Hungry Horse, Montana, was much as we remembered it from ten years ago, but it, too, had changed to accommodate more visitors. Some of the local shops had taken on the polish you see in tourist towns, expanding their space and gussy-ing up their decor. Behind the scenes, atop our bicylces, we witnessed a tough way of life in a town where the average annual income is under $30,000. So if you visit Hungry Horse:
* do some shopping (and buying!)
* eat at the Elkhorn Grill (order the Seafood Melt sandwich with huckleberry ice cream for dessert — thanks for the recommendations, Nanci!)
* stay at one of the local RV parks (we had a great time at Canyon RV where they treated us very well)
We ate at the Elkhorn nearly every day, and witnessed the local rescue team deliver a fallen bicyclist to this helicopter for transport to the regional hospital.
The hills do make cycling in the neighborhood a challenge for us flatlanders, and when we started toward the Hungry Horse Dam on the main road, were flagging after about a mile of steep grade (okay, it seemed steep to us). I couldn’t get the idea of the man who fell out of my head, either.
The locals told us to ride the Lower Dam Road instead. Always listen to those who know the area best! The road wasn’t busy because it dead-ends into the dam, the grade wasn’t as steep, and the scenery was beautiful!
On another day, we drove up the Upper Dam road and spent some time admiring the view from there, watching as a storm blew over the national park peaks in the distance.
If you’ve only driven through Hungry Horse on your way to the park, you’ve seen the signs: “Best Dam Bar in Town…” “Best Dam Little Town in Montana…” Now you know why!