There’s something very special about Glacier National Park in Northwestern Montana. Rarely have I seen such sheer beauty as displayed around each and every bend on the Going to the Sun Road, which cuts through the park, crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. There’s also something very special about a full moon – especially when it’s a “super moon”, which appears to be closer and even brighter than a regular full moon.
On August 10th, we combined both of these together – Glacier and the super full moon, for a spectacular experience bicycling from Logan Pass to Avalanche Creek. The 16-mile downhill trek takes you on one of the most amazing roads ever built, with narrow corners, breathtaking vistas and rock guardrails with steep cliffs dropping thousands of feet into the valley below.
Our group of five adventurers left Logan Pass around midnight just as the full moon cleared the surrounding mountain peaks. The natural light of this super bright moon made the mountain tops sparkle and was even bright enough to cast shadows after midnight. We rode with bike lights for safety, but for most of the hour or so ride, we didn’t even need them as our eyes adjusted to the brightness of the moon light.
This event was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Perhaps it was because of the beauty, or perhaps because of the absolute silence, being alone in the Park, without a car, after midnight in the dark, with the lions, bears and other wildlife. Racing down the mountain with the cool breeze on my face, I felt alive in a very real way. Every one of my senses felt like it was on high alert. I could smell a upcoming waterfall before we ever turned the corner to see it. I could sense the bumps before my tires hit them. I could hear the wind in the trees in the distance and almost felt the animals watching me.
It was a very surreal experience that, to me, was the essence of being alive. This is a must-do for every bucket list!
Photography by Max Elman