Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 16

This is the first day on the road without Jerry and it seems strange.  Longview had a jerky store I did not make it to before leaving.  I got lucky though and found some of the jerky at a store just outside Peter Lougheed Park.  It is excellent and should be tried by all jerky lovers.  Both the original jerky and pepperoni sticks were excellent... 
The mosquitoes here are unbelievable and can fly and attack you at about 20 km/h.  I have never seen such adept insects before.  The scenery was the best of the trip though these pictures cannot capture it.  At he store right at the park entrance they tell us there are no campsites in the park. Rick and I decide we will find something by hook or crook or begging.  We get to the campground entrance and start the 6 K pedal to the offices.  It just starts to sprinkle and I ask God to wait on the rain until we get to the office.  We are obliged in a strange way.

The ranger said a hail storm at this time of year was very unusual. The hail came down very hard and for about 15 minutes. Then the campsite report came in and there were several openings from people who vacated.   The weather cleared and we were in luck!  Dinner was at the campground - beef jerky, raman, trail mix.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 15 Friday 7/30

Rode from Pincher Creek to Longview today which ended up being a little more than 90 miles.  This was a long ride with lots of rolling hills and only one place to stop for food.
It seems the Canadians do not find much use for restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores.  There was tons of traffic on the road due to a Canadian holiday on Monday and a long weekend.   Google maps put us on a gravel road we did not expect.  Rick charged ahead while Jerry and I talked with a couple locals who advised against taking our loaded bikes down the road.  Jerry and I opted to pedal an extra 10 - 12 miles to avoid the 12 miles of gravel which  looked very soft and large.
This is my last picture of Jerry from the trip.  Tonight he informed Rick and I that he was going to take a route into Calgary and a few days off the bike and then decide on a different route that would be about 50 miles per day.  He stayed in contact with us the rest of the trip providing valuable information and tips.

It was a good trip Jerry!  Hope to see you again down the road.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 14

Left MT today and went 71 miles to Pincher Creek, Alberta.  There was one place to stop at around mile 60.  They had great chimichangas and ice cream and the ladies working here were wonderful. 

After tanking up at the General Store, we finished the last 10 miles off and then Rick decided on the spur of the moment to get a cheap hotel in Pincher Creek.  Pincher Creek is an odd little city, but, they have a good market and we could stock up on food. We have now left the mountains for 2 - 3 days.  In retrspect I recommend everyone who remotely likes mountains to visit Glacier. 
Reading about a bear attack while eating breakfast in Babb, MT. A grizzly was on the road in Glacier a couple days ago - we did not see - was 30 minutes before our tour bus.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

St Mary River... There are hundreds of birds flying around. Leaving Glacier Park in 1/4 mile.  We met up with this group of touring cyclists today when pulling into a cafe in St Marys....
Looking at the triple divide that sends water to Hudson Bay, Pacific. and Gulf of Mexico.

Day 13

This is a big day of the ride. There is a Glacier Park requirement that bikes must be off the Going to The Sun northbound lane by 11 am. In anticipation, we got up very early and were on the road by around 5:30 am. We wanted to allow for any mechanical problems and be on the road way before the traffic got heavy. 

The scenery is breathtaking. The climb from Sprague was one of the best ever!  My legs felt great today and it was easier than I thought. 
Rick coming over the top.  We fired up the Jet Boil and made coffee.  We ate the rest of a salami stick and hunk of cheddar cheese we had at the top while waiting for Jerry.

Saint Mary Lake
After Jerry caught up, we started the decent down the other side.  The Saint Mary Lake on the north side is so beautiful you just have to see it.
On the Highline Trail in Glacier. The road up in the shuttle that we bike tomorrow looks tough.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just finished breakfast and enjoying view of Lake McDonald. Heading to Sprague Creek - easy 10 mile rest/sightseeing day

Monday, July 26, 2010

Jerry and Rick will not be denied internet even at Apgar campground in Glacier National Park

entering now

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All God's creatures look better

All God's creatures look better next to mashed potatoes and gravy... an old Montana saying.

Day 11 - one of the many cherry orchards along route 35 on the east side of Flathead. Pretty ride so far today....

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Day 11 (?) heading from Polson to Glacier Park. Flathead Lake is beautifully huge.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Getting beer at Glacier Brewery in Polson, MT. We are stay in a RV park instead of Finley St Prk.

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Pulling ion to Flathead Lake, MT

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St. Ignatius, MT

Day 10 entering Evaro Area, MT

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Layover Day in Missoula, MT

Kettle House Brewery in downtown Missoula.  This place had a very good IPA and stout. 

The layover day in Missoula let me take the bike down for a little chain cleaning and a general checkover. 
I had a chance to visit the Adventure Cycling headquarters while hanging around downtown waiting for my bike 

There are some bikes Adventure Cycling has from past trips that had historic significance.

Friday, July 23, 2010

First 8 Days Retrospective

The first 8 days of cycling have been a lot fun, work, sweat, aches, eating, drinking, drinking, drinking, and drinking. 

What has been learned?
  • Jerry and Rick know their sh*t about bike touring and have saved me much time, fumbling, money on the wrong things, and aggravation.
  • There are some really nice people,  great roads, and beatiful scenery in Idaho and Utah.
  • My pump sucks.
  • You have many more mechanical issues when there is 50 lbs of stuff on your bike.
  • Drinking fluids is like a religious devotion.  Drink until you pee clear, otherwise get ready for a headache at night.
  • Beer tastes better than wine when cycling.
  • There are magical places everywhere.
  • GPS navigation is really nice when on back roads that are not on maps and following disconnected bike paths.
  • Google maps bike routes will put you on roads that don't exist and dirt roads you did not want to be on.
  • My body needs a break!
Highlights so far
  • Grand View Canyon on the road from Arco to Challis was one of the best downhills I have ever done on a bike.  I recommend it to all touring cyclists.
  • Glenn and Marcia Ross in Elk Bend are gems in the middle of a 55 mile stretch of road from Challis to Salmon.  Glenn told us of some hotsprings with 12 cascading pools about a 1.5 mile walk from their campground.  A fisheries bioligist confirmed that it was a magical place a couple days later.  Glenn also knows Grant Peterson (Rivendell), has a Bridgestone XO-1, just bought an Atlantis for his wife and basically was of like mind as me regarding bike design.  Marcia made us the best meal of the trip for lunch.  It was totally unexpected to find people like them out there seemingly in the middle of nowhere.
  • Watching the fisherman catch big salmon that were returning to the Pahsimeroi Hatchery and listening to a fisherman probably in his 70's desribing big salmon getting excited when they sense their home waters of the Pahsimeroi Creek real strong and start doing big body slaps in the middle of the night out in the river.

Day 8 Missoula Arrival

Our celebratory beers on a safe arrival to Missoula. Alaska Amber Ale (Big J's fave) is becoming one of mine.  The Hilton is total luxury after 7 days of camping and a couple middling motels. 

Day 8 Bike Path from Stevensville to Nolo

The MT drivers convinced us the bike path was best.

Two flats and lots of

Two flats and lots of aggressive Montana drivers on the way to Missoula. Saw many other loaded cyclists today. Mountains!

Day 8 Breakfast

Day 8 leaving Deb's in Darby heading to Missoula.  They served huge platters of food here at Deb's.  I think eating in restaurants will have a detrimental effect on my waistline.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 7

This was on the climb up from Salmon, ID. Though Jerry and Rick did not share my enthusiasm for Salmon, I thought it was the nicest place we had been through on the trip and the only locale I could imagine living.

Crossing into Montana from Idaho after a 25 mile climb we met a couple on a motorcycle heading back to Salt Lake City that had covered almost the same route we are planning to do.  They were at the Idaho sign and agreed to motor over to the Montana welcome post.

Got the  rayway tarp and net tent up getting ready for mosquitos and dew. Missoula. MT tomorrow and Sat - 1st layover!

The roads in Montana are very different from Idaho and Utah.  The shoulders are covered with gravel, pieces of tires, and glass - very crappy so far.

The Blue Joint restaurant in

The Blue Joint restaurant in Darby was real good though the food took a while. Pizza. burgers. and Cold Smoke beer = full

Day 7 - we made

Day 7 - we made it to Darby, MT. I did not remember the mountains looking so rugged in the late 70's when last here.

Day 7 along Salmon w/Rick in background. Will enter Montana soon.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dinner at Bertrams brew pub

Dinner at Bertrams brew pub tonight. The chicken w/smoked salmon & hollandiase hit the spot. Good porter and brn ale.  Yea - motel won and then it didn't rain, but, at least the blood sucking mosquitoes went hungry.

We are in Salmon, ID

We are in Salmon, ID debating if we should motel for $30 a piece or camp and fight mosquitos for $10. Motel is winning.

Day 6

Day 6 - Challis to Salmon along SalmonRiver. 1000' drop in 60 miles

Salmon fisherman along the Salmon River right below the Pahsimeroi Creek salmon hatchery.

Rick and Jerry talking to Glenn Ross at the Elk Bend Campground during lunch.  Glen said he had just bought his wife a Rivendell Atlantis. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 5

On our way out of Arco we started seeing these signs warning of the dangers of meth.  Rick found this one particularly poignant.

The long downhill through Grand View Canyon.  About 20 miles of downhill that made all the headwinds the day before worth it.
More meth signs.  Guess it is a real problem out here.

As we were rolling through Idaho the last 3 days the old Maddox post about Idaho blowing came to mind.  Idaho does not suck but it does blow like in wind.  Here is the original maddox post for a little humor.....

The rollers from Mackay for15 miles so far are incredly fun!

Day 5 Arco to Challis

The Big Lost River before it gets lost

Just a few miles before this the Big Lost River signs are posted next to an empty river bed.  Anyone know where it goes?

On the way to Challis we went by Mount Borah.  Here is a little info on the mountain. 

Mount Bora.  I was standing here by the sign trying to pee somewhat inconspicuously out here by the highway with no trees around and then a guy in a pickup/camper pulled up and wanted to talk.  I found out he was an
American doing construction in Mexico and was on holiday from the Mexican temperatures.  When I asked him his name the response was "Lobo".  Hasta la vista baby!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 4 Pocatello to Arco - 85 miles

Day 4 Pocatello to Arco, ID - breakfast at Perkins was excellent and Rachel, our waitress was bubbly and very wide-eyed for 6 am.

We saw this place going through Blackfoot and decided to keep rolling.  Who knows what this was about?

There were lots of potatoes - surprise!!!  Not....

Great tailwind until Blackfoot. Buffalo jerky from the Blackfoot Res rocked. Then xwinds and headwinds to Arco. Winds were blowing about a continuous 25 - 30 mph. I counted at least 15 dead hawks and owls that were killed by traffic when they try to catch the mice along the road. 

Lunch was at Magee's by Atomic City. Pat, the owner, was a wonderful host and fed us his secret recipe beer sausages. He told us this was the first reactor to produce electricity for public use, but, was then closed down after a 30 day proof of concept because the gov't did not want to infringe on private utilities. He also told about us about huge prototype atomic airplane engines for the largest airplane ever designed, however, that project was shut down by JFK since he believed it a waste of money. It was great to get out of the sun and hang out inside a cool abode for an hour.

Dinner at Pickles in Arco. Jalapeno/cheese burger & Corona - yes!