Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Friday, August 23, 2013

Lincoln, Montana to Missoula, Montana Aug 16-17

85.78 in 7:26 August 16. Today's ride followed several creeks and forks that were all in the Blackfoot River watershed. I basically followed the Blackfoot River, a famous Montana fly fishing stream, from the time it was a small creek until it was a 100 ft wide river of various depths, but never real deep. It's a quick moving stream, and there were lots of fishermen, inner tubers, paid oar boats with fly fisherman  aboard, kayaks, canoes, and other sorts of people recreating along shore. That's being said, I followed the river downstream, so there was a overall descent into Missoula, but it wasn't as nice a ride as it could have been because of the second day of headwinds. The wind wasn't as blustery as I was yesterday, the temperature was a least 90, but didn't feel as hot as yesterday because of some intermittent cloud cover, and it should have just been a great ride. I struggled toward the end though, because I just didn't have much gas in the tank after taking a pretty good beating yesterday. I did 160 miles in two days into a Montana prairie wind and 90+ temps, so I was running on empty the last 15-20 miles. I had mountains on all sides of me all day, but the river cut a nice swath through them, and the road more or less followed the river all day.  It was a desolate ride, however, with no small towns, gas stations, or anywhere to refill water. I probably should have drank more, but I didn't. There were lots of cattle ranches, fishing access points, and traffic was heavy because of it being Friday afternoon, and weekend warriors were pulling out of everywhere, but this was one of the longest stretches I have ridden with no place to refill. Fortunately, when Pam went by, I did refill once. I am going to start.  carrying more water now that I have a bigger saddlebag.
      I did run into a biker that was headed the opposite direction. He was packed down pretty heavily, and was on a steel bike with a belt instead of a chain on his pedals. His name was John, and he was from Holland. He had started in Alaska, and was riding to the southern tip of Argentina, where he is going to get a sailboat and sail around the world. He told of riding on dirt roads for 500 miles in Canada, seeing nothing but wild animals. He said the bears he saw really paid him no mind as he rode right by them. He's happy because he will be able to find food everyday in the US, instead of packing two weeks worth of freeze dried food and all his water. And his wife wasn't following him in a motor home either! Now THAT'S an adventure!
 Pam couldn't find a campground anywhere around Missoula because its the last weekend before school starts, so we ended up dry camping in a gravel lot next to a Pilot Truck Stop. It is quiet, however, and the price is right. There was a great restaurant right there, so we had a home cooked dinner before I passed out.

August 17----we decided to take a day a spend it exploring Missoula, and letting my body regroup, because it was supposed to be another 90+ day. We started with a huge omelet for brunch, then we drove downtown and checked out a craft and art show on the street, stopped into Adventure Cycling, which is the non profit who makes the maps that bikers from all over the world use when in the USA. (But not me!) it's really quite a famous place amongst touring bikers, and they do great maps with all the info a biker could use (safest routes, campgrounds, post offices, mileage measurements, etc).
After downtown, we drove to the Blackfoot River and spent the afternoon on shore, watching fly fishing tours, inner tubers, and the sort go by. The funniest thing we saw was two twenty something guys who had hit a rock in the rapids, and sunk their foot paddle boat that should have been on a lake somewhere, and not in rapids. They had two gashes in the bottom of the hard plastic boat, they sunk right in front of us, with nothing but a cargo of empty beer cans and a BB gun. It was high entertainment. After they un swamped their boat, they loaded it in the back of their truck, and their truck wouldn't start. They said it was a great day overall! Funny too!
The evening was spent in downtown at an old greasy spoon, where we had dinner for $14, then it was back to the Pilot Truck Stop.

Our campsite in Lincoln

Interesting front yard!!


Not real sure.....

One of the oar boats taking a fisherman down the river

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