Pave the Road? Dust hung over my field at Hay Creek like fog in the evening. The North Fork Road has been improved since I first travelled over the Forest Service one lane road with turnouts. The road was paved to Canyon Creek in 1971. The roadbed was improved for paving to the Camas Creek Glacier Park entrance. Paving was considered an invitation for more traffic and development. Now we see as many vehicles in one hour of daylight as we previously saw all day.
How could traffic counts be higher on the North Fork Road north of Camas than south? The 11 miles between Canyon Creek and Camas Road were so deplorably maintained that the potholes and washboard were more effective than speed bumps to persuade travelers to opt for the 29 mile detour through Glacier Park to Columbia Falls than the time consuming 22 miles. The fire fighters considered the road unsuitable for commercial vehicles so contracted to grade the road from Canyon Creek to beyond Polebridge. The vast majority of 135 local people gave a boisterous cheer when the decision to grade the Road was announced at the Sunday fire meeting at Sondreson Hall.
If you live in a wilderness, enjoy it. Montana and other states have had a 35 mph speed limit on unpaved roads since WWII when the universal speed limit was 35. Experience the wilderness. Your cruising down the unpaved North Fork Road beating potholes in the road is your vote to pave the Road.
Wallace A. Donaldson