Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My second year ...

Poached camp spot above Lake Koocanusa (near Rexford, Montana).

I rode my bike from home to Eureka to Rexford down Lake Koocanusa to Libby to Kila up West Valley Road to Farm to Market, home. In three days. 222 miles. With the dog and gear in the trailer. The trailer is definitely nearing its retirement. I pulled a century on the third day -- 102 miles. I'm glad I didn't die. Traffic on Route 2 on Labor Day sucked, especially the closer I got to Kalis-hell (Kalispell). I'm glad I didn't flat the last day -- I was down to my third and final tube with 100+ miles to go when I realized I was without a patch kit (oddly, my first flat was two miles from my house and my second was on a three-block ride to the grocery store in Libby). Highlights of the trip included that valley south of Libby at nine a.m. (this included a ranch flying an American flag ... and a Steelers flag), watching "Waiting" in a hotel room in Libby (after an eight hour day in pouring rain and temperatures in the lower 50s, I needed to sit by a heater for the night, even if it was $65 ... ouch), getting caught skinny dipping in Lake Koocanusa by a 50-year-old woman (she looked sort of psyched, though), the cheese burger at the River Bend Bar, the cute hostess at McGregor Lake Lodge who seemed slightly impressed by me, and eating trail mix and pop-tarts and drinking Gatorade or Mike's Hard Lemonade for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for three days (burning 4,000+ calories a day is cool). I think Cody's favorite part was chasing squirrels near the lake; otherwise, he was no better than a kid in the backseat on the way to the beach, whining, "Are were there yet?!" Good times. Also, due to the weather and because, well, I just don't really like taking pictures, there is very little visual evidence of this trip.

My touring set up: a 'cross bike, no panniers, and a Burley trailer with the seat cut out.

It will pour and be about 50 degrees for the next fifty miles. It sort of sucked.

"Are we there yet?!"

Note: (Kootenai + Canada + USA) / "Somebody who's real clever" = Koocanusa