Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ride Across the USA: 6/30/10, Wed -- Nashua to Brockton --65 mi/ 1210 total

Don't they look great for celebrating 50 yrs. together?

It's hot. Stop for lunch was at Poplar and the shade tree at the school worked great for relief. It's 95 again.

Drying the Echinecea roots

Bruce showing what a plant would like before you dug it.

Is this beautiful or what? This was on our way back to the farm from Plentywood. The sky was alive with the reflection of the sun.

Good ride today with a very small tailwind and ONLY 95 degrees. We met Dave and Kate from NY at Wolf Point who are doing the ride to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Good for them!! We stayed with friends of J and H's, 20 mi north of Brockton and we were to be picked up for the transport to their farm. Just so happens there was a bar at the corner so the first local we met was Wayne Webster (Webby) who stood outside protecting us from the Indians that would ask for $$ or a drink. Then it was Bruce and Maureen Nordvick, working the bar and Jamie Youpee, having something to eat. We learned about digging "root"which the owner buys for $4/lb, then resells. Some days $50,000 will pass through the bar with all the root people bring in. It is Echinecea which is used for medical purposes and if you chew on one, your mouth will go numb, so people with toothaches used it. They took us to their old bar next door to look at a log cabin bar that camae by steamship in the 1800's. Dahlberg's let us use their new pick-up to go to Plentywood to visit cousins Deb and Randy Holtan. It was a good, good day.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ride Across the USA: 6/29/10, Tues -- Hinsdale to Nashua -- 45 mi/ 1145 total

Do you see any trees??? This was all we could find but we didn't care, the shaded rocks felt cool to us!

This doesn't look like Glasgow, Scotland either

Looking down from a high point at the Missouri River -- pictures sometimes just don't do the scenery justice.

Storms were brewing in the Montana sky

We had planned to ride 63 mi today but a very strong headwind plus 99 degree weather changed our minds. Kirk handled it just fine but I seemed to be the gimpy one today. We camped at the Ft. Peck State Park and after our meal toured the area. This is where the Milk River (remember the river that should be named chocolate milk) dumps into the reservoir and becomes the wandering Missouri River. Today we met Sam from Quebec City and some other guy, we didn't get his name so we nick-named him "big thighs" pedaling home to WA from Maine. Sorry, no pix. As we got closer to Glasgow a local rider stopped to visit with us and he knew cousins Randy & Deb Holtan from Plentywood, MT. Small world...... We were both pooped and K woke me up because he heard a siren. There had been storms in the area and he thought it was the tornado siren. We wake up J and H, I look at the sky and wonder where it might be as it didn't look stormy ......... wasn't, just the siren for something at the damn.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ride Across the USA: 6/28/10 -- wast of Dodson to Hinsdale -- 72 mi/ 1,100 total

There are a few barns in Montana.

Headwinds today but not bad. Terrain changes from flat land to ups/downs, wind shifted to cross/tail. Plan was to go to Saco & we met J and H there at a quaint old gas station open for bathroom and cold water. Since we were riding OK and the train ran about 20' from camp area we decided to ride on to Hinsdale and camp there. It was hot, the wind died down, the road turned black and really bumpy. It ceased to be fun at this point. The campground at Hinsdale wasn't good, so we loaded up the bikes and headed to Glasgow. J and H will take us back tomorrow. The mosquitoes are so bad that when you dropped your shorts to deposit DNA, they swarmed so bad I couldn't go!!! Only shade we could find today was by a gasline building. You feel like you are baking.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ride Across the USA: 6/26/10 -- Havre to east of Dodson, 65 mi, 1,028 mi

An antelope on the plains of Montana

Even the churches are closed on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation.

Thank goodness for bug spray while we were loading bikes. We put mine inside and left the nasty bugs behind.

We wanted to get in at least 60 miles today so just rode east. As the services are few and far between, we rode, called Jerry and Hazel and they picked us up along the road and hauled us back to Havre. While we were trying to load the bikes the mosquitoes were thick all over us. Ugh. We felt good riding but when we stopped to rest, we both admitted that we were a little tire. We are looking forward to our day of rest.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ride Across the USA: 6/25/10 -- Shelby to Havre, MT -- 107.4 mi, 963 total

There's that funny looking guy again. Doesn't he ever change his clothes????????

Not too many barns, so guess the old grain elevators will have to do.

This doesn't look like Inverness, Scotland!

Lots of boarded-up houses -- must be the USA style.

Don't you wonder what their stories are?

Wow! This is my very first century day, Kirk's 2nd. We both felt good riding, had a pretty good tailwind so decided to make up some miles. I wouldn't want to do this every week but it felt good to accomplish. Terrain was up and down which surprised us and we had good weather. Had a nice campground and it didn't take long to fall asleep.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ride Across the USA: 6/24/10 -- Browning to Shelby, MT -- 60 mi, 856 total

John & Kathi Johnson from Wisconsin

I kept stopping to look back and this guy on a funny-looking bike shows up!

I looked back because this is what I was looking at ahead. Wouldn't you look back too?

This is the way to wake up ..... sun shining on the Montana Rockies. The last view we had of them as at Cut Bank. Today we had headwind, crosswind, mostly tailwind and about 1/2 and 1/2 hills vs. flat. Met John & Kathi Johnson from Wisconsin riding a tandem and on this particular they had ridden 2,000 miles. It is always fun to visit with fellow bikers alongside the road. Wish I had taken pictures of earlier riders we had met. Several of the towns along Hwy. 2 are celebrating centennials -- Rudyard and Hingham are a couple of them. This highway between ND and the Rockies was a trail for many: part of the Lewis and Clark, Nez Perce, Old Forts, Dinosaur and Great Northern plus the Cottonwood Country Byway.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ride Across the USA: 6/23/10 -- Stanton campground to Browning, MT -- 55 mi, 796 total

Connect these pix end-to-end and you have the complete range ................

A beautiful day to ride and look at the mountains. It's bittersweet, leaving the amazing beauty of all the mountains with the refreshing gurgling streams, roaring rivers with beautiful color and of course, the wildlife. We crossed the Continental Divide at Marias Pass (5,236'), the lowest point in the USA to cross over. Our destination was Browning, MT and the campground was off-route, about .5 mi of absolutely terrible gravel. The campground wasn't much better .......... until you turned around and had a wonderful view of the Glacier National Park. Later, many, many locals told us we were nuts for staying in Browning on the reservation but they still can't take that view from us!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ride Across the USA: 6/22/10 -- Whitefish to west of Essex, MT -- 59 mi, 741 total

Hmmmm ........ why does out map say 5,236' and the sign 5,216'??

Middle fork of the Flathead River

Unusual waterfalls, more off it to the left that you can't see

Isn't that cool? Trains and mountains make for a good mix!

Taking time to "smell the roses"

Good ride today with overcast skies and NO rain! We are doing the Marias Pass alternate route as Glacier & the "Going-to-the-Sun" road is not open yet. We ride along, talking about our turn-off remarking how good the roads are with no traffic. We also knew we would have 2.8 mi of gravel. Well, when the gravel is approaching 8 mi who finally realize you have not been too bright one more time. A guy was sighting in his muzzle-loader so Kirk asked him where we were because we had no idea ........ only about 12 miles from Canada. We laughed because we didn't have our passports with us. Turned around, flagged down a USFS truck and she not only helped figure out exactly where we were but hauled us back to the corner we missed. Good thing out of all of this? We saw some beautiful scenery that no other bikers saw! Enjoyed watching the trains along the Flathead River. And the gravel? It was exactly 2.8 mi and more like hard-packed mud. Nice campground, Stanton RV, but noisy with the busy highway + trains.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ride Across the USA: 6/21/10 -- Libby to Whitefish, MT -- 126 mi -- 682 Total

Raining so hard you couldn't see how beautiful this area is......

Koocanusa Lake

More of Koocanusa Lake

Due to the rain we made an executive decision not to ride but to drive to Whitefish as we had ridden this route 11 yrs ago. It was a miserable day and it rained so hard you couldn't even enjoy the view. Here's a little trivia on how the name Koocanusa was derived: So named by a lady in a contest with Koo (from Kootenai River); can (from Canada as this lake extends that far) and usa (United States of America) ==Koocanusa.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ride across the USA: Sat., 6/19/10 -- east of Heron to Libby MT -- 51 mi./ 556 total

Don't know why, but didn't take many pictures along this way -- too busy just enjoying.

The most beautiful day -- and riding a bike in the mountains. This part of Montana is absolutely beautiful just like it was 11 years ago when we rode this area. However, my bottom is still sore ..... my lack of ability to train in May has really caught up with me. But who wants to hear about that???? Kootenai Falls is a powerful, powerful sight. We met Candice & Michael from Connecticut, riding home. They arae really hauling a lot of gear and had spent the night at the rest area, just a few miles back. He had a tire leaking but he thought he could make it into Libby. I was having trouble on a good tire!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ride across the USA: Fri., 6/18/10 -- Sandpoint, ID to east of Heron -- 43 mi. -- 505 total

The beautiful Lake Pend Orielle (pronounced Pond Oray) ..... it was just one beautiful moment after another.
Another view of the Pend Orielle

I'm out of order but it was probably one of those instances where we take a picture on the east end of the state because we missed the sign on the west end.

Just a beautiful tree-lined ride. Kirk likes it better when there are openings that he can see out.

The Maharry men hard at work ..... both taking a nap!

J & H hauled us to Sandpoint and we began today's ride from there. Partially sunny, no rain so this is good. My day started @ 4:30 a.m. when Lena, Jessica & Laurie called to wish me a happy 65th birthday! The nuts thought it was 5:30 a.m. Had several calls & messages, the ride was around the Pend Orielle (Pond Oray) Lake and it was one of the most beautiful days we had. We camped next to the Adventure Cycling group so we had fun checking out their routine. Made a quick run to check out the Noxon bar as we stayed in that little village 11 years ago.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ride across the USA: Thurs., 6/17/10 -- Priest River to Sandpoint, ID -- 30 mi. -- 462 total

Guess what? It is still cold and still raining. And to top it off, my stupidity let me lose my partial, so called and was able to get into a dentist (which ended up not being too productive)in Sandpoint. Duane & Jerry hauled us to Sandpoint and then we rode back to PR in the downpour. It rained so hard we could hardly see at times. Traffic was dangerous and when we finally turned off onto a back-road I told Kirk to get off his bike, get on his knees and thank the Lord for getting us through that mess. We were dressed for the rain but it was coming down so hard that none of it did much good. The cold made it miserable. Tomorrow we have to ride, so let's hope for a break in the weather.
That ride from Sandpoint back to Priest River was only 30 miles and we didn't take any pictures because of the rain.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ride across the USA: Wed., 6/16/10 -- Leo Lake CG to Priest River, ID -- 76 mi. -- 432 total

I wish we knew the story behind these. It was pouring down rain when I took this pic.

Another view of these fascinating rocks.........

This was what most of the day looked like. Actually, it rained so hard we couldn't tell what we were looking at some of the time.

Jan with her prized "Ruby". Who wouldn't consider this a prize???

Started raining as we were breaking camp so naturally we get in a hurry & don't get all our necessary gear. Rained all day with the temperature in the 40's so you ride hard just to keep warm. We would walk once in a while just to get feeling into our feet, forget the hands. At 45 miles we decided we needed to eat & found a shelter at a cemetary. Kirk turned around and in the middle of nowhere is this big, beautiful new wellness center, close to Cusick, ID. built by the Indians since we are on reservation land. God plunks help right down in front of you sometimes. We opted for the hot food at the deli instead of our normal PB, etc. and hung around for 2 hrs. letting some of our clothing dry. When we stopped, Kirk had to help get my helmet off, my fingers were so cold. We finally went on, still raining, to PR where we stayed with Duane & Jan Holter, friends of J & H. Was nice to not have to set up camper, do laundry and take a HOT shower!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ride across the USA: Tues., 6/15/10 -- Kettle Falls to east of Colville, WA -- 40 mi. -- 356 total

Some of the equipment that picks up big bundles of logs and moves them to the correct spot.

Different angle ..... this hoist really moved along from one spot to another.

Another pretty waterfall......

Kirk checking out Lake Leo ..... it really was a pretty place with only one other camper there. Jerry didn't bother to tell us that soft-sided campers should be aware of possible bear attacks.

Looking across Lake Leo ........ pretty sight and cold, as well.

No cell service, again. Lots of traffice due to lumber mill @ Colville with logging trucks rolling along like crazy. We watched the activities @ the mill for a spell. Leaving Colville, we started our last major climb of the Washington Cascade mountain range. What started out as boring scenery turned into beautiful scenery. Met Joe who is the "guide in training" for Adventure Cycling's only northern tier tour. Cost $4300 to ride with the group, they pay for food but riders take turns at purchasing and preparing. Everyone hauls their own gear. I don't know how old Delores from NY is, but she is definitely an inspiration. There are 11 in the group. Camping tonight is at another Forest Service site -- no services, even the toilets were locked. We took our first outside shower (this little camper has everything) which is definitely the way to keep the bears at bay!