Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Huckleberry 100 – Appropriate for All Age Categories

©Bert Gildart:  Saturday, September 14th, Fresh Life Church sponsored what is most certainly the Flathead Valley’s most successful bicycle ride.  The ride was an un-timed event, and officials said the winner would be “the person who had the most fun.”  The event attracted over 400 participants and they came from all over the country, to include Canada. Though religion was apparent, it was not shoved.   People tell me that Levi Lusko, head pastor at Fresh Life Church in Kalispell, is a cycling fanatic.

Called the Huckleberry 100, the event actually included four different rides to include a 100-, 50- and a 25-mile ride.  It also included a family-length ride, which suggested you go about half as far as you want to go, then turn around.


Over 300 cyclists, including me, participated in the Huckleberry 100 or the Huckleberry 50.


The most popular ride may have been the 50-mile ride, and it is the one for which I had trained (actually it is a lifestyle I’ve developed. See: Fonts Point, Hermit’s Rest, Logan Pass, Cuyahoga.  For another classic thrill see Impossible Railroad.) All of the events started from Kalispell’s city center and both the 50 and the 100 began by coursing south toward Flathead Lake, then through Bigfork Village, then out toward Foothill Road overshadowed by the beautiful Swan Mountain Range.  Finally, to complete a loop, the route headed back to Kalispell.  Those in the 100-mile ride ate lunch and then proceeded to Whitefish where they completed another loop that ultimately directed them back to Kalispell, so completing the Huckleberry 100.

Participants paid an entry fee but got back far more than they invested.  Fresh Life had solicited volunteers and stationed them at each turn in the course to provide directions.  As well, riders were provided a free lunch and a goody bag that included cycling items, such as wafers to replenish electrolites.

Though not officially timed, you can be sure that everyone took note of the hours and minutes required to complete their particular event.  Time, of course, included stops and breaks at several strategically placed rest stops, one near the beautiful Swan River.

HuckleberryRide-9 HuckleberryRide-5 HuckleberryRide-10

And they’re off (me in yellow); son David and Chelynne, his significant other, ride bikes to sidelines where they join other
well wishers; friends Jan and Dar also in race.

Everyone in the 50 and 100 started about 8 a.m. and I completed the ride well before noon.  I like to say that in my age category I came in first, but concede that I was passed by a few kids in their 50s, and lots more in their 30s.

Math suggests I averaged about 15 miles per hour, something that would have been impossible for me had I not trained hard.  True youngsters in their 20s probably averaged about 22 miles per hour.

But again, no one was keeping score.  What was important for me is that I meet a wonderful group of people whose sole purpose was simply to avail themselves of the healthy and wholesome life style Fresh Life was dramatizing through cycling.  The event was introduced several years ago and has grown in popularity. Many are repeat participants, and  I hope  to be included next year.  It’s appropriate for all ages.


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4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

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Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy

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Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy

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Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy

2 Responses to “Huckleberry 100 – Appropriate for All Age Categories”

  1. Adam Maffei Says:

    If I had an idol, you’d be in wood! Great news Bert! I just knew you were a peddler in a past life – just thought it concerned snake oil!

  2. Tom & Sandi Palesch Says:

    Bert, we admire your enthusiasm for cycling in the hills that way and are glad you had a chance to saddle up for Christ! But, most of all we were glad to see Janie’s by-line on the blog photos. We know she must be feeling better and for that we are glad.

    Way to go Janie!