Harlowton

Shortly after starting biking this morning it started snowing! It was a rather cold and dreary day and didn’t get above 40 degrees until about 3 pm. I finally pulled out my winter hat and I wore my sweatpants and another sweater while riding, Just to keep warm.

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Another Cold and Windy Day

The first half of the Day went rather slowly, but shortly afternoon, I managed to get a decent tailwind!

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There were a ton of little lakes

I think I am almost out of the mountain area, as while they are still visible, the distance between them has increased significantly, and I no longer have mile long ascents and descents! Tomorrow I have less than 800 ft of climb!

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The land is getting slightly more flat!

I had to unfortunately call my day a bit short, (50 rather than 70 miles) due to an old knee injury acting up, and the promise of weather that was colder than my sleeping bag was rated for. Luckily, tomorrow looks to be much warmer!

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Unfortunately the Milwaukee Museum was closed!

 

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Staying in Harlowton!

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1000 miles down!

Lots of gorgeous horses

I made a mistake in my routing and yesterday I had over 30 miles of dirt/mud roads. I was about 20 miles short of my goal, due to having to change my route to get on paved roads.

Forest!

The dirt roads had beautiful scenery, and a lot of log cabins.

Random wood circles

I luckily was rescued in the last 5 miles of dirt roads after my wheels stopped spinning due to too much mud in my fenders. I feel bad for making my rescuer’s car a mess as it was full of Mud afterwards.

The road up the mountain, was too muddy to bike, so I did a bunch of walking

Cute wooden cabin

Aftermath of Mud

I ended up camping on the Road about 25 miles out of Townsend. I am reworking my route again to make sure I have no more dirt roads.

Day 2 horses!

I had a tasty lunch today in Townsend, and I had a mostly tailwind out of town through the Helena National Forest.

Townsend

Helena National Forest

The last 15 miles of today’s ride had a pretty intense headwind. But I am now over 1000 miles into my ride.

Lincoln MT

The one, The only, Gert!

I ran into Gert one last time. I went to the ACA to get my bike weighed (97 lbs!) And ran into Gert one last time (his bike was 112). We got our photos taken for ACA  (I was the 4th bicycle tourist to go through this year.) Apparently we are about a month ahead of most West to East TransAm riders.

The cutest bridge on a small Bridge I ran into on a bike path

The ride to Lincoln was a gorgeous with very few towns in between. I had an 83 mile day ahead of me so I couldn’t stop much 

The texture on this hill is gorgeous

There were many little woodland creatures around. From small furry rodents, to hints of possible bighorn sheep, or birds of prey. 

Unfortunately no bighorn sheep were spotted

The past few days I’ve seen Hawks, Falcons, Eagles, and Vultures. I’ve finally gotten a good picture after catching a Hawk take a rest on the telephone pole.

Red Tail Hawk!

The weather was almost all sunny with a couple rain drops here and there. 

Good weather biking

There’s a possibility of snow tonight, so after having a huckleberry milkshake, I grabbed a cheap motel for the night (I even bargained to get $10 off!)

A little bit of Wisconsin in Lincoln, Montana

More Missoula

The small Breakfast at Cafe Dolce, which I was told I had to visit.

I had a pretty eventful rest day in Missoula. After a delicious breakfast, I wandered around downtown for a bit.

The Art Museum had a bike based exhibition!

I saw signs leading to the Art Museum, and thought I’d go take a look. While the Museum itself was closed, there was a bike based sculpture outside. I hung out on some hammocks outside, and found out that there was a whole bike based exhibition going on! Right across the street was the ACA headquarters. I felt bad going in without my gear on, but they happily gave me a tour of the office and made me promise to go back in tomorrow to get a picture with my bike! They take pictures of every bike tourist that goes through, and I plan on stopping by before heading out tomorrow.

I took a tour of the Adventure Cycling Association HQ.

Side view of the ACA HQ

I love the blue busses!

I stopped into the newly opened Western Cider Company, and had a drink while talking to the bartender. She also had biked Cross Country a few years ago (she did a southern route) so we talked a lot about traveling. Their Ciders were also delicious, so if they ever make it to the Midwest, you should definitely check them out!

I had a quick Pre-lunch Drink.

The folks at the cidery suggested I check out the Burns ST Bistro for lunch. The ham, cheddar and apple sandwich was one of the best I’ve had, and the beer cheese soup was a great reminder of home!

I had a super tasty Ham and Apple sandwich with Beer Cheese soup here!

After lunch I headed to the UMT campus to check it out. The campus was lovely and green and I managed to rework my route again while hanging out in their Library. When initially routing, I only accounted for distance, not elevation. I have now rectified this mistake and I am still on schedule to make it to Minneapolis in time for Commencement. 

I did a quick tour around the University of Montana campus

Made it to Missoula!

After a three day trek through the Nez Perce Clearwater National Forest, I have finally made it to a place with Cell Reception! I had two beautiful riding days in the forest before rain got to me this morning.

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There was a long decent into Kooskia, almost 5 miles a coastable downhill

I sat down for some second breakfast and I ran into Gert! We ate together and talked about the road. (I also got his Instagram info! Follow his travels at gert61! He may even post a picture of me when he gets internet again!

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The first glimpse of the River that I will be following the next 3 days

Gert is cautious about camping, so he stopped in Lowell, the last place for services in about 70 miles. I decided to bike on for another 20 miles after refilling my water, because I didn’t want to waste the good weather!

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The Trees were blooming and the River was gorgeous!

There are many little campgrounds along Highway 12, but most of them are closed until Memorial Day. Luckily a couple were open, mainly for the Kayak and white water rafters that were enjoying the Lochsa River. I stayed in the Wilderness Gateway Campground, which unfortunately did not have spare water. I carry three bottles though, so I had enough to cook dinner and for most of the next day.

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I stopped at all the historical markers to learn about Lewis and Clark’s journey through what is now known as Idaho! 

The Lochsa River is the River that Lewis and Clark followed on their adventures. There were many little historical markers talking about Lewis and Clarks adventures, where they slept, and about the people they met while on the trail.

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Due to the lack of Cell Service, they had these Emergency Call Boxes every 50ish miles

I slept in a bit on Day 2, and started biking. I was running a little low on water, but I managed to get to Powell (a little Resort) after being waterless for about an hour. I haven’t been able to get up the courage to just walk in and ask for people to fill up my water bottles in a restaurant without buying anything, so I had some slightly overpiced bison meatloaf. I must say, it was pretty tasty.

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About 40 miles into Day 2 of the ride through the Wilderness, I think I was out of water at this point. 

There was rain forecasted for that night and the next morning, so some motorcyclists suggested I get over Lolo Pass that night due to not wanting to bicycle in Snow. I agreed with them, so I decided to try to cross the pass that night.

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The Forests were gorgeous, with towering trees and silence

I  must have looked like I was struggling up the pass, because at least three cars slowed down to give me encouragements. I got one “Great Job”, and two “nearly there”s!

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I decided to climb Lolo Pass on Day 2 rather than Day 3 due to possible Storms and potential snow

There was about 4 ft deep snow on the side of the roads at the top of the pass, and I was glad not to have to deal with Icy Roads.

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So close to the top!

I hit Montana at about 6 pm Pacific time, and 7 pm Mountain time!

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Idaho is officially crossed!

I quickly coasted down a few mile past the snow line and camped in the Lolo Hot Springs Campground! I got free admissions to the hot springs with my campsite, so I soaked in the minerals for a bit. I ran into Gert in the Hot Springs, and he beat me into the area! He passed me while I was at Lunch in Powell! It was fun to “race” him into Missoula, but we are now taking different paths. He will eventually make his way up to Michigan and Canada, so maybe I will see him on the road again.

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Remnants of a forest fire

I stayed in camp until the rain cleared at about 10:30 and then biked downhill into Missoula. I will take a rest day tomorrow in Missoula, because Lolo Pass seems to have aggravated my ankles. I have 2 more days of Mountains, and then it should be flatish sailing from then on!

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The adorable Dachshunds owned by my hosts! 

Last two Days in Civilized Idaho

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Lambs!

Idaho has been iffy on the Cell Service, so here is a two in one Blog for the last few days. I will be spending the next three days in the Lolo Pass which is all Wilderness. So you should all get a big update in 3ish Days when I get to Missoula!

2

Stopped here for breakfast

I have been eating a ton of Food. I should really watch my Diner intake, because they are so tempting to stop at!

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Weiser River

 

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The trek from Cambridge to Riggins was about 80 miles, I made the first 40 miles by about 2 due to a steady incline, but the next 40 was all downhill, so I was able to pull into Riggins at about 5:20ish.

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45th Parallel

Even though I have probably been crossing the 45th Parallel a couple times, the fact that there was a sign means that I needed a picture.

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I thought I’d do a Selfie!

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The scenery has been gorgeous, transforming into a more grassy woodlands rather than the deserty feel of the past few days.

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Gorgeous Rocks

It’s hard to capture with a phone camera, but the rocks had a cool blueish look.

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Big dinner after a Big Day

I have been eating sooooo much food. I went a bit over my food budget a bit on this dinner, but I tell myself I need the protein and calories.

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The Time Bridge

I started off today right next to the time bridge. as for some reason there 2 time zones through Idaho.

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More gorgeous mountains

I followed the Salmon River today. It was a pretty fast 25 miles until it started pouring.

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Hid from the rain in Hoot’s Cafe

I hid out in the Hoot’s Cafe during the worst of the rain. I love how the little stores double up on what they do. Hoot’s was a Cafe, Motel, Gas Station, Auto Repair, Directory (you could call and ask Hootie, the owner to tell you who is managing the Rodeo next month) and Convenience Store. The cook seemed to be about 80, and everyone in the restaurant was super friendly and talking to each other. I can’t believe the kindness I have been shown, as some kind ladies bought my breakfast.

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Looking onto White Bird

I was flagged down by three separate people to offer their assistance over the summit as it was slushy. I finally accepted after biking for a bit in Slush and hearing that Gert, the biker from Holland also got a ride into Grangeville Today. I think he went onto Kooskia, the last town before the state forest. Given that I took a day off, I am glad I am not too far behind him!

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Foggy and Rainy Mountains

Made it to Idaho!

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Waterfall along the Snake River

I left Oxbow at around 8 and was a little surprised when biking when I saw all these precious little waterfalls leading into the Snake River. According to some people, the Snake River is about the highest they have seen.

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Idaho State line! you can see the Brownlee Dam

I was a bit surprised when my Clock jumped forward an hour, as I forgot about the time change!

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Lake caused by the Dam

The Weather was a bit iffy today. The forecast warned about all day Thunderstorms, but I got periodically sun with some rain/hail. I managed to roll into Cambridge right as the Thunder started.

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It’s hard to see, but pretty purple and yellow flowers line the mountain side

I had an early dinner to hide from the rain and managed to find a Hostel at the Mundo Hot Springs! While the main pool is currently closed, the hostel is heated geothermally and the bathtub is filled with the Spring Water.

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Thunderstorms tonight!

I thought I should show off my tan lines! I have ridden everyday in long sleeves and biking pants, and despite using sunscreen on my face on sunny days, it looks like I need to use it on rainy days as well.

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Showing off my tan lines! 

70 miles ride to Oxbow

Today started out quite lovely. The rain stopped at 7:30, just as I was leaving my hosts house. 

Oregon Trail historical monument

I travelled along the Oregon Trail for a bit. (No deaths from dysentery yet) I realized about 10 miles in that I forgot to fill up my water bottles in Baker City. I decided to press on and get water in the next town. (Richland, 40 miles from Baker) I had a water filter I could use if needed.

Today was nice and relaxing compared to yesterday! I only had about ~2500 ft of climb and nearly ~4500 ft of descent! I have many hills to look forward to tomorrow though!

Practicing my inner boyscout

I managed to roll into Oxbow just before 5, and a mere 70 miles from Baker. I met a handy carpenter in camp you gave me some firewood, and I cooked my very boyscout dinner of Spaghetti-Os over the fire. Unfortunately tomorrow looks like my 3 day streak of sun will come to an end

Happy Hills and Happy Easter

Random wagon outside of Prairie City

Today is a tale of three mountains! The trek was around 66 miles in total with over 4500 ft of elevation, which is the most climb and most distance yet! 

The first Summit! Dixie Pass

I started biking around 7:30 and was quickly faced with the first summit! Dixie Pass was 8 miles of delightful incline. 

I was already ~16 miles in at this point

Unfortunately all the cute little roadside stores and cafes were closed for Easter Sunday, but luckily I had enough snacks and peanut butter tortillas to hold me through the day!

I missed a picture of the second summit, but this is Lynch Pass I believe. This photo also shows my favorite sign!

I reached to the top of the third pass at about 2:45 with about 30 miles until Baker City. However it was mostly downhill from there! It was easy to see on my bike computer where the passes were, because there would be 10 miles averaging 5 mph, followed by 5 miles averaging 20 mph.

A random tiny steam engine coming into Baker City

I got into Baker City right around 5 o’clock. I’m staying the night in Baker City with the Aunt of yesterday’s host, and her dog Avi! I’m super gracious for all the hospitality I’ve have been shown throughout the trip!

Avi!

Sun in Prairie City

After biking for 10 days with at least a little rain every day, I finally got a day with no rain! I even took off my sweater for most of the day! 

Free pancakes offered by the Dayville Church!

My day started out well with freshly made pancakes and good conversation with some members of the Dayville Community Church.

Blue skies!

The road was a constant slow uphill, but the sun lead to a wonderful break from the weather is have been getting.

Today was a ride through cow country and I saw so much cattle along the road. Some herds were very curious and some were more skittish, but the simple expanse of the cow pastures were impressive.

Cows!

I also saw a decent chunk of wildlife! Deer (elk?), turkeys and these cute ferret looking creatures roamed the roads and pastures enjoying the wonderful day.

You can see all the cute little deer tails if you look closely.

After a quick lunch in Mt Vernon I headed along the highway towards Prairie City.


Tomorrow looks like another sunny day and I hope the 65 mile day to Baker City will treat me well. 

I got pulled over by a cop, who wanted to make sure I was OK, and insisted I get my picture taken at this mural

I got into Prarie City around 3 and I was delighted to hear that even though I’m only going about 9 mph, I managed to get in pretty quickly. I’m used to not accounting for a continuous incline in my average speed.

View from the porch at my hosts house