Coast to Coast for the FFB: THE ONLINE JOURNAL

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Check back here daily to read about our progress in our cross-country bicycle tour to benefit the FFB.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Day 74: Missoula, MT to Powell, ID (60 miles, 3483 total)

State number 9! Only one state left to go and it is getting hard to believe that our trip is drawing to an end. Idaho will be a short state as we are cutting across the north central area, but it is full of beautiful scenery so far. We also finished yet another map section (only 3 left!), and crossed into the Pacific time zone. We aren't paying attention to the time zone change though because we go back into Mountain time in 2 days (when we ride south along the Salmon River which divides the time-zones). No reason to hop back and forth like that on the sleep schedule.

Since we didn't have to pack up camp this morning, it took us less than an hour to wake up and get out the door. We said our last good-bye to Dale as we really don't think we'll be seeing him again on this trip. We're definitely sorry to be losing his company. We miss you, Dale!

We rode the super busy road out of Missoula and back down to
Lolo. (By the way, Jeff has been singing "Lo-lo-lo-lo" in all different keys since we went through it yesterday.) We stopped in the corner bar/casino/restaurant for breakfast and learned that we had missed out on feeling an earthquake last night around 10pm. The man that told us remembers the 7.5 quake that formed Quake Lake in 1959 (see journal entry from Day 69).

We rode our first tailwind in days for several miles as we made our way to the pass of the day. As our pace was up and the terrain was easy, we stopped for a rest break at a campground about 15 miles out of Lolo. As I went off to find the bathroom, Jeff sat on a hill and started making friends with the prairie dogs that seemed to own the area. We I came back, he was singing his "Lo-lo-lo-lo" song to a few of them whenever they popped thier heads out of their tunnels. I think they were enjoying watching us as much as we were enjoying watching them.

The area we are biking through now is directly on the Lewis and Clark trail so there are many stops along the way with educational boards set up. Some are more interesting than others, let me tell you.

We stopped for lunch at the "town" of Lolo Hot Springs which didn't seem to be more than just a lodge. The food was good though, and it was another nice break before starting the climb up the pass.

Lolo Pass was, again, not a difficult climb. I'm fine with that too. If we have all chill climbs from now on I won't complain. The road continued its back and forth meandering with only a slight rise. At the top, we entered Idaho and left Montana behind us. Montana was a beautiful state, just a little rough on us in the headwind department.

We hung out at the visitor's center at the pass/state line for a while and talked to several other cyclists. Most that we are running onto now are on the Lewis and Clark trail. Adventure Cycling has lots of routes to choose from and you can always just do small pieces at a time if you are interested in touring but don't have the time to take off 3 or 4 months for the complete TransAm route.

After our break, we zoomed down the backside of the pass but had to be cautious of the gusting winds that were now moving around to hit us from the front (big surprise). We stopped several more times to check out the L&C boards and finally arrived at Lochsa Lodge in Powell. The lodge has various cabins open all year and a great restaurant that serves both Fat Tire and Moose Drool on tap. We've heard about this place since we met the Bike Friday couple on Day 69 and so we shortened our destination plan for the day to be sure we had time to stop in. Turns out there is a campground right next door so we set up camp and then biked back up to have a beer and dinner. As there are no stops for the first 66 miles of the ride tomorrow, we're also planning to have breakfast there. We wrote some postcards and then started a "Best of\Worst of" list from our experiences on the road. You'll have to check it out at the end of the trip as we don't want to overlook something we haven't gotte!
n to yet. Hopefully there aren't too many more "worst of's".

We're sleeping next to the Lochsa River tonight and I am excited to fall asleep to its chatter tonight. At dinner we "finalized" our schedule for the rest of the trip and it looks like tomorrow will be our last over 80 miler. Finalized has to be in quotes as we just never know what we're going to get in a day so we have to stay flexible. No matter what though, we will be finishing on the 7th. Time is racing by!


Note from Jeff: I've invented the most glorious breakfast sandwich. Pop-Tarts come in a pack of two, so there you have the bread. Smear some peanut butter between them, and there you have it. It is tasty and functional as carrying Pop-Tarts around often breaks them up, but the PB holds them together like glue. AK is being unadventurous and won't even taste it. Ha, more for me sucker!


At July 27, 2005 12:30 PM, Anonymous said...

mmmmmmm pop-tarts. I have never had a pop-tart in my life so I will have to try the power breakfast sandwich ala butter. Sounds like everything is going well and I will see you guys on the 30th, I can't wait!!!

At July 27, 2005 2:10 PM, Anonymous said...

Jeff - I just finished reading your article in the new Cate alumni newsletter, and I must say, the love story between you and Rebus brought tears to my eyes.

At July 28, 2005 1:17 AM, Anonymous said...

Jeff, when you get back we're going deer hunting!!!-TAB


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