by Vince (VE6LK)
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
In early August 2023 I was lucky to be able to activate parks in beautiful West Montana on such short notice.
As opportunity would have it, my brother Dan, AG7GM, and Sister-in-Law Val were at the tail end of visiting with us and wanted to do a drive on Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road as part of their return journey home. We had attempted this trip with them some years ago but were met with inclement weather and were turned around after landslides blocked the road. After an overnight stop in Kalispell for all of us, they would continue towards home and we would head back to ours.
The preparation involved plotting out which of the 9 parks I could tackle along the routes I would be travelling. I settled on K-0028, Glacier National Park and K-4848, Stillwater State Forest. But, still, my activations would need to be opportunistic in nature and involve a willing family allowing me to partake in one of my favourite activities.
Before you do this road trip, you need to understand that the Going-to-the-Sun Road is highly popular and the park restricts the number and type of vehicles that pass along it each day. You can find out more details about Going-to-the-Sun Road here. While their advance booking system granted me one vehicle pass, I needed two and was unsuccessful in the days before the actual trip to secure a second one. Luckily (there’s that word again) we arrived after 3pm when passes are not required at this time of year. I was absolutely stoked as I love driving on mountain roads!