The Bums are back!

We realize the last update sounded a bit cataclysmic – not to fear! The fine mechanic at the aptly-named ‘The Bike Shop’ patched up Megans ride and sent us back on our way. However, we got a late start, and it’s too late and too hot to start the next ascent to 4300 ft, so we’re dropping anchor early… We’re sleeping at an ice cream parlor!

SlurpinSlurpin’down an expresso shake

One state down!

We are mere miles away from conquering the Evergreen State. It has regailed us with high mountain passes, blistering heat, and nerve-wraking construction in its effort to turn us back to the sea. But we have persevered through it all, knowing that Idaho, terrified of what we’ve done to its neighbor, has less than 80 miles of fight in it.

Pies make-a the wheels go Pies make-a the wheels go ’round!

Makin good time

made it through idaho in about a day. We met a biker from cranbury nj who went to my highschool. Only a couple days from glacier. Anyone want to give me a ride from oak with my bike next week? Call my cell phone.

A Bum hangs up her cycling shoes

Well, we made it to our destination just outside of Glacier National Park right on schedule (thanks to a little pacing help from our friend Mike from NJ). Megan’s bike is all boxed up, a car has been rented, and now we’re scanning local campgrounds for showers and laundry facilities with an eye toward becoming normal human beings again (at least for a few days). The trip for the past couple of days has been really great – we’ve had great company riding with Mike – he’s a recent Princeton high grad, doing the whole Northern Tier Route (Washington coast to Maine coast) solo – aiming to average 85 miles per day! He’ll be in Maine by the time I make it to Ohio! The weather has cooled down a bit, we’ve been dodging thunderstorms and rain, but haven’t really had any bad encounters so far. But the scenery has been absolutley amazing – we’ve been surrounded by mountains for at least the last week, riding along lakes and rivers the whole time. We’re attempting to upload more pictures now – hopefully they’ll all make it. Anyway, we’re pretty excited to stop being bike tourists and becoming regular tourists for a bit, and checking out Glacier – here’s hoping we see a grizzly (from a distance)!

And now, a word from Megan:well, now that I’m finally in shape, it’s time to turn around and go home. Back to the real world for me! I’m looking forward to showers every day and a real bed to sleep in. It’s been a really good trip, tho. We’ve been really lucky to have the chance to do things like this. Also, I’m still looking for a ride from Oakland airport on Monday at around 4 pm. I’ll be carrying a boxed bike, so if anyone can help me out, please let me know!!! Or directions for biking from the airport would be good, too. Thanks for all the comments!

On my own….

Well, folks – I’m all by myself now. I just dropped Megan and Twiggy off at the bustling Kalispell “International” (because it’s 50 miles from Canada) Airport, and am now at the Kalispell Library uploading the rest of our photos – hooray! By the way, The internet access here is one of the finest setups I’ve seen anywhere – and all the terminals run Linux!  I apologize for the vast number of nature shots we’ve taken, but Glacier National Park is really one of the most spectacular places I’ve ever been. Also, there’s several shots at the end that will appear to be of the same rocky crag – they’re all shots that I insisted Megan take of far-off bighorn sheep – if you zoom in a lot, you may be able to see the brownish blobs…they’re sheep – really! Needless to say, Megan and I had a great time in Glacier, and had a couple of really great hikes (our cycling cleats didn’t bother us so much, but it’s amazing how you use different muscles for hiking versus cycling – we thought we were in shape!)  I’m looking forward to having a second run in the park as I ride though on my bike – I may decide to take an extra day there to get in another hike or two. We saw some mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, and even a bear (i think it’s a black bear, but it may be a grizzly). Those shots of the bear, by the way, are a bit blurry because they were taken while I was hastily backing away saying ‘hey, bear….hey, bear…’ –  he caught me a bit by surprise.

It was sad to drop Megan off, and it’s a little intimidating to be on my own – but given the number of cycle tourists we saw on our way into town today, I’m sure I’ll find some folks to ride with from time to time.

Okay – time to get moving again – I’ll try and keep you all posted as my cell phone allows. Ride On!

Back in the saddle…

I rode 2.5 miles solo before i ran into two guys – both named matt – touring the same way as me. Met a bunch of other cyclists at the hiker-biker site. Took another day to do some more hikes, hitching rides – met some really nice folks from Texas.Ate Logan pass for breakfast – topped it off with pie at the bottom.Making a border run.This is great!

Mmm... Curry burrito Mmm… Curry burrito

Home on the range

Had a great day in Alberta yesterday. Got dropped out of the mountains right onto the prairie. Caught an awesome tailwind – was going 30 mph on some flats. I could coast uphill! Then turned and had a nasty crosswind. Couldn’t take avacados into US in my panniers, so i took them in my belly! Rode 113 miles yesterday. In big sky country now.