Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pedal Day 8 - MONTANA!

“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”

-Mark Twain, sent by Ericka Warren.

“Hey Barry, It’s a note from Woody . . . hope it makes you happy!”

-Robby “Woody” Woodall, Thanks Woody! I’m very happy now!

For twenty miles this morning we finished riding the Trail of the Coeur d’ Alenes. When we got to Mullan, last stop on the bike trail, we were surrounded by rain and mountains with no way out but up. So up we went.

We limped into Montana around 4:30 P.M. (Mountain Time Zone). A flat tire and an hour lost when we left the Pacific Time Zone in Idaho did this. We pedaled only 24.85 miles today. We would have gone farther but Jonathan had a flat about two miles down the highway from Lookout Pass. When we finally got to the pass (el. 4,725) Margaret was waiting.

Did I tell you we were riding on Interstate 90? It’s legal in many of the western states to ride on interstates and isn’t so bad. I never thought I would ride on an interstate and would severely discipline any of my grandkids who did. Interstates out here are not like the interstates I know: I-75, I-85, I-20, and I-95. First of all, they are not really busy. Second, the shoulders where we rode today were anywhere from eight to twelve feet wide. Third, the truckers did not try to get as close as possible. In fact, most truckers pulled into the left lane to pass. So it wasn’t bad at all.

Back to the trip ... when we got up to Lookout Pass our plans were to get Jonathan’s tire inflated to 120 P.S.I. and go rolling down the other side and well into Montana. The problem? It started sleeting and it was already 4:30. We loaded the bikes and headed down the road to St. Regis and are now at a Motel Super 8 with high speed wireless internet THAT DOES NOT WORK! That translates to "no speed wireless never get!" We specifically choose motels with high speed wireless so I can do a new post every evening. This post is one day late! You don’t always get what you pay for! Next time maybe we should try the internet first.

With two states behind us we now have thirteen to go and Montana is the widest. Our route shows approximately 663 miles before we get to North Dakota! Montana is the fourth largest state in the country for crying out loud. Why couldn’t we do Rhode Island or another Idaho? We may be in Montana for months!

Tomorrow we plan to call Adventure Cycling in Missoula to check out the rest of our route for crossing this humongous state. Adventure Cycling does the cross-country bike route we are using. We think we’re going to hook up with route 12 and head for North Dakota but we’re not sure yet. Adventure Cycling will give us the best route and then I’ll let you know about it.

We have been "blown South" of the Northern Tier Route that we planned but we are still headed east toward Bar Harbor, Maine. This is not a problem! "For the Lord sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes" (Proverbs 5:21).

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).

By the way, the dog in the first photograph is allowed to drive in Montana. Dogs cannot drive on the interstates however!


  1. If that dog had a little more hair, he would be Chewbacca. Whose fault is it that you're riding across Montana doo-dah? I would have picked the more sceneic southern desert route. Of course, then you would have had to ride across Texas, which is bigger than Montana. Maybe you should have gone diagonally from Washington to Florida - that would have solved the whole big state problem! But you would have ended in Florida, which I know you would have despised.

  2. I hope you didn't use your voodoo magic to turn Margaret into that dog. Thats messed up Barry. Shame on you!