Day 55

24. June 2000, Banff to Shelby

Having finished the Anchorage-Banff leg successfully, we start our new leg with a long and exhausting day, driving back into the United States of America. After three demanding tests, we need to drive another 450 km to Shelby, Montana. The three tests are partly uphill so we lose quite some time over the Mustang (99) behind us, so that he probably moved a rank in front of us and we fall back to fourth place.
During our drive we start to leave the forests and enter more and more grassland with cattle. I did not know that they had grassland with cows in Canada at all. We also get to see the first signs of "cowboy"-style as opposed to "trapper"-style: country music, etc. The whole day is very rainy and the clouds seem to move with us as we drive south into Montana. In the USA, we drive through a Blackfeet Indian Reservation and later through the Glacier Park. The images we capture in our minds are blurred due to the rain but the sudden transition in countryside cannot be overseen: From the big forests we are now entering the Great Plains. Shelby - we do not see much of Shelby, as we arrive late and the hotel is just at the start of the town. But the billboard advertises "All roads lead to Shelby" and Shelby seems to be just that: a small town on the intersection of roads.

TC 188: Banff OUT
TC 189: Powderface IN
26 78.80 km
TC 190: Powderface OUT
TC 191: Little Elbow
56 (four minute penalty) 34.70 km
TC 193: Gorge Creek IN
36 40.40 km
TC 194: Gorge Creek OUT
TC 195: Route 546
56 (four minute penalty)

21.50 km

TC 197: Porcupine Hills
41 122.00 km
TC 199: Heath Creek
57 (three minute penalty) 18.91 km
TC 201: Glacier Park IN
37 167.55 km
TC 202: Glacier Park OUT
PC Logan Pass Visitor Center      
TC 203: Shelby IN
08 280.97 km

Overall 1 hour 30 minutes penalty

The official results can be looked up on this website

The day starts like the day ends: rainy

Gorge Creek - main challenge: water falling from the skies, here in crystalline form

Clouds, grassland and road

No wonder digital replaced analogue: These instruments tell us that our engine is 40 degrees Celsius and that the time is twelve o'clock for some time now. Both displays broke down today with the watch having recently been repaired for a lot of money. We have also had problems with our speedometer in the past.


Powderface - main challenge: very thick layer of gravel

Porcupine Hills - main challenge: extremely wet and soft ground

Actually all three tests had all of these challenges, with the last one being the worst. Even one of the top three cars did not manage to drive in a straight line on a straight road because it was so slippery (see curves which, by logic and reason, must have been caused by a car driving before us, so one of the top three)

The gusts of wind blowing here are quite useful for making electricity - they are not so useful for control of your car.

Ahh... the beauty of glaciers. I am sure that if it was not for the fog - there would be quite a lot to see in the Montana Glacier Park.