NR13: NW Montana

Wow – sure is cold this morning. Might even be pushing into the 30s! I’d hoped we were all done with that. The condensation on my tent walls turns my hands into frozen blocks rolling it up. Around 7AM we roll out to a nearby general store. The wind chill on our hands made it all the more wicked. In chatting with the proprietor, we applaud the great bike lane in this section of US2, and he indicates that area businesses have ponied up the money for it over many years. Jack and I have been discussing today’s route. Our

Continue reading

NR12: Logan Pass

Up at 6, and we’re all ready to go by 7. We’ve had something like 14 hours of luxurious sleep, and I think we’re keyed up to get riding. This route up Logan Pass is an anticipated treat for all of us. Jack and I had estimated today’s ride to be 36 miles while planning way back in Sparwood, but somehow we flubbed. It’ll be more like 55. At least it’s some consolation that we’re actually going up the pass the “easy” way, from the east. Should be around 2500′ climb for us, but it would be 3500′ from the

Continue reading

NR11: Entrance to Glacier NP

Phil’s snoring solidly this morning around 5AM. That guy was tired! And I probably did the same! He finally stops and I go back to sleep until 7:30AM. I’m actually a little sore from the ride yesterday but not too bad. With no wifi, I mindlessly watch the one channel on TV: Sesame Street. The three of us convene for breakfast across the street at the cafe here in Babb. As planned a few days ago in Sparwood, the ride today is a scant 10 miles to Glacier National Park, and thus we’ll get in some rest. We need it! We’ll start

Continue reading

NR10: Bison Liason

I unzip the tent fly early this morning to see a deer strolling by our site. Jack’s immune to them since they’re always in his back yard, but I still get a thrill.  Maybe he thinks javelina are neat. Phil is unusually still asleep this morning as Jack and I are folding up tents, but minutes later he’s out, dressed, and folding his own.  That guy moves fast. Our maps suggest there are few provisions out on the route today, so our first stop is a c-store. We head south out of town on 6. A tiny tailwind aids our

Continue reading

NR09: Crowsnest Pass

I meet Phil and Jack at the continental breakfast this morning and Phil’s twittering about something. He’s gotten Facebook-messaged by the girl that beckoned to us to have a beer at The Bull Run pub 2 days ago. Something about how she wants to hook up with him. Phil investigates and surmises that she is a working girl. Wow. Phil decides the only way she could have gotten his contact information is through the credit card transaction. Jack and I convene this morning to examine our ride plan.   The original plan has us riding 15 straight days but we

Continue reading

NR08: The Elk River

A great sleep here by Lake Koocanusa. Chipmunks are buzzing outside our tents in the morning. Breakfast of champions – Starbucks coffee and Pop Tarts. It’s 2.5 miles up to exit the park, but nothing too bad. Jack wonders aloud what the word Ponderosa means. We know it as a type of pine, oh yeah, and that ranch in Bonanza. [I later looked it up – it means “heavy” in Italian, as in strong and powerful.] Out onto Kikomun Newgate Road and we find a not-so-subtle headwind. We plow straight into it, adding in some hills. Maybe 15 mph in the

Continue reading

NR07: Christmas Lights

Today was simply a great day on the bike all day. Snack breakfast in camp, iced coffee from the c-store. Fifteen miles down the road we stop in Skookumchuck at its lone store. A pretty Scandanavian blond all dressed in black sells me 2 candy bars, and we end up playing with a cat out front for a while. We decide to ride 11.5 miles further to Wasa for lunch. Nope. Both restaurants there are closed. The pub there is supposed to open at 11am but the hour comes and goes and no one shows up. A c-store is the

Continue reading

NR06: Columbia River Valley

After settling in last night, adjacent campers arrived who were, you know, the kind of neighbors you pray you don’t get. Nit-wit noisy novice inexperienced. Fussing with every little article, bleating out endless stupid questions and banal answers. “Where did you put the ketchup?” “Didn’t we bring toilet paper?” “How does this table work?” “I can’t find the water.” They complained that Jack’s tent, located well off their setup, possibly encroached their campsite, that their boundary was defined by a tree they arbitrarily selected, so he shouldn’t be there. They played bad music. Quiet hour at this campground didn’t start until

Continue reading

NR05: Smoky Kootenay NP

As planned, up early, and out by 7:15AM. I’m running slowly this morning. I slept well, but once up, I just felt sluggish. Sluggish packing up. Sluggish on the bike. Jack and Phil are soon far ahead of me. No worries. In those situations I just relax, relish where I am and make sure to enjoy the roll. A sign for Numa Falls had me pull over to examine, but the site is closed due to renovation of a bridge. I dilly-dally anyway, taking photos, stretching out the morning. We all knew we’d encounter smoke today and had talked about

Continue reading

NR04: Change of Plans

Awoke about 6AM and connected to the bcdrive website. 93 is still closed but an updated report is due at 6:27AM. Lo and behold when the report was issued, they’d opened up the road on an hour-by-hour basis. Hmmm… Eggs, potatoes, sausage, toast, and coffee at the cafe. Alpine Centre hostel is a very fine place to stay when you’re in town. At breakfast we set our day’s plan: . take the Bow Valley Parkway out-and-back to Banff, as originally planned, but… . take a look at the entrance to 93 at Castle Junction to see if it was open

Continue reading