Saturday, July 19, 2008

Notice!

Ok, I'm trying to update when I can. I'm a busy man writing 100 postcards (literally). I added a new poll, and linked my good bud Ian's blog. When you guys run out of stuff on mine, go check out some other peoples! That's all for now. Ross out.

It's not Pronouced Butt

Monday, June 23rd. It was almost amazing how much better my legs felt after a full days rest. They still were a little bit sore, but the heaviness associated with constant motion seemed to have subsided. We started getting ready, taking what must had been our 4th or 5th shower in the last two days, savoring the rare treat. Josh also decided it was worthwhile to take a picture of his awesome ass tan line. I have an awesome one too, but I've yet to take a picture of it. I suppose you'll have to wait see mine. We're some tan mofos.

So we hit the road. It was actually a much shorter distance into Butte than I expected considering we had been staying about 7 miles outside the city. I also feel it's important to mention it's pronounced "beaute" like in beautiful not "butt" like in "Josh has a butt tan line." It was cool. The city was built in a big valley and the surrounding hills and cliffs were pretty striking. Look for yourself.



On the way out of the city we had a rather large hill to ascend. It was moderately steep- not too steep for me to efficiently utilize my lowest gear, but steep enough that I was working. I suppose it's when I first realized just how much the days rest had really helped me. The hill was tough, a couple mile hike up, but I was managing it quite well, hell I was even keeping up with Josh. We only took one or two rests going up the whole thing, mainly to cool off from the heat more than catch our breath and give our legs a rest. It did afford us some cool views as we went up too.





Not to mention this ultra-hot picture of me. Chicks dig the glasses mirror so much. Fightin' em off with a stick, let me tell you.

So, we make it all the way up the hill/mountain with surpsingly little trouble and freaking FLY down the other side. It's somewhat terrifying the amount of speed you can get on a racing bike with a 215 lb male and 35 lbs of gear. 35 mph? Piece of cake. 40? Little difficulty? 45? Highly probable. Maybe I should start wearing my helmet? (Sorry Mom!)

The bottom on the hill turned into a nice long stretch of moderately flat land. It's real cool how in Montana there's snow-capped mountains off in the distance everywhere. It has a unique feeling. It felt vast and empty yet confining all at once.

But continuing with my obsession over numbers, here was a cool one. Lucky sevens!





Oh, and toward the end of the night we hit 800!


Milestone 8 of 35ish.

So not too much happening for the rest of the day. We biked on well into the night, eventually reaching a little town called McAllister. It was already about 9 o'clock and getting dark fast. After asking around we learned of no campsites too be found, which was worrisome. A local did tell us there was a state-owned garbage area about a mile and a half up the road. So, in the middle of the night we set up camp in what was to be our second garbage dump sleep over. What can I say, we are Lords of garbage dumps. We were lucky to find a little steakhouse and enjoyed a delicious meal. There was a nifty wood bear Josh wanted to pose with.. I just find the picture eerie. Hey Carl- is it just me, or does Josh look a lot like Nick in this picture?


Trip Summary
Day's mileage- 66.72
Total mileage- 812.86

Pacifying the Masses

Sunday, June 22nd. I awoke in the morning happily non-hungover. Actually, I don't ever seem to get a hangover. Then again, I don't think I've ever consumed more than the equivalent of 8 beers in one night so maybe it doesn't count. So, I'm awake. I'm not gunna lie, that might be the highlight of the day for you all. See, Josh and myself had decided we would give ourselves the day off. And when I say day off I mean like "my ass won't touch the seat of my bike" day off. We were going to sit around, eat food, catch up on phone calls/blogs/journals and whatnot and take it easy. After all, since the beginning of this trip, we hadn't take a full 24 hour period. Josh was uneasy about having a motel two night in a row considering it would be pricey (about 55 a night)... which not expensive by hotel terms, but for two poor boys on the road it adds up quick. So we settle that one amicably and enjoyed the day taking it easy.

On another note, perhaps my sister and her friends were right! When I went to the truck stop to get some food I saw this sign. Perhaps Meth is a big deal out here? I'd have to keep a watch out for meth-heads trying to kidnap me after all...

Honestly, that was it for the day. I apologize for the lack of excitement. Gimme a break, it was my day off. I'll try to keep the updates coming faster, but will this be enough to pacify my loyal masses until I have some freaking free time?!?

Oh, and PS. Josh turned 27.

Trip Summary
Day's mileage- 0.0 (Full day off! 2nd day of rest)
Total mileage- 746.14

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy Birthday to Josh~

Saturday, June 21st. We awoke again in a baking tent. Joy of joys. We packed up and headed to the local restaurant to grab some grub. I ordered the grits. I still don't really know what grits are, and apparently I was the first person to ever order them from that waitress. I'm pretty sure she didn't know what it was other and they just made me cream of wheat and pretended it was grits. Regardless, I put about 45 gallons of brown sugar in it. Pretty super yummy. Then we hit the road!

Not a whole lot of excitement on the road really. We had about 70 miles to our final destination of Butte that day and it was gunna be a long one. So lets see.. pretty scenes... a bunch of signs about a railroad. I didn't really read them- just took pictures. Look if you care.




But hey! Mile 700 also! Woo hoo!


Milestone 7 of 35ish

We stopped and got some food at a gas station about 30 miles down the road. I found these! This one goes out to good ol' Midge-face.

About another 20 miles down the road the sun was scorching. We got to an exit off 90 and came to the only building around. Turns out it was a bar and like usual, I was feeling bad walking in and just asking for water. So this time we asked for water, sat down, and ordered us a nice Dr. Pepper on the rocks. I don't even like Dr. Pepper. But it was delicious. So we just sat there, waiting for the heat to pass. We ended up talking to some really cool and nice people. For example- we met these two. Their names are Cal and Paula. Did they do anything special? No. They just sat and talked to us. That's how it works, you're cool people you go on my blog. You two rock.


Cal and Paula

About 45 minutes later we left. It was still hot as hell but we pushed on. Another 15 miles down the road I was feeling really light headed and odd. I knew I wasn't dehydrated I had been drinking plenty. For some reason I just kept thinking I might had been sweating too much and depleting my electrolyte levels. Now, in all reality I probably was just fine but I kept having day dreams about really salty foods. I stopped, ate a raw pack of ramen noodles... then choked down the flavoring packet for it's salt content. I actually felt better afterwards although it was probably all mental.

About 8 miles outside of Butte the wind became horrendous. The winds must had been blowing at least 30 mph. At our sides and to our face. Very very discouraging after a long day in the wind.

video
The wind at the end of the day.

On top of that, as we reached the outskirts of town the sky darkened. Made for some cool pictures, but the impending storm was pretty ominous. We decided to call it a day when we came across a Motel 6. I mean after all, it was Josh's birthday! He deserved a bed and a shower for such an occasion, no?




We got into the room and the guy even cut us a nice 10% break. I'm not sure why, but he did. Score only 50 bucks. I let Josh shower first- a seemingly nice gesture but I had ulterior motives. While he bathed his disgusting body I snuck across the street to a truck stop. I grabbed a 12 pack of Budweiser and a foot long sub for each of us.

When I got to the room Josh seemed a bit down, talking to his girlfriend. Hit face lit up when he saw the booze. He said, and I quote "Ross, I thought this was going to be the second worst birthday of my life.. but then I saw you come in with the beer and everything just seemed better." We proceeded to be extreme light weights and get drunk off three beers each. Hey! We hadn't eaten in hours and biked! We then proceeded to finish off the WHOLE 12 pack. Whoa. Here comes awesome drunken videos!

In respect of Josh's wishes, this video has been removed. We gotta keep the kid looking professional. Sorry! You may however enjoy my drunkenness below..

After we finished the beer and ate our food we wanted some more crap. Real crap. Candy. So we decided to wander over to the truck stop. I figured I'd practice my "sobriety" before I got there so no one would know I'm drunk. I think it worked flawlessly, didn't it?

video

So we gorged ourselves on candy and cake. Josh felt like shit, but held it all down. I drunk dialed Zak and his friends that night. For those of you who don't know it, a mosquito consists of three parts. A body, a thorax and a face. And I fucking punch mosquitoes right in the face! All in all a great night. Happy Birthday Joshyboy!

Trip Summary
Day's mileage- 67.82
Total mileage- 746.14

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Laundry Nazi Ruins My Day

Friday, June 20th. The campsite was rather pleasant. Not too much noise or anything going on. Just the sound of the steam off in the distance. We decided to attempt to be efficient with our time and wanted to start our laundry first thing so we didn't have to wait too long to get a move on. When we got to the laundry room 3 of 4 washers were in use. Fuck. We put Josh's clothes in and waited.

Showers, shaves, and gorging of food commenced. It was so nice to have been showered. I felt bad, Josh and myself used all the hot water and the two neighboring campers, a father son combo, were shocked at the "lack of hot water at these facilities." Oopsies~ We broke camp and I got fed up with waiting for the ass who used all 3 washers to take their stuff out of the machines. I mean, the clothes were cleaned but no one had taken them out for 30 minutes. I pulled the typical college move, taking their clothes out putting it on the table, putting mine in. Right as I was placing my stuff in the washer, the owner of the abandoned clothes came in, apologizing for her tardiness. On top of that she took ALL the driers, so I couldn't get Josh's stuff dry. Wow. I even asked her "Are you in a rush? You staying around today? Mind if I use ONE of the driers?" Oh but apparently she was in a rush and couldn't spare one. Super bitch.

So we ate more and I took pictures of turkeys that patrolled the lots. I tried to get some wifi to update and charged my electronics. All in all though it was a waste of time all because Uber-Bitch wanted to waste my time. She sat around all day after she was done too. Enjoying her victory in ruining my day. I hope she reads this. Just so she knows she sucks. Hey lady- you suck.

Eventually we hit the road, albeit late. We biked down 90 and got to some weird signs. Apparently this area is known for it's "Testicle Festival" which I could only had presumed had to do with Rocky Mountain Oysters. For those of you who are unfamiliar with them, I believe they're deep fried bull testicles. Or some variety of bull nuts. How... uhh... delectable.

We biked until a small town called Drummond. We stopped to grab some food and water and they had a nice little restaraunt. We chatted and I asked about the testicle festival. "What is it?" to which the local replied "What isn't it?" Ok. "Well what happens at it?" Reply- "What doesn't happen at it?" Only a little annoying. But eventually I got the truth out. Apparently it's just a giant orgy. A bunch of random people. Going at it. Probably on the table I ate breakfast on today. Ew. Thank God Josh didn't know that or he'd probably never feel clean again.

By the time dinner ended it was surprisingly already 6:30. Josh wasn't feeling much like biking and when he wants to quit- it usually means we quit. A pathetic 30ish mile day, but hey.. we ate lots of candy bars. And that always makes it a quality day. Check this out too. How much do babysitters get in your local area? 8/hour? 10/hour? 15/hour? How humble of this little girl...



3/hour! Unbelievable!

So we set up camp at a local park. A local told us it was 10/night and we didn't really have to pay if we didn't have the cash. Granted, we don't really have the cash, and Josh felt bad. So we paid. I tried to jump in the river to cool off/cleanse myself, but the bottom was all mud and I kept sinking, pulling my ankle bandaids off (from my 360 spill back in Seattle). I gave up once I was waste deep and went back to have my soul sucked by mosquitoes. Little bastards. Tons of em. Theme of the day though- we're lazy bastards. We eat tons of food. Mosquitoes love me.


Trip Summary
Day's mileage- 31.53
Total mileage- 678.32

The 90

Thursday, June 19th. We awoke to some pounding as the man's property we were staying on woke us up bright and early at 6:30. I was tired, but we did ask him to give us a wake up call. I crawl out of the trailer first and head over to the house where the man greets me, asking if I was interested in some coffee. I don't even drink coffee but fuck yes I want some coffee! I step into his GORGEOUS house and we talk and drink a bit. He asked me if Josh was Jewish, which I found a bit humorous. I suppose I could see it. He just didn't want to give him non-kosher ham. After all, he had decided he was making us a huge breakfast!

The man, who's name is Gary, and his wife, who I can't recall the name of (sorry Mrs. Hill!) joined us. She had recently had some surgery so was a bit less mobile. They made us ham, toast, eggs and tons of coffee. We stuffed our faces. Afterwards Gary insisted we go for a ride. There's a bison preserve right across the street from his house, and we spent about 30 minutes driving through it seeing mainly deer and the first few buffalo of our trip. Pretty cool!

Afterwards we packed up our gear and showed them our bikes and hit the road! Frankly, I was so full I was having trouble cycling. But after about an hour of 8-10 mph I was feeling awesome and was making great time! That was until the headwind started... we were heading up a slight incline and the wind was just enough to be really annoying. I was pissed. But we hit mile 600. Very annoying mile 600.


Milestone 6 of 35ish

We eventually made it through the wind and hell and made it to our destination- Missoula. The city had a nice feel to it, I was kinda liking the idea of spending an early night there. There were a couple things to see (Adventure Cycling Headquarters! http://www.adventurecycling.org/) But it was only 5:30 and Josh was feeling like moving on. See, there's one thing Josh does a lot that kinda peeves me. I ask him his opinion to which he replies "Well, whatever you want." Then I tell him what I want, and he say "well, I think..." or "Well I want..." Maddening. So I was like "Josh, you make the decision. I'm done for the day. We ate McDonald's and headed out. After looking over my maps briefly I had discovered I-90 was a much quicker route to get to Butte than my previous route. Honestly though, I was a bit concerned about taking I-90. Oh also, huge pet peeve. Why do people call it "The 90"? I hate it. You could say "The Interstate" I suppose... but who says the followed by a proper noun? At least I think it's a proper noun? One could say, "I'm walking the dog" but not "I'm walking The Sparky." Josh does it all the time. Maddening. As does EVERYONE out here. Stab me please.

Anyway, we ended up taking I-90. I really had a bad feeling about it, and thought it was a bad idea, but I had let Josh decide and he decided to do it. Honestly- it wasn't so bad. Really wide shoulders, wide enough for the two of us side by side, although we went single file. Not too much traffic, and not much faster than any other road we were on. Frankly, I-90 might had been safer. We pushed on another 25 miles to a nice campsite. I saw my first bald eagle soaring over head while we pulled in too!

It was a nice site. Like 25 bucks and we got showers, the campsite and access to the laundromat. Sweet. Clean bodies, clean clothes. Happy campers. All in all I suppose a bit of a uneventful day. Suppose one can't complain with that too often.

Trip Summary
Day's mileage- 61.88
Total mileage- 646.79

Drunk in The Big Sky

Wednesday, June 18th. As I said before, we woke up happily knowing the crazy man in the lot next to us never returned. I was feeling pretty grimy and all I wanted to do was bathe myself and there was a river right next to us, actually quite close. Take a look-

video

As you might be able to see the river was running a bit too fast to get into. It was about a 3' drop off into the water and even I might had been swept away. Or I would had swam upstream to spawn like a salmon just to prove to Josh I could handle the current.

We ate some food and took forever like usual to get ready. I was really not looking forward to our four mile hike back up this hill to get on the proper road. Maybe I was just feeling good, or maybe the hill wasn't so bad, but we flew up that thing! We were back on the road, making our way through the Big Sky State.

We kept coming across all this "historic" sites as we traveled that day. Here's some of them for you history buffs out there.




All in all though a rather event less day. Pretty smooth and pretty easy. I must say, Montana is quite the lovely state.




See that last picture? Those snow covered mountains? Now I'm not sure but I believe those are part of the rockies. First time we had seen them. It was a pretty cool feeling! We had bike all the way to the rockies...

So what else happened? We biked through a little town called Paradise. How cute~ Although I must admit, right outside their town it was paradise. See, about a mile past town there's an artesian well (whatever the hell those are) and I was hot and thirsty. We chugged and filled our bottles with the cold clean water. I actually just got on the ground and let the spring flow over me. God it was awesome. This too is one of my "golden rules" for the trip. Anytime I can get cold I take advantage of it. I love the cold. I need the cold. It was soo cold. I laid there until my body went numb from the coldness. Josh hid from it like a dog from the vacuum.

We made it down the road to the store of a kindly old man. We stayed, chatted for probably an hour, bought some food, and asked him about the road ahead. Josh really liked this guy I could tell. He told us there was nothing up the road save a bar about 10 miles up. After that another 15 miles or so to town. He warned us though- the guy who ran the bar was a real prick! But maybe he'd make us a burger or two.

The night wore on, and as it approached seven we were hungry and wanting a place to stay. We were definitely on a reservation, you could tell by the intensely impoverished appearance of the community. We stopped at the bar, the only commercial establishment in town, asking to fill our water and see if the man would make us food. We walk into the darkly lit room, two men and a lady at the bar. All eyes on the two tan white boys wearing bike shorts, t-shirts, and bike gloves. Immediately we knew things were a bit off.

Me- "Hi, how you doing. We're looking for a place to get some food..."

Barkeep- "Well then you're in the wrong town."

Me- "Oh yea? Nothing huh. Damn."

Josh- "Oh, well we heard from a man down the road that a nice old guy at a bar up here might make us some burgers."

Barkeep- "What man? What shop?" (Sounds obviously annoyed at the reference to someone he dislikes)

Josh then proceeded to go into detail of the man, and how much Josh enjoyed him and the shop. Josh somehow hadn't picked up from the conversation with either man that the two greatly disliked each other. This obviously didn't win us any favor.

Me- "Well, could we fill up our water bottles?"

Barkeep- "I dunno, can you?"

Me- "Hah, yea umm... so... can we?"

Barkeep- "Bathroom's right there."

Josh, smiling still like always "Oh, thank you!" Looking at the bathroom doors confused. They were labeled Pitchers and Catchers. Took Josh a minute, but he figured it out. Everyone at the bar laughed.

Barkeep- "So where you from son?"

The question I was hoping to avoid. The last thing I want to be is from New York when someone backwoods redneck asks.

Me- "Back East. Vermont." (What's less threatening than Vermont?!?)

The barkeep pointed to a sign behind him reading "I have an East infection" saying "Yea, that's a real problem out here." Again, the three at the bar chuckled. We filled our bottles, and chatted a few minutes, very awkwardly, very uneasy with the whole situation. Right as we leave the barkeep goes..

"Well next town up there's a big Indian. Can't miss him. He'll cook for you..."

We thanked him and left. We really had no other choices. We were hungry. I guess we had to look for the Big Indian. I was a bit concerned though. We were on less than friendly territory I would say and I was thinking maybe the prick barkeep had called ahead to warn the "Big Indian" of our impending arrival.

It was about 8:30 and it was getting late. We really didn't want to bike the other 10 miles to the next town just to risk starting some trouble with some more locals. We were riding past a couple small houses and one stood out. A real nice house on a pretty poor reservation. We were starting to get good at this. See, most everyone who's helped us out on this trip has been either A- retired, or B- moderately wealthy or C- both. Not a perfect science, but it seems these factors increase our odds.

So we rode up to the house, and as we approached three dogs come running out! I didn't know weather to be prepared to be mauled or licked. I kinda just... played it cool. Oh yea. Cool cat Ross. An older man came out after them and I asked him if he minded if we pitched a tent on his yard. He quickly said yes and didn't even ask us a question about anything. He went back to his house, we went over to the yard to get the tent ready. About five minutes later we knocked on his door again, questioning if we should hang our food in case of bears. He said no, and if we wanted we could leave our food in a horse trailer he had. We thanked him and went about our business. Another five minutes later we knock on his door asking if we could just sleep in the horse trailer. He felt silly for not even offering! He came out, showed us the trailer and started chatting. That's the key. Gotta get 'em chatting. He talked to us about everything for a half hour. Then he offered us beer! Mmmm, free beer. Handing us both two we sit there on his porch drinking and talking for another hour. Since our stomaches were empty we were both pretty drunk. About a half dozen hummingbirds were buzzing around us and it was just real nice. We were in a gooooood place. The man retired for the night and we sat on his lawn in chairs, watching the sun set, drinking a third beer each, stuffing our faces and enjoying.

Honestly, sometimes this trip really blows. Biking sucks, and it's hot and you're dirty and yea. I just sucks. And sometimes you're sitting on a man's lawn, drinking his beer, eating treats, looking up at the big sky seeing a billion stars and there's nothing you'd rather be doing. Those moments make the horror worth while.

At about midnight we started packing up in the trailer. It was no Luxury Suites, but it did the trick. We were off the ground, it was easy. We slept like babies.



Trip Summary
Day's mileage- 63.87
Total mileage- 584.91

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

To Arrest Or Not To Arrest, This Was The Question

Tuesday, June 17th. More steaming tents. God it's pretty unbearable in the morning. At least no bears came in the night. We woke up and got a surprisingly quick start, breaking down camp quick-like. As we were finishing up, some people started to come to the campgrounds. I went over and started talking to them and using my limitless charisma talked them into giving us some bottled water. Much better than our purified stream crap. I also discovered an ingenious way of cleaning my tent. Look-


video

We hit the road and about three miles down the road we came across a nice little country store. We stopped off and actually found two fellow cyclist right outside. An elderly couple who I can't recall the names of, but they had started out on the west coast as well, Oregon I believe, and were heading to Maine. Good luck to them. Too much for me.

So we shopped at the store, feeling silly for purifying water when we could had just came here last night. We decided to get a home made loaf of bread, a pound of turkey, and a half pound of swiss cheese. Divine!~ We both ate four sandwiches and were so stuffed we couldn't move. So we didn't. We just sat there. For hours. Literally like 3 or 4 hours. And did nothing but talk to kindly old people who wandered past. Pretty though eh? I felt like an old man. Nothing to do but sit on the porch and just watch. Somehow the time really does fly by.

We did meet a very nice couple though. I can't recall the gentleman's name but the wife's was Mona, who apparently was a author I do believe. We sat on the porch and discussed how they had lived in Motana for 60 or 70 years, until they recently had to move to Washington. She was quite the lady, apparently had been known to spot deer outside their window and just gun 'em down herself to feed the kids. It was interesting to hear how people used to live off the land in many ways back in the day. Thanks for the chat you two. Eventually though, we did digest and headed off down the road.

We biked a whole bunch. Nothing too exciting. They have these signs all over Montana though. Kinda interesting. I've never seen one above "low" though....



We stopped and had a mid-afternoon snack on this gorgeous lake. The wind was blowing hard, cooling us, and we just sat there watching a family boat and tube all over the place. So peaceful and gorgeous...



It's odd in Montana. Things are kinda huge. We were heading down this pretty flat pass, but about a half mile off to each side were some decent sized mountains. I had never really seen anything like it in my life. I think probably one of my favorite places on this whole trip was this large valley just surrounded by mountains. The picture does it no justice. It was just so... pure. Simply. Old rustic buildings in some middle of no where field. I wish I could had stayed and just absorbed it for a bit longer...

Toward the end of the night we stopped at a little shop where a father was working while his daughter accompanied him patiently. Again- odd. Things are different out there. If I was that kid I'd of been annoyed, wanting to go do something or have some fun. She just seemed so happy, so innocent. She sat there and talked and talked to us like it was the most fun thing in the world. She was absolutely adorable. We bought a few things from her father, and contemplated buying some beef jerky. Mmm the idea just made us salivate, but we decided against it in honor of our remarkable cheapness. As I stepped outside to take a picture of their horse with a majorly messed up back, the little girl came running out with a bag of beef jerk in hand... "Here, my Pa said you could have this!" It's amazing how much joy some dehydrated flesh can bring to men. We were beyond elated.

Not too long after we hit our 500th mile! Woo hoo!


Milestone 5 of 35ish.

We made it to the next town, which I believe was on an Indian Reservation, due to the absurd amount of Casinos on the property and had a bite to eat. We were saving our store food for later that night. Hardly an amazing meal, but one of the workers told us of another National Forest Campsite about 5 miles down the road, and 2 miles north. Granted- two miles in the wrong direction didn't sound fun, but a free stay sounded great. We packed up and headed for camp.

Let me tell you, he was wrong. Two miles off the road? Try four. Now, to most of you, four miles doesn't sound bad. But on a bike it's a bit more. And this was downhill. Very nice for the end of the night, but it just meant we'd have to wake up an bike uphill four miles for a half an hour. I was PISSED. We did get a free place though.

When we got to the site I was surprised to find other people there. We were somewhat excited because I was pretty sure I could charm my way into some free food off the fellow campers. We went and started setting up camp when one of our two neighbors stumbled over. The guy was nice and very talkative, but it quickly became apparent he was drunk, and in less than perfect spirits. He kept talking about how he was the "fuck up of his family" and frankly.. it concerned myself a fair bit. I didn't know if he was going to get belligerent an try something or what. Josh too got the vibe. All we wanted was for him to leave, but he simply wouldn't. Eventually, probably after an hour, he went back to his truck to drink more alone. The two of us enjoyed our jerky in peace, but the thoughts of a wasted man wandering over to our campsite during the night kept creeping through my head. What if he had a knife? What if he had a gun? I quickly pocketed my mace and put my rape whistle/knife on.

We went to lay in bed when we heard a car engine start. Then saw headlights coming in our direction. The drunk bastard was in his car! And driving! Our tent was a mere 3 feet from the road, and visions of being pinned under his tired raced. "Fuck, what do I do!?" We didn't have many options, by the time we got ready to jump out of the tent he had skillfully DUI'd his way past our tent. We eventually got out and moved out tent behind a tree so we at least had some protection in case he returned. I was conflicted. Do I call the police or do I not? I mean he was wasted beyond belief. Eventually Josh talked me into not doing it. I still don't know. I hope he didn't hurt someone, or I don't know what I'd think. Poor guy. Get some help.

But that was that, we slept safely behind our tree and drunko-johnson never returned.

Trip Summary
Day's mileage- 55.32
Total mileage- 521.04

Insert Witty Title Here

Monday, June 16th. Josh woke up before me and actually let me sleep. How kind. He got some stuff ready, pulled the food from the tree and sat peacefully updating his notebook (a lesser version of my amazing blog). I woke up about a half hour later, refreshed. Doesn't Josh look so peaceful writing away? How cute.

We got a moderately early start and headed north toward the next town on our path- Sandpoint. On the way we ran into this cool old man who rides his bike around town getting groceries and whatnot. I'm jealous of his helmet mirror. The road into Sandpoint also had a really cool bridge. Like a mile long or more over this pretty scenic view. I took a buncha pics and a video, but I won't bore you with it all. Hell, half of you won't even know it existed because you only look at the pictures and don't read this!

Sandpoint was a nice little town. About 8000 people, and very biker conscious. There were bike paths everywhere, and nice wide shoulders. Definitely a very affluent and rich town- probably the richest one we've been to yet. Josh had finally decided it was time to ship some gear home so we went to the post office and Josh took about 47 hours to go through all his gear and mail home ~15 pounds of gear. A smart move on his part. I also mailed home ~4 pounds of gear. Nothing major.

We wandered over to a nice little pizza place and bought a delicious pizza. The employee thought we couldn't handle a 16'' pizza ourselves. She was greatly mistaken. Do not underestimate my stomach woman! Afterward Josh spent 47 more hours in the hardware store. I layed under a tree, digested, and made phone calls. It was really nice.

I met a pretty nice man while running a few errands. A real pleasant man named Lou. Classy man, let me tell you. Definitely retired. Definitely rich out of his mind. He offered us a place to stay for the night, and for the first time ever we had to turn him down- only because we had only biked 15ish miles for the day I believe. So anyway, we left Sandpoint heading southeast on highway 200 toward Missoula.

The ride was pretty uneventful. We biked, the scenery was pretty cool. A nice winding river and some shear cliffs. Take a look...




We met a really weird man as we turned the finally bends of the lake. I don't recall his name but he was a reverend from Germany. Now, before everyone goes off on me for going off on a reverend, hear me out! So I meet this guy, and he just had a weird vibe. Very... in your face, tell you how it should be before he even knew what was going on. Giving me directions, telling me how to bike what to see. Alright, granted he seemed like a more seasoned biker than I, but I knew what I was after on this trip. Turns out this guy had been biking for FIFTEEN years. Yes, biking since like 1990. Absurdity. He had nearly 200,000 miles on his bike and was heading the same direction as us. I dunno though, I just had a weird vibe. You'd think a man who'd biked so much would be a bit more in shape and capable. I mean we literally blasted past the poor man on the road, and I was in no grand shape myself. I dunno. He had the helmet strap tanline to prove his proficiency... I just had a bad feeling about it all.

So anyway, we biked about another 40 miles and came across a beautiful sight, one that came unexpectedly soon...



A whole freaking time zone! Go us! We're so damn good. Little did we know, this was also the Montana border. Apparently the Big Sky State just doesn't like to announce it's existence. Save time zone signs.

About another 3 miles down the road we came to a National Forest campgrounds. Josh was eager to push on for the day- wanting a place to find water. I figured there'd be water at the site and since it was nearly 7 I talked him into camping there for the night. Total. Worth. It. First off, some important information to anyone in the West... National Forest are FREE campsites. No charges. Period. Now, there was no water, but we purified a creek and that worked. Let me tell you though, it was the perfect campsite beyond that. This gorgeous lake, and Josh and myself make Spaghetti O's sandwiches. Mmmm.

We set up camp and slept uncomfortably close to each other. Like usual. Welcome to Montana. Good night.

Trip Summary
Day's mileage- 59.72
Total mileage- 465.72