Sunday, June 30, 2013

Day 17 - Missoula, MT - Riders Arrival Day

Day 17 - Missoula, MT - Riders Arrival Day

A large group of riders had already arrived at the hotel in Missoula, MT this morning. So far, I have met the Duerrs, Annamarie Mecca and her husband Rick, Wes and Corniela Garbee, Jim Kervick and a few others.
After breakfast, I took Jim to the bike shop to pick up his bike and then we went to the National Bison Range at Moiese, MT. It was just wonderful. We saw bison, elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, pronghorn atelope, some sort of grouse and a magpie.
Tonight we had a map meeting at 4:30 pm and then we went for a group dinner at 6:30 pm at MacKensie River Pizza Company.

 The American Bison has been called "buffalo" for so long that we now use the names interchangeably. Bison are well adapted to life on the open grasslands. Their heavy coasts protect them from both summer sun and winter winds. Their thick winter coat is so well insulated that snow can lay on their backs without melting. Bison appear slow and docile, but are in fact quite agile and can run as fast as a horse. A bison bull weighs about 2,000 pounds and have heavy horns and a large lump of muscle which supports their enormous head and thick skull. They have a mass of fur on their heads and a heavy cape of fur even in summer. This enhances their size and protects them when fighting. They are especially ill-tempered during breeding season. Cows weigh about half as much as a bull.

 The view is just amazing.

Jim poses for a pic while admiring the view.

Tomorrow is the first day of riding and we are off to Ronan, MT. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Day 16 - Wallace, ID - Missoula, MT

Day 16 - Wallace, ID - Missoula, MT

Today we departed Wallace, ID to head back to Missoula, MT to meet up with Rich and the trailer and begin our Glacier adventure. Along the way we had a great breakfast in St. Regis, MT and then we stopped at the National Bison Range before we finally arrived at the Best Western Grant Creek, Missoula, MT.


Once we got to Missoula, we met up with Rich, who is in an air cast on his leg because of a tendon issue. Then it was off to the airport to pick up Mary and then we all went shopping at COSTCO and WalMart to get the final things we needed to start the trip.

The day ended with a wonderful dinner at the Montana Grill with Rich, Mary, Jim, Marnie and Miriam. Then all called it a day.

Day 15 - Couer d' Alene Trail - Plummer, ID - Wallace, ID

Day 15 - Coeur d' Alene Trail - Plummer, ID - Wallace, ID

This morning we are riding back to Wallace, ID along the trail. When we started it was very foggy, but it soon burnt off and the ride was just beautiful.
The first 8 miles are downhill and I was leading the way and all of a sudden, a large elk jumps out of the woods right in front of my bike and scared me half to death. I never realized just how big these animals are. They are majestic...but big!
We saw a few more along the way, but no more close calls.
We saw what I think was a fox that just stood alongside the route and stared at us and one of the riders along the trail tried to show me a bull moose that was off in the distance but for the life of me I couldn't see it.
It got exceptionally hot during the ride and once again, the heat got to me. We had lunch in Cataldo, ID and then after lunch Miriam and Marnie went up to the old mission...the oldest building in Idaho...and I headed back to the hotel. I just bearly made it...I was wiped out.


Day 14 - Couer d' Alene Trail - Wallace, ID - Plummer, ID

Day 14 - Coeur d' Alene Trail - Wallace, ID - Plummer, ID

Today we left Wallace, ID and pedalled the Trail of the Coeur d' Alenes to Plumer, ID. The weather started out rainy, but after about an hour, it let up, but the skies were still overcast. The scenery was just wonderful.

We saw llamas and many birds, but no moose or elk. The bridge in the picture is a stairstep bridge over the Coeur d' Alene River.
The accommodations in Plummer, ID were internet, no cell service, etc, so Marnie was forced to read the phone book. Miriam and I just went to sleep.

Day 13 - Missoula, MT - Wallace, ID - Trail of the Hiawatha

Day 13 - Missoula, MT - Wallace, ID - Trail of the Hiawatha

Today the three of us left Missoula, MT and traveled to the Trail of the Hiawatha, in Idaho. It is a crushed gravel trail, so we rented mountain bicycles and off we went. The trail goes through several tunnels (you definitely need a light), over several train tressels and along the way there are informational signs which tell the story of the Milwaukee Railroad and the construction of the tracks through the Bitterroot Mountains. I had a really nice time. The weather had been threatening all day, but the trail was fine, except that by the end of the ride all of us were filthy. Just as we finished the trail it started raining.

We checked into the Wallace Inn, Wallace, ID and tomorrow we start the Coeur d' Alene Trail.


The chipmunks were very aggressive and definitely not afraid of people.

The end of the trail where we caught a shuttle back to the start.
After dinner we walked around the town of Wallace and saw some 'folk art'.
We even found a sign for a mutual friend from the Cross Country 2008!