Opinion: 60 on the North Fork Road?

| June 24, 2020 7:17 AM

It is supposed to be summer but it seems to me there have been precious few bluebird days. Clouds have been the norm and we had a hail storm this week that left drifts of hail in a variety of spots. Heavy enough that it took nearly 24 hours for them to melt.

There are a few signs of summer. The river is going down slowly and although not clear it is now greenish and not muddy. This has increased the number of floaters and traffic on the North Fork Road.

As usual, some drive way too fast but we had complaints of a driver this week driving dangerously fast. More than one report estimated this driver, in a black Dodge pickup, was driving over 60 miles an hour and there were several close calls.

I am constantly surprised we don’t have more bad accidents and I hope the black Dodge does not hurt himself or anyone else and that no one else is hurt either. If anyone gets his license - or any other speeder - call the Highway Patrol and sign a complaint. We have needed more law enforcement for years, especially traffic control. I suppose a few deaths might cause that to happen. I just hope it is not my death, or anyone I know.

Moneymaking is more likely to attract government activity than human safety. I see there are plans to re-establish an entry station at Camas in the next year or two. This would stop locals from sneaking into Glacier without paying.

When Camas Road was new there was an entrance station there but collected fees did not cover employee costs so it was closed and later removed. I doubt that has changed. Most North Fork residents use Camas Road in the summer but I doubt the Park will get much revenue from us. Most of us, like me, are pretty old and we purchased lifetime passes years ago for $10. If you have one do not lose it, you must purchase a new one if you lose yours and they now cost much more than $10.

No one seems to have any idea when Bowman and Kintla will open to boats but it does seem like kayaks are perfect for social distancing and certainly campgrounds can be managed for social distancing as well.

Some heavily traveled trails might be a problem, but that could be controlled at the trailheads. It is, however, vital that occupancy of outdoor toilets be limited to one person at a time.

What do you think?

Larry Wilson’s North Fork Views appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.