All posts for the day June 25th, 2014

Libby MT to Eureka MT
73 miles
Travel Time 9 hrs
Saddle Time. 5:45

Before I tell you about today, one more story about yesterday. Around 2pm I pulled into a rest area to eat lunch. It was nice clean area, with a manicured lawn, picnic tables, bathrooms, water fountain. Perfect. Except, I didn’t notice the large 18 wheeler parked on other side of parking lot. Well as soon as I sat down, a stench overwhelmed me. Sure enough, the truck was stacked with three levels of pigs heading to slaughter. Thank god the truck took off relatively soon after I sat down!

Today started off great with a big plate of huckleberry flap jacks at the Libby Deli. Plus the waitress was really nice and her husband just retired from selling insurance. But the day quickly turned sour

As soon as I started cycling, my left knee started acting up again. I couldn’t pedal with that leg without pain. But if I stood up, like when riding up a hill, it didn’t bother me. I was kicking myself for not buying anti -inflammatory medicine when in town. I decided not to take the AC recommended scenic route because if I stayed on the main route I would hit a marina in 25 miles. It would be the only stop on this ride, and cyclist Mike from yesterday had told me they served decent food and had a store. Perfect breakfast stop.

At about 20 miles I passed a camp ground where I pulled in thinking they might have a store. The manager told me they didn’t have a store but she gave me three Aleve tablets. An hour later the pain was gone.

At the campsite I met Al, a cyclist who I had heard about over the last week. She was known for going really slow, averaging 5mph and doing 50 miles a day. She told me today she was going to take a short day and bike 6 miles to the campground at the marina for the day. Her blog is BigAlbucketlistride.

As I biked DOWN the steep long driveway to the marina, I was thinking this better be worth it. Sure enough, it wasn’t. The restaurant wasn’t open yet! I bought some Advil at the store and biked back up to the main rd

The route was beautiful. It basically followed Lake Koocanusa the whole way. This 90 mile lake was created in 1975 when the Libby dam was built and Kooteney River turned into a lake that extends between both Canada and USA. The lake was named by a local school girl during a contest. She took the letters from the name of the river and the two countries. I learned this fact from a retired German couple traveling thru the states. They learned it from Wikipedia!

I arrived in Eureka around 3 but before going to the warm showers home of Michele and Greg, I sat in a park and got on a business conf call. While on the phone I saw another touring cyclist bike by, and it looked like he turned down the street I was headed to. Well 61 yr old Dennis from Boston was staying at the same house. He is biking from Canada to Mexico along the Continental Divide, a two month trip. He and I went to dinner together and he told me stories of his many previous bike journeys, including one around the world.

I was going to take tomorrow off to rest the knee, but I don’t know if this is the right place to rest. I think I will try to make it to Whitefish Mt to rest.










Eureka MT to Whitefish MT
52 miles
Travel Time 5 1/2 hrs
Saddle Time 4 1/2 hrs

Last night Denis had brought up biking together this morning since we would be on the same road for first 9 miles. But I got up at 5:15 and when he woke up he mentioned that he wanted to wait until 7 when grocery store opened because he would be riding in wilderness for next three days. I told him I wanted to get going, so I blew him off. So much for me spending time with new people on this journey!
I took three Advil with breakfast but as soon as I started riding, my knee started acting up. It only hurts when I pedal. I kept rethinking my decision not to stay for a rest day in this comfortable house, next to a decent town, with a host who is doctor! But I pedaled on. We had checked on line and the snow storm from last week had dumped three ft of snow on Going to Sun road, followed by avalanches. No one knows when they will open the pass. I wanted to get as close to there as possible to hear from the locals the real story. There is another route around this mtn, but I would really like to climb this peak.
I passed some cyclist coming the other direction, heading to Alaska. They suggested staying in Whitefish because it is a great town and has a bunch of warm shower hosts. I figured I would get there and make a decision of holding up in this nicer town, or going the extra 40 miles to base of the mtn.

I was going to make the call once I spoke to the people at Glacier Cycling. This bike store was started by a cyclist who was going xcountry 20 yrs ago and just stopped here because it was too beautiful to go on. I also had my friend Marc ship me his back up battery charger to this store, since mine has been acting up. And I was going to discuss tires with these guys.
Well, 5 miles outside of town I get a text from my childhood best friend, Jon Cohan who lives in CA. He had been following my blog and he offered up whether I wanted to stay with his friends in Whitefish. Well that made the decision easier!
I got my package at Glacier cycling and had them replace my back tire which had worn down a lot carrying my extra load. (Luggage!). I’m saving the old one as a back up and I gave the wrong size spare I had been carrying to the guys in the shop. They are also tuning my bike.
I also learned from these local bike addicts that you are allowed to bike to the summit of the mtn after 6 pm when the snow clearing teams aren’t working. You just can’t continue on down the other side! Things are looking better!

Pics include Denis and hosts hanging talking cycling and pic of the park where I sat and had my conf call