Sunday, July 11, 2010


Chris and I talked through day by day on our plane ride back (we are home now). I'll write some final thoughts in a final post. I will also upload more photos from a faster computer.

Everett – Skymonish

rainy & gray. Crash bent Chris's front wheel 5 miles in to ride. Skymonish is a federal super fund site so the whole town is getting dug up to clean the soil. Camped at a very old school.

Skymonish to Wenatchee

Long climb over Stevens Pass. Rainy on the east side, clear on the west. Snow on top of the pass. Cold, wet 11 mile descent. First glimpse of the Cascades at the bottom. Great riding along a river in the afternoon. Bought a new wheel in Wenatchee.

Wenatchee-Coulee Dam

Long, hot day at 103 miles. Nice riding with some of the staff (Megan, Eve, Chris). Great view of dam at end.

Coulee Dam to Spokane

Tough start with 3 mile climb before breakfast. Then another long climb. Rode along a busy road. Scenery was rolling green hills that were gorgeous at first, then got tedious. Nice ride through city park at end. Stayed in a dorm at night,

Spokane to Kellogg

Beautiful views of lake, saw 3 moose, 40 mile bike path with a tail wind. Camped at a school near a ski resort.

Kellogg to Thompson Falls

Climbed Thompson Pass – Long winding road to a lunch stop at the top. Great downhill. Bought milk shakes at shop in town. Great meal from the Elks. Bear was sighted near school in the evening. Showers at local swimming pool.

Thompson Falls to Missoula

Started out in a beautiful valley. Then long hot day on a busy, fast noisy road with a rough service. Mentally challenging. Ate Thai food at night, enjoyed walking through town.

Rest Day – Missoula

Chris rafted, Andrew shopped at REI, went to church, enjoyed Missoula

Missoula to Lincoln

Same busy road – route 2. Nice espresso bar at end. Student at school said best thing to do in town was try local beef jerky.

Lincoln to Townsend

Beautiful sunrise with rainbow. Hard wind at end of day – 20 mph head winds. Celebrated with cheers when we hit town sign, we were so glad to get out of wind. Storm at night.

Townsend to Ennis

Thunderstorm in morning. Just missed lightening bolt by a few hundred feet (heard air sizzle/pop). Chris got sick and took sag wagon. Met Anne at lunch. Chris was sleeping on school bench when I arrived. Got ice cream in Ennis, then got him chicken soup.

Ennis to West Yellowstone.

Chris rode sag wagon and enjoyed stories from Grant (staff). Saw earthquake lake. Lunch was up a steep hill. I felt sick all afternoon – maybe due to altitude (5000 feet). Tough head wind last ten miles.

West Yellowstone to Ashton

Took it easy so Chris could recover. Small town at end – nice coffee/wine bar. Middle school kids cooked dinner & breakfast – very slow. Road a scenic highway, saw Tetons first time, beautiful stop at Mesa Falls.

Ashton to Jackson

Rode through scenic potato fields. Great tailwind at start. Then incredible climb over Teton Pass – long tough struggle. First time I ever felt the need to stop on a hill climb – but didn't. Really out of breath. Fun but winding downhill (tight turns) into Jackson.

Jackson rest day

Anne, Nancy & Bonnie (Peace Corps friend from Montana) with us. Ate bagels at camp style. Drove through Tetons to Jenny lake. Boat across lake, then hike to falls was scenic. Slow service at pizza place at night. Slept at hotel in Jackson.

Jackson to Dubois

17 mile uphill. Several cyclists in Dubois as it is on Trans America Bike route. Anne saw us several times along route.

Dubois to Riverton

Bad coffee at breakfast – got espresso at local shop where the trans-america cyclists were stopping as well. Went out at night for nachos as dinner was so sparse.

Riverton to Worland

Easy day. Beautiful Wind River canyon ride at start – scenic rocks, cliffs, tunnels. Stopped at the Thermpolis hot springs after lunch. Chris rode with Scott at average of 20 mph for 100 miles.

Worland to Buffalo

Up over last set of hills – the Big Horn mountains. Rolling hills at start. 25 miles of uphill. Six miles of tar & chip sealant. Rocks got in derailleurs of two bikes and destroyed them. Lunch part way up to pass – then 5 more miles. Highest point on tour at 9666 feet. Next thirty miles had lots of rollers and was very hard – hills never stopped until final downhill last 5 miles.

Buffalo to Gilette

Rode interstate 90 fifty miles. Seemed strange to do that, but it was also safer with wide shoulders. Before lunch was great with wind,cool weather. Then it got hot and got tired of road. Chris and I rode hard (22 mph) before lunch. Then he took off afterward and was first to camp. Went to coffee shop in Gillette for afternoon.

Gillette to Devils Tower

easy, pleasant day. Parade at picnic. Nice ride with Nathan. Devils Tower at end – strange formation. Great downhill into Devils Tower. Showered and got ride to Rapid City.

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