Today began with a bikebums milestone. I was just riding along, trying to jump start my pre-breakfast morning brain, when suddenly to my right, Splash-Thwomp Thwomp Thwomp! A giant moose emerged from the stream next to the road an took off across the field, waddle swaying to and fro as it trotted away from me. Turns out the trick to seeing moose is being on the road by 6:30 am.
I had beautiful ride up the st. Joe river Valley, with barely any traffic at all. Absolutely gorgeous scenery. I then turned up the dirt road leading to the real trail, and in nine miles maybe saw three cars. Then, suddenly, after barely seeing anyone for hours, there’s like forty people with bikes lining up to get in a shuttle bus. Guess I made it to the trail. The trail is managed by a nearby ski resort, and they really do it up :they set up a shuttle to take people back to their cars, they rent bikes, and they have a while bunch of people riding up and down the trail making sure everyone is ok. The trail itself was awesome. It leads through like thirteen tunnels and over several railroad trestles, some of which are over two hundred feet tall. They have a whole bunch of informative kiosks explaining the history of the area and the rail line that used to run there – the “Milwaukee road”. I took four hours to go the fourteen miles of the trail because I stopped so often to read the signs or enjoy the scenery. The culmination was the final tunnel : 1.7 miles long, cold, damp, and dark as a mile long hole dug out of the earth. I got probably my best state line crossing picture ever in the middle as I burrowed beneath the idaho/Montana state line.