31 Jul 2010, 8:19pm
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tetons, togwotee, thunderstorms, oh my!

curled up in my tent while the storm moves in. a.’s at a lecture at the local history museum, but i ran home when the wind whipped up ’cause i’d left some laundry draped on a picnic table. we spent the day in dubois, wyoming–been here since yesterday evening. we’re ahead of schedule (due to a route change–we’re gonna ride to boulder and possibly denver, via rocky mountain national park and trail ridge road, over the highest paved pass in north america, or something like that) so we’re taking it really easy… we’re actually planning to spend two(!) days in lander after we get there tomorrow evening. i want to maybe go horseback riding and/or river rafting. depending on the weather, i guess. the storms seem to only come in at night.

all right–grand teton national park–

there’s a spur on our route to jackson, wyoming, for those who want to see more of the park and check out jackson. we planned on taking it, and then i lost our park pass (whoops), so we would’ve had trouble getting back in without paying again once we went out to jackson. then we planned on going partway down the spur, to moose or jenny lake (both still in the park). then we stopped to buy some food and make some lunch at colter bay, less than 40 miles from grant village, where we’d spent the previous night, and met some awesome westbounders, nick and mac. we ended up sharing a campground with them and their loose group of fellow travelers. mac is also carrying a ukulele! but as she put it to someone else who asked her, “after a long day of riding you mostly just want to make dinner and go to bed.” may or may not send our uke home with a. when he leaves. it might be nice company when i’m solo.

anyway, had a fun evening hanging out with them and their friends, and set off in the morning for dubois, skipping the spur entirely. obviously in retrospect we had plenty of time to ride some of it, but it’s nice to be taking it easy, too. when we got to west yellowstone, i was so very very tired–an easier week or so = awesome. we saw some gorgeous views of the tetons anyway.

(a., nick, mac, rich)


there was a badly-organized indian arts museum in colter bay, with a little bit of noble savage stuff goin’ on in the descriptive blurbs. i have a lot of thinkings saved up about imperialism and stuff that i might write about after a. leaves and i have all kinds of time alone with my thoughts and my netbook. they did also have a little craft demonstration area, with indian artisans working on pieces and offering them for sale. there was a woman there who was weaving. i really enjoyed watching her work.


finally we left the tetons behind us and began the climb up to togwotee pass. first we stopped at a ranger station to fill our water bottles, and two rangers there were chatting about the grizzly attack in yellowstone. a. asked, “does that kind of thing happen often?” and the ranger said no, but proceeded to nonchalantly scare the shit out of us anyway with various tales of attacks and maulings. off we headed into the woods.

this was our longest climb since mckenzie pass, but it wasn’t too steep. after we got to the top, we ran into construction, and we actually had to ride in the back of a pilot truck down a few miles. totally unfair! nick and mac had told us about the construction–they’d gotten a ride UP the mountain, and got to coast on their bikes down! it was kind of fun anyway to bounce along in the back of a pick-up truck (brought back fond memories of puna).

we still got to ride fast all the way into dubois.

ate an entire 16″ pizza (really yummy! at a place called paya), played with the puppy staying at the campsite next to ours, did laundry, went to bed. did not set an alarm! woke up early anyway. darn it.

today we visited the “FREE JACKALOPE EXHIBIT” at a local gas station/general store,

(note the taxidermied jackalope droppings as well)

(take home your very own jackalope trophy!)

the dubois museum,

(that is a needlepoint diagram of layers of rock formation in the dubois area!)

and the national bighorn sheep interpretive center. also wandered around town:

(coolest drinking fountain ever?)

(hopefully the closest i come to getting mauled by a bear)

that’s all she wrote (tonight). see you in lander!

p.s. my friend lauren in puna let me know today that pele (via kilauea) has swallowed up fox’s landing, the little beach where i spent a magical, healing day two years ago. i’m grateful to pele for letting me take what i needed from that sacred place before she took it back. it seems fitting (if sad) that i will never go back again. to the island, though–yes!

31 Jul 2010, 8:41am
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previously on big bike adventure

we left our adventurers (that’s us!) in jackson, montana, where they soaked in a hot pool and mingled with locals. in the morning they headed out again–destination: twin bridges!

we stopped in dillon for lunch.

(the university of montana western)

(we’ve seen this kind of anti-meth mural all over towns since eastern oregon. the usual tagline is “meth: not even once.” often accompanied by before-and-after paintings of emaciated bodies and so on)

and onward:

(sculptures at a little roadside display about wildlife and lewis & clark and so on, in front of beaverhead rock)

twin bridges, it turns out, cares about bicyclists!

enough that they’ve created twin bridges bike camp in the city park, with a little indoor space and a shower and a bathroom and even a repair stand!

it was the biggest weekend of the year in town, with some kind of festival going on and all kinds of graduates from the high school home for a reunion. we arrived too late for most of the festivities, but everyone was happy and friendly and the town was really lively. in the morning we got breakfast at a great little outdoor coffeeshop called jumping rainbow, and then set off again.

nevada & virginia cities–
nevada city used to be a mining town, i think, but is not much of a town anymore at all. sometime in the 60s, a couple began collecting old buildings from around the state and putting them in nevada city, so now it’s a sort of sprawling history museum. they’ve even hired some folks to dress up in period clothes and hang out in the buildings. three dudes got to sit in the saloon playing cards while tourists posed at their table… not a bad gig!

(this building was not actually part of the museum-type-thing, and appeared to maybe be a private residence)

(another thing i’ve learned about on this trip–there were lots of chinese living in most of these little mining towns! in eastern oregon at least, they mostly all returned to china. even remains were dug up and sent to china)

the coolest building in nevada city was definitely the music hall, which was full of old music machines in various states of repair and disrepair. many of them worked and accepted quarters.

(a. conducts a mechanical orchestra)

(this machine played the violin… sort of)

between nevada & virginia cities (about a mile of road)–

virginia city is the old capital of montana territory. now it’s a sort of kitschy tourist town, where you can take a stagecoach or horseback ride, buy souvenirs at “trading posts,” and so on. we had a nice lunch and wandered around for several hours, waiting out the heat. i had double chocolate orange ice cream–yum!


also, any ideas what this window is all about? the juxtaposition of the words with the photos of indians below them seems painfully ironic (also hey i am reading bury my heart at wounded knee right now), and it didn’t seem intentional… the same store was hung with army, navy, marines flags and so on. jeez.

it was pretty late in the afternoon by the time we started climbing up the pass between virginia city and eniss. we’d planned originally to go further than eniss, but the heat beat us.

(a. beat me to the top)

outside of town we passed this herd of pronghorn antelope. all the females bolted a few meters away when we passed, and the male turned and stared at us until we moved on.

the sun was setting by the time we got to town.

we settled in for the night, made dinner, and the next morning headed off to west yellowstone. the day was mostly cool and overcast, but it never rained. perfect weather for a 70-mile slightly-uphill day!

(”say cheese!”)


(one of my favorite roadside signs yet, just for the last sentence. but if bridger was the one who knew where the pass was, why did they name it after raynolds?)

in 1959 there was an enormous earthquake that caused a huge landslide, killed a couple dozen campers, created a new lake (the aptly named earthquake lake), shook up and changed a lot of yellowstone’s geothermal features, and generally wreaked havoc. a year after the quake, the madison river earthquake area was created to commemorate it, and they built a visitor center overlooking earthquake lake and so on (complete with hourly showings of a really sensationalistic little video, with minor key accompaniment for the ominous bits). but when you’re riding in and you pass this sign, it’s a little inexplicable–

though there apparently are enormous numbers of tiny earthquakes occuring all the time in yellowstone.

(earthquake lake)

(a., with the slide behind him)

(trees that were drowned when the lake was created)

and, finally, in west yellowstone–

30 Jul 2010, 9:59pm
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special yellowstone edition

written july 29th

slow glowing: big bike adventure: national parks edition!

(we were not eaten by bears!)

right, so, i am actually going to skip forward in the narrative to our arrival at yellowstone national park. (missing highlights, to be covered when i have time: twin bridges bike camp, nevada & virginia cities, our sunset ride into eniss, a herd of pronghorn antelopes.)

we rode 70-some miles on monday, from eniss to west yellowstone, where we’d reserved a room in a hostel. in the morning we managed to rent a car and we headed into the park to see all the things we wouldn’t see on our bike route through it. the main roads in the park are laid out in a figure-eight, and our bike route would take us partway through the lower loop, so we drove the upper loop. oh, first i bought new shoes. the sneakers i brought on this trip–which, incidentally, i bought in europe after the boots i’d brought on that trip fell apart–had pretty much fallen apart, so i traded them in for a pair of sandals. a.’s been biking in sandals this whole time and i have been sort of jealous.

(dusty feet)
(can’t wait for my awesome tan lines)

fascinating, i know. ok, here’s some cool stuff (and some pretty stuff):

and this was one of my favorite things to take photos of–mammoth hot springs–

we also saw a widdle baby bear! much less scary from the safety of a big metal box.

(photo by a. out the passenger window)

we saw the bear cub when the car in front of us slowed way down and stopped to watch it. a car going the other direction had stopped as well, and when we started going again, we passed a good fifty poor motorists stuck behind them. yesterday morning, we biked past a huge line of cars until finally we passed a park ranger waving people onwards. we asked him what the hold-up was and he shrugged his shoulders and said, “some elk.”

later on our car-rental day, when we were headed back towards west yellowstone, we saw an elk–in fact, it walked right in front of our car.

(photo by a.)


(tower falls. i have a funny story about this falls, from that creationist pamphlet i read in mitchell. apparently the exploring party who were naming all the things in yellowstone had this agreement to not name anything after themselves, family, lovers, etc. so they saw this falls and some of them suggested some names, and they voted and agreed on minaret falls. but later it came out that the dude who’d suggested the name had a girlfriend named minnie rett! so they voted again. too bad; minaret falls is a nicer name…)

we’d sort of planned to return the car in west yellowstone, pick up our bikes, and ride 14 miles into the park to camp. but driving through the park took longer than we thought it would (of course), and it was dark by the time we got into town and biking into the park in the dark seemed not only unpleasant but stupid. and, of course, the entire town was booked solid. everyone we asked said “oh yeah it’s tuesday night.” why is it always full on tuesday? “well i don’t know, that’s just the way it is.” The More You Know. we ended up paying ten bucks apiece to sleep on the couches in the living room of the hostel/hotel we’d stayed in the night before.

written july 30th

on wednesday morning we rode our bikes into the park. obviously we had entered wyoming the day before, but it didn’t count until we did it on our bikes:

biked our way through the park and stopped to see more awesome otherworldly geothermal wonders and pretty sights…

grand prismatic pool, my other favorite thing in the park to photograph–

and more–

we also saw old faithful erupt, of course–twice! when we first got there, a crowd was gathered for an eruption in 20 minutes or so, so we found a spot to watch and made some lunch.

then we wandered the general vicinity for awhile, and by the time we made it back near old faithful to collect our bikes, the geyser was due to erupt again!

in between we saw some other cool stuff (of course of course).

(this was one of my favorites; it was called spasmodic geyser)

and onward…

we crossed the continental divide two more times:

and once more the next morning:

we’ve since crossed it yet again on togwotee pass today (there was no sign!), so we’re currently on the eastern side, but i think we’ve got a few more crossings left.

it started raining on our way into grant village, were we camped for the night. the ranger who checked us in (by the way, did you know that in most national parks, cyclists are guaranteed space in campgrounds?) gave us the bear lecture and told us that a grizzly had been spotted in that campground the night before last. he didn’t tell us that a bear had killed a guy and mauled two other people in another campground in the park just the night before (true story), and for that i am glad. i would not have slept a wink.

we couldn’t bring ourselves to cook, so we bought a hot (and tasty) dinner about a mile away from our campsite. by the time we headed back, it was very dark and pouring. my fancy generator light system cut through the rain and lit it up in a beautiful surreal way. we crawled into our warm dry tent and held on ’til morning.

before i went to bed, i texted my mom (who had left a message or two asking me to call when i had a chance) about the rain and the grizzly, and told her (tongue in cheek!) i’d call her in the morning if i survived. when i did, she told me she’d actually googled yellowstone bear attacks and found the story about the previous night’s attack and been, for a moment, terrified.

anyway, in the morning we biked out of yellowstone and into grand teton national park. the views!

and so on.

national parks installment #2: grand teton–plus more–coming soon!

things to be afraid of (i have been warned by someone or other about all of these things. ok, most):

chasing dogs,
lightning strikes,
ill-intentioned people,
mechanical problems,
crashes, and

the difference between fear that says “step away” and fear that says “do this”… this fear says “do this.”

24 Jul 2010, 7:18am
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general delivery

ok, let’s try this.

send us something, if you want:

stacia torborg
general delivery
lander, wy 82520

write “hold for cyclist” somewhere on the envelope/postcard/package.

we’re planning on taking a rest day there so chances are we’ll be able to pick stuff up. send stuff soon and/or check with usps on how long it’ll take to get there–i think we’ll be there early in the week of august(!) 1st. something like that.

23 Jul 2010, 10:13pm
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bitterroot to big hole

writing to you from jackson, montana… not to be confused with jackson, wyoming, which we’ll also be going through sometime soon. i gotta do this more often because the longer i wait, the more photos i have to sort through (and upload on sluggish connections) and the more i gotta remember to write about! but for those of you sitting at your computers pressing refresh (right?), here’s an update on our whereabouts and howabouts (still figuring about the whyabouts, to be completely honest).

on wednesday morning in missoula we took our sweet time indeed. they have this thing on wednesdays with live music and a whole bunch of food carts in the park. we also went to the adventure cycling offices again, with our bikes, to get our photo taken for their enormous wall-o’-traveling-cyclists. this is just cyclists who’ve come through missoula this year:

here’s the photo we took for the wall (more or less):

at some ridiculous hour of the afternoon we finally left missoula behind us. from lolo to stevensville there was a bike path beside the highway, so we could ride side-by-side stress-free and (when traffic wasn’t too loud) have a nice conversation. we also got caught in our first thunderstorm! jeez, if i don’t get mauled by a bear, i’m gonna get struck by lightning, huh?

really we dried out pretty quickly, and the sky looked awesome.

there was “cyclist’s-only lodging” listed on our map in hamilton, which i think varies but is often just someone who enjoys hosting cyclists (a la warmshowers but a little more official). the host in hamilton was actually out of town, but she gave us the number of a friend of hers, betsy, who was willing to host us. we set up tent quite happily in her beautiful backyard just up a hill outside of town.

(a. took this photo in the morning while waiting for me to finish packing up my bike)

then in the morning it took us awhile to get out of hamilton, too. we went to the little county museum (i <3 little county museums) and then to a bike shop so a. could replace his front panniers--which were actually my old panniers, a christmas present several years ago, which i took on my first mini-tour to sammamish--which had split completely apart and were barely hanging on to the stuff he had in 'em. and then, of course, we had to stop at the bitterroot brewing company, which had been enthusiastically recommended to us by at least a few different people, and we drank two glasses each of delicious huckleberry wheat beer, and then we were sort of tipsy. so a few miles outside of town, when the short bike path heading south from hamilton ended, we hung out outside of a little shop for awhile before heading on again... at some ridiculous hour of the afternoon.

on the way into darby, we took a little detour along part of one of the alternate routes on our maps, a partly-unpaved road instead of the highway. the highway was gettin’ us down, and i wanted to see how i felt riding on gravel, ’cause i’m thinking about taking the katy trail across missouri if i can swing it. people keep telling me how awful the missouri ozarks are–not that pretty, tons of steep hills, hostile drivers. my favorite was the woman we met today (jan; see below) who said when i asked about it, “oh, i call it misery.” the katy trail is an unpaved rails-to-trails project that stretches pretty much across the whole state (i think). we’ll see. i think i would want to get wider tires with a little more tread.

(old darby road)

we stopped in darby at another old-ranger-station-turned-museum, and i learned (among other things) that smokey the bear was a real live actual bear who, when he was a cub, climbed up a tree during a human-caused forest fire, got serious burns on his feet, was rescued by firefighters, became a national icon, and lived out his life in the national zoo. his first name was “hotfoot.”

as we headed into the sapphire range, we saw lots of evidence of the major fire that swept through here in 2000…

we stopped for the night at lost trail hot springs, a little resort with camping and, yes, a hot springs. a swimming-pool-type hot springs, which seems to be a thing… belknap hot springs were like that, too, and the hot springs we are at tonight(!). anyway, this one was tucked away in the woods and pretty nice.

(disgusting cocktails though)

lost trail hot springs was halfway up the climb to lost trail pass, but the steep part was all this morning. on the way up, we met a solo woman cyclist, our very first!, from san franciso, who was on the lewis & clark trail. she told me not to worry about going it alone, that i’ll be fine and it’ll be awesome. here’s her blog: the world according to jan.

eventually we made it to the pass and had lunch at a rest area on the montana-idaho border (wait… we’re back at the border?). we met a cyclist from new york, rob, who’s on a national parks tour (aca’s “great parks” route). he was just finishing his lunch but we promised to meet him in jackson.

another mile up to chief joseph pass and our first crossing of the continental divide!

and then the lovely descent.

we stopped at big hole national battlefield. we’ve been reading and seeing a lot about the nez perce wars, in museums and visitor centers and on roadside signs, since we’ve been loosely following the nez perce trail since somewhere in idaho. big hole was the site of one of the big (the biggest?) battles of the war. here’s the really rough version: the nez perce signed a treaty with white settlers, establishing a reservation. some time later (i think just a few years), someone struck gold on indian land and there was a huge influx of settlers who overran the reservation. so the government wrote a new treaty that reduced the indians’ land by 90 freakin’ percent and claimed all the land that white miners had invaded for the whites. some of the nez perce signed it, but some refused. they were called “non-treaty” nez perce… and the government didn’t really mess with them for ten years. then they told ‘em they had to move to the reservation (in idaho). with the heaviest of hearts (can you even begin to fucking imagine), they started to, but some stupid warriors killed some stupid settlers to avenge an old wrong, and then a bunch of settlers decided to even the score (again), and some stupid shit went down (i am a little unclear on the details of this part, obviously) and the nez perce had to flee. so they headed over the mountains, pursued by the military and a bunch of civilian volunteers. they slipped around a roadblock and some other exciting stuff, and there was a battle at white bird (the hill we climbed in idaho). the nez perce made it to the bitterroot valley, where they negotiated peace with the settlers there, and made camp in big hole, where they planned to rest for a few days. many of them thought the war was over, but in fact they were still being pursued. and the next morning, the military (and, again, civilian volunteers) attacked at dawn. they fired rifles into tipis where men, women and children alike were asleep. the nez perce rallied, fought, retreated… both sides suffered losses. et cetera. there was a quote that sorta got me at the visitor center at the battlefield. from one of the military guys. loosely paraphrased: “we were ordered to fire into the tipis, which surely killed women and children, and then we entered the camp, but any brutality the men engaged in there was not ordered.” dear people of the world: orders don’t make brutality ok either, ok? christ. all right. anyway. the nez perce fled again. there was another battle and all but two leaders (joseph and white bird) were killed. some of them made it to canada, with white bird. the rest of them surrendered with chief joseph, and were sent to kansas for years before they were allowed to return to their wee tiny reservation in the northwest again. the end.

one thing i have been struggling with: how to reconcile my identity as an american and my love of this land (the american west, oh my god, everything ever said about it is true) with my understanding of its imperialist past and present. i could never belong anywhere else, but i’m not sure i belong here (america), either.

so. after that we rode to jackson. it was pretty flat in the big hole valley. windy off and on. pretty, but the mosquitoes were (are!) a nightmare.

(this hawk–or falcon? what do i know?–caught a rodent of some sort right as we were going by, and then dropped it and sat on this fence post looking sheepish at us)

(i think this sign is from back when the transam was the bikecentennial/bike route 76! first one i’ve seen)

there’s a band (haha, the same band that was playing in missoula on wednesday while we ate lunch) playing in the main lodge at jackson hot springs, and all of jackson seems to be here. i’ve had two well-meaning locals come ask me why i’m not dancing. maybe it’s time to get on it! who am i kidding; it’s way past bedtime. (posting this past midnight; not sure what time it’ll say i posted it.)


20 Jul 2010, 10:28pm
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big beautiful sky

sure is! at any rate it is a groovy little town. we’ve really enjoyed our time here. here’s the catch-up–

after white bird hill, we rolled into grangeville, idaho, and stopped for lunch. it was saturday at 11 and i was pretty excited to see this sign:

but i guess the farmers had all sold out and gone home, ’cause there were maybe three stalls selling crafts and that was it. bummer.

the kiwis caught up with us and we all got some lunch, then continued on.

(niel and adi’s bikes. photo by a.)

(looking down on the clearwater river)

(adi rollin’ along)

kooskia, idaho. like many of the small towns we’ve been through, it’s seen better days…

there was, though, a little natural foods store that sold reed’s ginger beer (our favorite!) and made real fruit smoothies. yum yummm. the kiwis got a motel room for the night and let us hang out with them for awhile until the evening started to cool things off a little bit.

from kooskia…

(oh boy oh boy!)

(we passed a bunch of houses on the other side of the river that looked to be accessible only by cables like these. we saw this one in action but i wasn’t quick enough with my camera. there was a gondola-type-thing that people rode in.)

we made it to syringa, where a lodge-type-place let us pitch our tent and sold us some milk with which to cook our morning granola. it’s so much better with milk.

(this is why it takes us an hour and a half to pack up camp every morning)

the next morning we started climbing.

the clearwater river really lived up to its name! there were all kinds of little side creeks leading into it and making pretty little rapids and waterfalls, too, but none of my photos of them turned out very well, i guess. at some point it became the lochsa river.

(we stopped to visit the historical lochsa ranger station, now a sort of museum. this was the root cellar.)

like i think i mentioned, we’d thought we might get to lolo pass, but we didn’t. instead we set out again the next morning–still pretty darn tired, to be honest–with thirteen miles to go to the summit and the state line.

at every mile marker we sang a little song that a. made up:

thirteen miles of climbing to go
thirteen miles to climb!
go up a hill,
oh what a thrill,
twelve more miles of climbing to go! (yay!)

eventually, of course, we made it. there was a little visitors’ center where we learned some more about lewis & clark and the nez perce–oh, history i have learned a lot about on this trip so far by reading roadside signs: the gold rush, mining, the oregon trail, lewis & clark, the nez perce indians, the lolo trail. ask me about it sometime.

and then, and then!

that’s right! we rode our effin’ bikes to effin’ montana!!

montana is funny. starting down the other side of the pass towards missoula on narrow winding route 12, we passed these two signs in quick succession:

just a thought, montana, but maybe lowering the speed limit might help reduce the number of little white crosses by the roadside?

after an ugly eight-mile stretch of busy highway and gravelly shoulder, we arrived in missoula. hurray!! we met our couchsurfing host, micah, and abandoned our bikes at his place to explore on foot.

(missoula is so cool there is whitewater kayaking right in the middle of the city! seriously, we were downtown when i took this photo.)

(folks watching the kayakers)

we wandered downtown, ate an amazing dinner at an asian fusion place, and then went to a bar/venue called top hat, where a portland(!) band was playing bluegrassy music. drank spiked huckleberry lemonade.

today we slept late and then went out for breakfast.

(it made me laugh)

as we were finishing up with breakfast, we saw adi and niel ride past! so we walked over to the adventure cycling offices, where we were sure we’d find them. we got to say hi to them one last time (their route takes them in a different direction after missoula) and also picked up a new tire for a. that my mom had sent there for us (thanks, mom!).

micah had left us a note inviting us to come visit the farm he works at, so when we finished at the aca offices we walked out there.

micah showed us around and harvested a few tasty carrots for us:

we fed the greens to the pigs:

(a. in the childrens’ double helix garden)

pretty awesome place. afterwards we walked downtown again, and found the hand-carved carousel in caras park–

(the ticket booth)

right next to the carousel building is a playground that reminded me so much of the playground i played on when i was tiny in carlisle, massachusetts (”the castle”) that i would swear they had the same designer. awesome. the castle didn’t have cool paint like this one though:

or musical instruments:

we got pizza for dinner and then went to see a political documentary at an arthouse theatre. and then we watched the sun set again.

we are a little sad to leave missoula, so we’re gonna take our sweet time tomorrow morning and maybe even stick around for lunch. but here’s the back side of that painted electrical box i posted at the top of this entry:

so i bet we’ve got some awesomeness ahead of us, too.

18 Jul 2010, 7:57pm
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white bird hill

long day today! a. and i were fantasizing about getting all the way to lolo hot springs (montana! and 90+ miles up and over a freakin’ mountain) but after 60-some miles of climbing we got really tired and crawled our way to this lodge place in powell, idaho, where we’ve treated ourselves to a room and a tasty dinner and some beer and huckleberry ice cream. we’ll go to montana tomorrow. we still biked more than 70 miles more or less uphill today.

we really are getting stronger. yesterday i ENJOYED the climb up white bird pass. it was such a lovely road, nice grade, pretty views, and just about zero traffic… but i never ever thought i’d enjoy an eleven-mile climb–thought it might get easier physically but never psychologically. i was still pleased when it was over, sure, but. maybe mckenzie pass really was the hardest part of our trip, just ’cause we were so much less prepared for it.

i’ll catch up on pictures from today when we’re in missoula, probably. in the meantime, here’s yesterday, starting with that gorgeous climb up white bird hill:

maybe i’ll just leave you with that for now. more to come. missoula will be time for us to catch up with ourselves, hopefully.

lots o’ love,



in wildlife sightings: we say a coyote trot across the road today!

in roadkill sightings: lots of snakes lately, and yesterday we saw our first domestic cat. what a terrible waste.