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






It is pouring and the World Cup is on. Perfect day to rest.

Yesterday, as I was biking up a hill, a heard a car slowly driving behind me but not passing me. It was a double yellow line, but it definitely was safe to pass me. Finally I turned around and saw they had a camera out their window taking a picture of me. Wow, I’m famous! They probably want my autograph too. Then I turned around again and realized they weren’t taking a picture of me and I looked 100 yards to my right and there was a moose! I grabbed my camera, but the moose ran away. The family pulled up next to me and apologized for spooking the moose. I asked if they would email me the pictures they took. The wife asked for my email but the husband said he had to move because there was a car behind. So they drove off.

I continued cycling up the hill and when I reached the top I saw the family parked up ahead waiting for me! Unbelievable. I gave them my info and Lori Ann Orcutt (originally from New Rochelle) sent me the pics below!

So I ended yesterday’s blog with “things are looking better”. Well they really were. Jon Cohan’s friend Joel Lockwood picked me up in town and brought me to his house. This was a major change of scenery for me. See pictures below of the view from their house and a pic of their house. Joel and his wife Gaye set me up in their guest house and then took me to their golf club for dinner! I told them I’m staying for the month!

This morning Gaye made me waffles with chocolate chips and huckleberries! Delicious! Huckleberries are prized possessions out here. They only grow wild in the woods. No one has figured out how to grow them. So people are very proud of how many huckleberries they pick. And they dish them out very sparingly!

Tomorrow I will attempt to cycle up Going to the Sun Road








Whitefish MT to Lake McDonald MT
87 miles
Travel Time 12 hrs
Saddle time 7:15
8586 ft climbed

You don’t have to bike here, but you must come to Glacier National Park. Today I only got a small taste of it, but it is spectacular!

I started off early. As difficult as it was to leave The Lockwood Chalet, I just couldn’t sleep because I was anxious not knowing what the story was with climbing Going to the Sun Road. I know it is closed at some pt, and I won’t be able to do the route that takes you thru the park, up into Canada and then back into MT. But I had heard you could still bike GTS road to the top, Logan’s Pass, and then turn around and retrace your route out of the park. The people at the bike store had said you can go up after the snow plow team leaves around 5, but I couldn’t get confirm on this. So I biked 30 miles to the entrance of the park.
The rangers at the entrance said the road is closed at Avalanche, which is at base of mtn. He also reminded me that cyclists had to be off GTS between 11-4. I biked into park and stopped at the Lake McDonald lodge to see if I could get the straight scoop from someone that would know the reality. I accosted a cool looking young maintenance dude and he said you can bike past Avalanche all the way up to The Loop (halfway up), but he wasn’t sure about past that. He also informed me that the park was now allowing their shuttle buses to go past Avalanche up to The Loop to drop off tourists. It was 10:15 and I knew I could get to Avalanche by 11 and I hoped they would let me continue cycling by since the only vehicles on rd would be their shuttles.
I got to Avalanche and they let me by, but the ranger said I would have to stop at the loop. I went a couple hundred yards up the road and pulled over to eat lunch. I also hid my panniers and xs stuff in the woods to get it on my return. I packed warm clothing for the climb and descent and I kept all my food with me (lesson learned from Soggy Duck trip #20, Texas- Colorado River ).
I biked up to the loop and saw that when the tourists got off the vans, many were hiking up the road further. So I biked right by and kept climbing. It was amazing. Except for a few hikers, there was no one else on the mtn. I was climbing climbing climbing and I had the whole road to myself. And it was a good thing because I don’t like heights and this was a very narrow road with almost no railing on the cliff side. And with no one on the road I could stop and take pictures when I wanted. All the vista points were empty. It was surreal. But then I went around a turn I hit a brick wall.
About 3/4 up the mtn there was a sign that stopped everyone. You could see the road construction happening up above and this is where you had to stop.
I was standing there alone for about a minute when a ranger pulled up and asked if I had hid my gear down by Avalanche. I guess I didn’t do a good job camouflaging it. He had the gear with him, so since I was going to go downhill from here, I took all my stuff back. But while he was there I asked him about the rumors I had heard that after 5 I could bike past these signs to the pass. He called on his radio but couldn’t get an answer, but he did say he thinks that is true. So it was 1 pm and I had to decide what to do.
I sat and rested and figured I had come this far, I would just wait it out. I couldn’t let Libbie and Ron Cypers down. So I sat down on the side of the road and started studying my maps for the next few days travel.
A little while later a family showed up and also a retired couple. And a bit after that, one of the construction guys drove down. He confirmed that when they are done, they remove the sign and we are good to go. He also said they usually end around 3:30.
The father of the family was a mailman, and just like Cliffy, he knew everything. So he educated the rest of us on the mtn ranges around us, and we all told stories until 3:30 when we were good to go. They started walking and I cycled past them. It was an unbelievable feeling knowing I was the only one climbing to the top of this famous pass. While the visibility was getting worse, I still would prefer this experience over a crowded sunny summer day. As I climbed the snow banks got higher and higher. Rock debris became more and more frequent in the road. And visibility was dropping to a few hundred feet. And there was no railing now, because the crews remove them for snow plowing. I was starting to think that doing this solo was stupid. I started going over in my head the 127 hour movie. I had left my surplus gear at that last stop with a note about where I was going, and I really started wondering whether that would be the last evidence of me. I’m not trying to be over dramatic, but I started realizing that something could go wrong with my bike, or there could be another avalanche, and Cliffy had said we would see lots of wild animals at the top. I was not feeling comfortable, but I pushed on.
I finally made the pass (6,646 ft) just as the rain started coming hard. I quickly changed into dry clothing to keep me warm for the descent and I headed down. Now the wind really picked up, the rain was pelting me, and I was heading fast (not too fast) down around these turns. I kept hoping I would catch up to the other groups quickly. It turns out, they all turned around when the rain hit, but I finally did catch up to them. And the lower and lower I got, the warner it was and the rain disappeared.
I made it to my gear, reloaded it on my bike and decided I deserved to stay at the Lake McDonald Lodge. I got the last room (really) and quickly took a very hot shower
There is very weak wifi here and no cell service. I don’t even know if this post will go thru, but I know I can’t send the great pics from today. Sorry, but you will have to wait.
Tomorrow I will go over Marias Pass which will be the last of the Rockies and the last of major hills until PA

From my phone to support my story

I don’t know how many pictures I can upload at a time. This grouping will show my trip up the mtn. The next set will be the summit and trip down.
Note the lack of railings and the railing parts stacked up to be installed. Also the tall sticks are for the snow plows to know the edges of the road
















Lake Macdonald MT to East Glacier MT
64 miles
Travel time 6hrs
Saddle Time 5hrs

“What do you do when it rains” is a more frequent question than I would expect. But the answer is obviously, you get wet and you pedal. Today’s ride was all cold wet rain. I decided not to take any major stops and just push through to the end so I could take a hot shower. My warm shower opportunity was out of town so I’m staying at as motel that advertised strong wifi, so that I could send yesterday’s pictures. I’m writing this to you now as I sit at the RV laundromat cleaning and DRYING my clothes.
The picture of the hotel is the Lodge I rewarded myself with last night, which included a steak dinner and a buffet breakfast.
My ride for these next few days is called the High Line because it follows the trail line.

A few short stories from the last few days:
1) the Bike shop in Whitefish was unable to fix a little shake in my back wheel. They said because it is a custom wheel (extra spokes) I probably need a new wheel. I put them on the phone with Paulo from Julio’s bike store in Chappaqua. Paulo answered their questions and the bike store said they couldn’t do it without a special parts order. I called Paulo back after I left the shop and he said it isn’t as complicated as they said and if the bike was in his hands, he could fix it. I was meeting Joel Lockwood at another bike store in town so I had Paulo speak with that store owner, and the next day the problem was solved.

2) I got an email from a Lehigh classmate of mine, Eric Galcher, that he had read about my journey in the alumni bulletin. He checked out my blog and determined he would be at his vacation home in Whitefish the same time as me. We met for beers at a small new micro brewery

3) I had some good karma going my way this morning. As I was biking towards the exit of the park, I saw another cyclist coming the other direction. We met right at the intersection of two roads. We did the standard chit chat and then we headed off. But we were going to the same exit, but going in different directions. We discussed it and since he had slept right next to that intersection, I trusted his judgement. He was correct. I had forgotten that I had made a right turn when entering the park. If he hadn’t been riding by at that moment, I would have gone a mile in wrong direction!

4) today I crossed the continental divide leaving the Rockies behind me. Now all I have to is get into a tuck position and go downhill to the Atlantic Ocean! It was amazing how the landscape changed immediately after passing the continental divide. New types of trees, new rock formations, new lolling hills, and Native Americans!

I have stopped at East Glacier even though I could have gone a little further. The next town, Browning, has a bad reputation and multiple people have told me not to stop there. The town after that is 50 miles. Too much for me on a rainy day. Hope to hit Harlem MT in next two or three days.