I had expected a change in scenery several days ago leaving Havre, Bob told me that we were on the cusp of the transition towards trees, mountains, greenery, the rockies! Still nothing had really changed and I was starting to wonder if someone had moved them. Breakfast is a big deal for our little trio, we almost always make time for a first and second breakfast, recently I’ve been going for the pancakes, adding the blueberry option where possible.
We had a reasonably short ride to Cut Bank in order to line up tomorrows destination and avoid a stopover in Browning which we had been strongly advised against. The campground was sweet, nice showers and wifi is always welcome. Flavia rolled up quite distressed, she had lost her beloved orange sweater that she purchased in Fargo to help with her thermal issues. I told her a small mammal by the road would now be using it for warmth, that seemed to help. We cooked up some food and had a few Ninkasi beers whilst playing, the now nightly round of, hangman and sketchgame on Flavorings iPad.
There was some rain around the next morning, we hit the gas station for a quick breakfast eager to make some ground up early as we headed towards Glacier. I had some trouble with the creamer machine for my coffee. There was no obvious button to dispense milk but there was a filled teat hanging down like a cows udder, I squeezed the teat. The milk came out but so did the gas station lady to tell me off. 🙁
The area between Cut Bank and East Glacier was part of the Blackfeet Indian reservation. Those guys even had a bad rep 200 years ago, apparently they still do. The previous warnings about the town of Browning however seemed a little misguided. We stopped at the grocery store and had brief conversations with a few friendly locals. There were a bunch of forest fires around that hazed the view of in the distance but leaving Browning we could see the rockies for sure, an amazing sight.
The scenery still refused to change up until a mile before East Glacier, then suddenly, trees, trees and more trees! I haven’t seen forest for weeks on end, I pulled over at the first gas station elated. We trucked on up over Marias Pass which marks a continental divide and coasted several glorious miles towards Glacier Meadows campground.
I crawled out of my tent/burrow the next morning to be told I look like a prairie dog as usual by Flavia. There was some sadness in the air though, today would be her last day riding with us as she continues west to Seattle and we make a detour south west for Missoula, then Portland. If we hadn’t already scheduled and made plans we could have continued to Seattle and then went south afterwards. We will have time to spare at the end of the trip so this way we will get to go up to Seattle in a few weeks and have a big happy reunion.
The riding, stopovers, food, beer, laughs made the day to Whitefish probably the best days riding in the US. Not only was the scenery magnificent, we got to have second breakfast at a wonderful lodge, take a dip in the ice cold rivers, arrive in Whitefish just as the farmers market vendors opened up and then hit the brewery in town. The trouble with the blog is its just a summary of the days events to line up with pictures. Almost the entire ride is lost in the posts. So you will just have to believe me when I say it was amazing, also Flavia managed to fall over sideways whilst stationary clipped into her pedals, didn’t want to miss that detail out.
I talked about lifer friends when we left Joe’s in Pitts. Going through school and work you inevitabley get bunched with similarly like minded people and make lots of great friends, the pool is pretty big, you were more likley to meet them and how lucky I am to have so many great friends that I wish I could see now even just for a drink at the end of a ride, Doug, Lewy, Luke, Ben, Jack, Nate, Coop and everyone else!
Bicycle touring, the pool is much smaller. You could go weeks without seeing anybody else and when you do the chances are you might talk for a few minutes or ride together for a day and part ways. Maybe you ride a little farther together and keep in touch. If you cover enough miles and discover many new people with a bit of luck you might come across a Flavia Chen. Fiercly intelligent, super generous and caring but still a total goofball, simply a beautiful person and most certainly a lifer. I am already counting the days until Seattle, she has to make it there herself first!