June 16th, Missoula, Montana 1,000 miles
Greetings one and all from the big sky country. So much to tell, so much to tell. Celebrated my two week anniversary on the road last night. I can't believe it's only been two weeks, it feels like a lifetime of adventure and experience has been packed into these 15 short days. I really starting to feel like a bit of a road dog. I look it, feel it, and certainly smell it. My funk has officially reached terminal velocity. I woke up last night to a strange sound and found my clothes trying to bike off without me. When I left you last I was fat and happy, if somewhat odiferous in Baker City, OR. Shortly after my communique with the outside world I located a laundromat, shower and place to camp. Within an hour or so all was right with the world and I was soaking in a hot tub at the local RV resort. Just what these aching old bones needed. Shortly after my bout with a bar of soap, lucky for them, I met two eastbound transam'ers. Elizabeth, and Amy, both from Santa Cruz, CA. Really nice folks. I know what you're thinking. Southern CA? Nice? But it's true. I ended up falling in line with them for a few days and sharing some gorgeous pedaling. Before we get into that though, there is some great news. The go light craze has hit once again. On a whim I set home my two front saddle bags and in doing so dropped a solid 5 pounds off my bike. Gabe is rolling his eyes at this one, but hey you're the one with the umbrella. I can almost pretend thee is no load at all on my bike when I look down at that bare front fork. I'm hoping to shave off a few more pounds here in Missoula and really get down to brass tacks. because "it's the" what? "BEAR NECESSITIES, those simple bear necessities" Sing it if you know it. So with a new found lightness I struck off from Baker City with Elizabeth and Amy and headed for parts unknown. I really don't know where to begin so I'll just it a few of the high spots. In Richland OR we were treated to the kindest hospitality ever in a small cafe. The girls had their meals bought for them, and everyone in the place offered words of encouragement and support. They also placed bets on who would make it up the hill outside of town first. I was the dark horse apparently. I also met an amazing man who is taking on the task of raising 2 million dollars to build a hospital in Tanzania. He has invited me over to work and explore. HMMMM? This was going to be the last adventure, but.......The hill outside of town turned out to be a monster, and of course at the top the wind was blowing in our faces like crazy. If you'r wondering who won, I offer this advice. Always bet the tri-fecta, it pays big. Although it was close thanks on part to the meal elizabeth ate before embarking. Greasy grilled cheese, fries, and a brownie sunday. She found her "second wind" towards the top. allright enough of that. On the backside we dropped into one of the most beautiful towns I have ever seen. Straight out of the sound of music. The tiny town of Halfway, OR nestled up against the Cornucopia Mountain range. Great place. Went out and shot some pool with the ladies and then returned to camp and played a mean game of PIG with the owners grand daughter jessica. She is a mean baller, but I barely slid by with a victory with a long shot. However, the next day this future WNBA star took me to task with a mean reverse lay up. 1-1. I'll be back soon for the decisive 2 out of 3 Jessica? From there we rode into hells canyon, which was gorgeous, and also crossed out first state ine into Idaho. The ride that day was beautiful. The climb out was steep but good except for one major problem. I had "cherish" by madonna stuck in my head most of the way up. errrrr!!! Not good at all. Probably the worst thing to happen on the trip thus far. Unfortunately the next day I parted ways with my two newfound and struck out again on my own. We have made tentative plans to meet up for the 4th of July if we can. I'm already planning all the decorations I'm going to put on my bike. It'll be just like the parade on sylvan road. Only I'm 27. Who cares right? I had my first technical difficulty in the form of a broken spoke and a severelly bent wheel shortly after parting ways with cali 1 and 2. My wheel was so out of alignment that I had to release the back brake and push on with only my front one. O course down a huge hill. Found a nice free spot to camp in the town of Riggins that night where they were kind enough to offer a free shower at 2;30 in the morning via the sprinkler system. Luckily with my keen road instincts I was able to sense the danger just in time to make a quick escape. Fight or flight, and I chose flight. The next morning as luuck would have it I came across a bike shop that wasn't on the map. The Guides House, run by a young guy named George Nuckols. One of the nicest folks you'll ever meet. While he did not have the right spoke size to fix the problem, he was able to straighten my wheel and rig it weel enough that it made it all the way to the next town where there was a shop that could finish the job. It held George, positive thoughts worked. I want to thank George faor saving me a 50 mile ride on a wobbly wheel. He has a great business going there in Riggins and around the world. At his sight at www.guideshouse.com you can find a guide for anything, and anywhere. George himself is quite a traveler and an all around good guy, even brought me a cup of coffee while I waited. If you're ever in the area check him out. thanks again. Okay this is getting to be an epic saga, and there is a free BBQ at the ADventure Cycling headquarters here. Free food always takes priority folks. Yesterday and today I had the pleasure of riding through some of the prettiest country yet. Lolo Pass. I am hot on the trail of Lewis and CLark at this point. Manly men, even if thesy had frills and ruffles on some of their clothes. The road went up for 77 miles following the Lochsa river through a nearly untouched wilderness. I spent entire hours and countless miles mesmerized by the beautiful scenery around me. I also found the greatest hot springs ever, where I spent a good 2 hours lounging yesterday. I had to work hard to pull myself out. But after a quick dip in the frigid river waters that ran right by the warm pools I was off. I have begun to run into quite a few other eastboubounders in the past few days. It's good to know they're out there. There is so much more to tell, but it will have to wait for another time. Like I said I feel like I have lived an entire lifetime since my last entry and coul honestly go on forever. I'm planning on taking a day off tomorrow to rest and relax here in Missoula. I think it will be nice to find a good shady park and just set myself under a tree and read. Yellowstone soon!! One correction from my last entry. The 11,400 foot pass is not in Idaho, it's in Colorado. oops. Hey I suck in a lot of carbon monoxide out there, give me a break. Again thanks to everyone for the words of support, it means a lot. Until next time, tell a friend, and thanks to gordo for keeping the site current. New pics should be arriving at his door soon. Take care."I sit back and let my eyes just go flowing now where they want to flow they seem to take to the horizon. And now I know there is a world beyond the small place I was coming from I feel at home here in the middle of nowhere. I will never know the names of these places that I travel through to reach a coastline, I've been told I will be there in time.