikes, and the lead guy grabs a big handful of brakes while standing and looking around us in a perturbed fashion.

The lead guy swings over to the yellow line a couple times, looking generally pissed off at being slowed down, as the other two ride side by side about 20 feet back from him. While the lead bike is assessing the slow moving cars (us included) in front of him, I notice the park ranger racing up behind the three bikes. He's obviously seen them blow by the parking lot and he was after them, but by the point he catches them they are going the speed limit behind us.

A mile or two of 40mph road goes by, all while the front biker is getting more and more agitated. He's riding our bumper and swerving toward the yellow line, all the while never realizing that the ranger is sitting back behind him.

Finally he's had enough. He jumps across the double yellow no passing line on a blind corner, guns it and is gone. He had to have ratcheted up the speed to around 70mph as he quickly vanished from sight. All the while I'm cheering and laughing as I know the ranger is behind him, but evidently he doesn't. I look back to see his two buddies lean down to call him on their helmet microphones to tell him what idiotic thing he has just done. All the while this is going on, the park ranger still sits silently behind the group.

And then he lights up the bar, and blows by us in pursuit....

I'm in full laugh mode now as you never ever get to see people like this get caught. They always pass when they shouldn't and you always wish there would be a cop sitting around the corner. Well this time he was sitting right behind with a bird's eye view of the infractions.

Couple of miles of road pass by and then we turn a corner to see the two wheeled terror pulled over in a parking area with the ranger approaching him. The motorcycle rider already had his helmet off, wallet out and was looking a bit miffed with the whole situation. I really, really wanted to give him a little "beep, beep" horn as I passed but figured better to just let it go, he was in enough trouble as it was.

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