Saturday, June 26, 2010


Just watched the world cup in Glasgow then found a gem of a bike shop
run out of a house. We picked up new tubes and got a lot of advice
from a local sage. Last night was spent in Malta. We got smacked by
a storm in the middle of the night and had to scramble to keep out
gear from blowing away. 5 minutes later it was passed and we were
cold and frustrated. Onto Wolf Point tonight and tomorrow North Dakota.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lawrence of Havre

About 40 miles out of Havre we began to be stalked by a small SUV. The vehicle kept passing us slowly while taking pictures, waiting for us to pass then doing it again. It turned out to be our next host, Lawrence and his friend Sheila. The photos turned out to be great (all the photos on this post are hers) and the hospitality was amazing. We sat down to a hour-plus meal of antelope, venison, freshly baked sourdough bread, curried game soup, home-made bean dip, veggies, guacamole, and fresh baked-goods!
Lawrence's joke-telling ability and contagious laugh kept spirits high despite a tough 100+ mile day in the saddle.

Goody and Aidan cruise, the "amber" waves of grain expanding to the horizon.

The whole crew
Dan getting out of his saddle, the Sweet Grass Hills in the background
Aidan and Peter frame the Sweet Grass Hills between their mighty steads
Lawrence makes an early impression in a bar he met us at with about 35 miles to go

The feast of Lawrence, the only thing better than the food were the stories, jokes, and uproarious laugh

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

just finished feeding in chester at a supermarket. goody experienced a post foot long sub and pizza spaintness. I had the worst hot sauce ever but we are fed
We watched the game at The Tap Room, "Where the beer's colder than your ex-wifes heart!"
What is America? Landon Donovan.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

camping in a public park in shelby tonight. we know a bar to watch the game tommorow morning. then on to havre to meet lawrence

Thompson Falls + Aidan --->> Polson --->> Glacier

Photo update post from here in Cut Banks

We met up with Aidan and his rents and got a (late) start to a longish day. Expectations for wildlife were high on our trek from Thompson Falls to Polson....
Eyes were attentive but the fauna were not active
Goody learning a song that has been stuck in his head all trip. (Rhineland by Beirut)
Here in Polson, with great views of the Mission Mountains to the West. Dan's Aunt and Uncle were fantastic hosts.
Gorgeous day, tuned up bikes, spectacular scenery, what else could we possibly want...
The mountains loomed up in front of us as we approached the park.
Last couple miles into the park on a bike path. Feelin' good baby, feelin' good.Leg-soaking in Lake McDonald was edifying

This photo shows what the road going down from Cooper's pass was like. The road going up was much steeper and had bigger multi-colored rocks all over the road. But on the way down we were pretty tired, and it was snowing, and it was dark. With these conditions we had to bike down very slowly, which means constant application of the brakes. This constant braking caused our hands to start cramping and our brake pads to start heating up and smelling. Additionally going downhill in 40 degree weather caused us to chill. Therefore we had to alternate riding with walking our bikes, which kept us warm, kept our brakes cool, and our hands from fatiguing.
This is the sign we found on the beginning of the Cooper's Pass Road on the other side. AT ~11pm we were cold, wet, tired and still had 15 miles to go into Thompson Falls. As we began our last leg we began to appease our minds with thoughts of warm food and hopefully warm hotels. But with ~8miles to go we hit a stroke of luck and found a open bar right on the side of the road, the Snake Pit. We were overjoyed. As we entered we told each other to play it cool as we didn't know how welcome four wet bikers would be in a random Montana bar in the middle of nowhere.

But much to our delight the bar was our safe haven. As we entered we were warmly greeted by the patrons, the bartender and the owner Wayne. All were impressed by our sketchy pass crossing and soon Wayne offered us a trailer to stay in for the night. All of our needs were taken care of and we ordered a few (i'm not telling how much) drinks at the bar and had some great conversations about cap and trade, war, cancer, herbology, and Life.

We made it to the trailer.

Awesome bed spread.

At the Snake Pit, our planned route called for us to start going up Thompson's Pass Road. We looked at the Iphone and saw what we thought was an easier route over Thompson's pass that allowed us to go on the Trail of the Couer D'Alene's longer. We were uncertain of the gradient of the new route, which took us up Idaho State Route 4. We voted on which route to take. It was a 2-2 tie so we let the coin flip decide it. The new, shorter route was chosen.

Here we are enjoying ourselves at the start of route 4. Little did we know what awaited us up the road.
After travelling through some old mining villages with such names as "Black Bear" and "Mace" we found this sing up the road. As we had already travelled many miles since the road to Thompson's pass we had no option but to forge ahead on the road and to see if we could pass the closed bridge.

The closed bridge was not an impedement at all and in fact carried us over a beautiful
mountain brook. Our minds were temporarily at peace and we believed we only had a little bit more climbing until we reached Thompson Pass.

Well we climbed and climbed, well over the 4862 ft of Thompson Pass. After a quick look at a Montana Highway Map (this is an oppurtunity for all you Luddites to chime in) we discovered we were traveling over Cooper's Pass 5822 ft. The climb to the top was intense. At first we faced >10% grades with large rocks sticking out of the dirt road. Our weighed down touring bikes were at their limit. At the top we found snow both on the ground and in the sky.

After a brief stay at the top we began to travel down in to Thompson Falls, not knowing how far we had to go or how long we would have usable light.

We had a wonderful ride along the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes.

The ~60 mile newly paved bike path included stretches through isolated forests and over Couer D'Alene Lake.
Along the way we found a mysterious insect sculpture

We took the advice of a friendly Ranger on the Trail and stoped in the Snake Pit in Enaville. In the Old Brothel we warmed up on Hot Buttered Rum and filled our stomaches. As we met a friendly dog, we name Aslan, who followed us for a few miles down the path. I don't think I have ever seen a happier dog as he trotted beside us.

Waiting out a hail storm in Cutbank, MT at the Cut Bank Cafe
Just woke up in east glacier. Today we ride on route 2 as far as we can go with a stop at the musuem of the plains indians in Browning

Monday, June 21, 2010

We made it over the continental divide over marias pass 5261ft. Almost made it up logans yesterday but top section was closed. Chillin at a motel in eastglacier