Friday, July 15, 2011

Bikin' Down a Dream

Here is a four minute video Aaron made to give the appropriate feel to our trip! It is set to a tune that you most likely will recognize and one we found ourselves singing throughout the ride.

Monday, July 11, 2011

the final days...

Kristin and her folks at their beautiful home in Missoula!
Pete and Rachel came to visit in Missoula! Kristin's sister took this photo, we didn't really try to match like this.

Us at the top of the pass on our victory lap through Glacier National Park!Me and Aaron at the top of the pass!

The pickup! No more biking, Kristin's sister to the rescue (don't get me wrong we loved every minute of the trip) it was just good to be done.

We were picked up by the Park Rangers because we were 15 minutes late biking off the road, thank goodness no fine.

View on the bike ride up Glacier's Going-to-the-Sun road.

Aaron and David!

Kristin, Aaron, me, Shelly and David in Glacier, friends reunited!

We made it!

Me and my celebratory single scoop of ice cream.

One break we took somewhere on the road.

day 19:
We made it! We arrived in Glacier National Park on Thursday afternoon. Kristin biked with vengeance as we pulled up to a restaurant in Glacier that had a neon light reading CONES in big letters. "I think this is the place we used to come for ice cream" she stated as she walked right in and told me to order her a double scoop of Huckleberry ice cream. "Have you ever been her before" the soda jerk asked me. "This is one scoop" he explained to me as he continued to stuff more and more ice cream into the cone. When Kristin came back from the bathroom I asked her I asked her if she still wanted a double scoop. She looked at me and asked if I was getting a double, no way I said laughing. The single was HUGE!

After our ice cream we headed to meet the Kindigs, Shelley's family (who just so happened to be in Glacier for a family reunion) at the campground. They weren't there to be our greeting committee right when we arrived so we attempted to entertain ourselves, just as we were deciding to head down to the lake and take a swim they appeared. What a greeting we received, question after question was thrown our way as we all made our way down to the glacier feed lake for a swim. That night was a delight as we hung out with the family, played music and ate smores. Nearly 1300 miles later we arrived at our final destination and boy did it feel good.

The next day we made our victory lap. We took off bright at early at 7am to head up toward the pass on Going-to-the-Sun road in Glacier National Park. To our advantage the road was closed to everyone but pedestrians and bicyclers from mile 16 on so we made our way up the pass vehicle free from that point forward. At mile 25 they had the road closed to everyone and we sat and absorbed the beauty for quite some time before making our way down and to the very same restaurant we had stopped at the day before for ice cream for our final celebratory burger and ice cream. The next day we packed up to hit the road one more day. Thank goodness that same day for Kristin's sweet sister, Kelly, who rescued us from a crazy head wind and horrible roads with no shoulder to take us back to Missoula where we would hang out with Kristin's family and meet up with Rachel, a former roommate and dear friend, and her husband Pete, who now live in Boseman. It felt good to be off the bike and in the social zone after weeks of entertaining ourselves.

Overall I wouldn't do the trip any differently. Beautiful sites and people, the trip was a gift on so many different levels. Thanks for reading alongside me.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

day 14 - 18!

Who's who?

Last night in Fort Steele :)

On the road again!
Hobos for the 3rd, a 93-mile bike ride for the 4th!
The sites... still gorgeous!
Our secret campground we chanced upon, our favorite one yet, plus it was free!

Yikes! We are on day 18! 1 more day until GLACIER, then no more biking! We have traveled 1170ish miles so far and only have 76 left!

A lot has happened in a little time these days. Saturday we left Lake Louise and headed off back into beautiful oblivion. We biked our little legs off and with a late start time (of noon) that meant 50 miles! It was delightful ride day and we landed upon the most perfect campground where I might have had the most random dinner of my life: canned ravioli we dipped with tortilla chips and cheese and salsa tortillas!

The next day we were off bright and early because we wanted to beat the heat. We did alright, we beat the heat right into a giant rain storm. Thankfully the storm came 4 miles outside of Raidum Hot Springs, (where we wabbled in frozen solid into the hot tubs). Here we were planning on taking a "rest day" however we don't rest so well. This so called "rest day" consisted of a 40-mile bike, a 2km straight uphill climb to our campsite, a hike down to the hot springs and back up, less restful. The night ended with hobos, yum!

Day 17, Monday was awesome. We biked a grand total of 93 miles, but 70 of them was done before our 2pm ice cream date in Wasa. We lounged in Wasa all afternoon at a lovely lake, took a nap, swam, and then another round of burgers before our 20 mile evening ride to our campsite.

We crashed hard last night and today, day 18, we ended back in the U S of A! Boy is it different than Canada! Just 9 miles across the border we landed in the biggest store we've been in the entire trip, plus we lost our wide shoulder and beautiful road and we had our first person yell at us from their car. Canada was good to us. Hopefully Montana will improve. We have another 16 miles to do this evening and then 61 miles tomorrow until we reach West Glacier and do our victory ride through the park.

Highlights on the trip: the people we've met, the stories we've made and songs we've sung, the surprises, ice cream shops and bakeries that have appeared along the way

Wildlife (so far): many a deer and elk, 3 black bears, 1 fox, 1 wolf and 3 big horn sheep

Road kill: 13 birds, 2 deer and a possum

Burger count: 27

Favorite songs to sing: Running Down a Dream and Into the Great Wide Open both by Tom Petty

Thanks for following along. Wish everyone could have been along for the ride. More to come...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Rest Day! (and day 11-13)

Aaron and me at Earl's, a delicious cafe on top of the world in Jasper!

A fun shot of three mnts and three bikes. Who's who?

Kristin on top of today's pass!

Today on the bike.

Part of rest day fun... here is Kristin giving the slack line a shot.

Group shot! (they are hard to come by!)

Yesterday's pass!

Aaron and me at Lake Louise!

Lake Louise

First off, rest days have got to be the best days! On Tuesday of this week we took one. Who knew we were so wiped out. I was having so much fun biking I didn't know my body need to re-coup, well it did, big time. Tuesday we took a much deserved day off... a day of fun in Jasper. We wished we had a week of fun in Jasper, awesome town!

Jasper is a town much like Sitka (in my opinion). Nice people everywhere, tourist everywhere, fun things to do everywhere, unpredictable weather, plus yummy food. It was the best resting spot, except that we didn't rest much. We checked out the local bike shop, incredible! Then the brewery, delicious as well as ice cream and a sweet little restaurant that sat on top of the town as we watched the world go by. After leaving the restaurant we became friends with a group of locals, Eric, Jasmine and James who were slack lining. We all gave it a shot, Aaron was actually quite good, and thankfully no one got flossed! (There is a picture of slack lining above, and you probably won't have to think to hard to figure out what flossed means).

The following day, day 11 on the bike, was harder. After a delicious breakfast of huge tasty sticky bun (almost as popular on this trip as the burger) at the local bakery, The Bear Paw, we were back on the road. Magical morning tail wind did not take place and we moved like slugs. At mile 48 we called through in the towel and set up camp at a mosquito infested campground and cooked dinner as we swatted at bugs and pleaded with "the vampires" as Aaron calls them.

Day 12 was slow go as well. We were hoping for a mega day but it didn't quite happen that way, fortunately. The weather was against us, BIG TIME, and we found ourselves plopped down in the middle of a cafe, napping and drying out gear and eating over priced less delicious foods that at least weren't nuts and berries, power bars or peanut butter, foods we find ourselves eating more than we would like. After our 3 1/2 hour stint at the cafe we finally ventured out into the weather for one final push to the campground. We meet lots and lots of people at the campground and found ourselves laughing by huge, very warm fire for the remainder of the night hanging out with people from all over. It was a great ending to a long cold wet day.

Today we had a GORGEOUS day on the bike and off. Today we landed in the cute community of Lake Louise where the tourist almost out number the trees, but the beauty here is a strong reflection of why. Aaron made a comment at dinner tonight of where else on earth would you find so many people coming just to look at the natural beauty of a place. Maybe the Grand Canyon could compare?

The bike in today was quick, 38 miles total, Kristin didn't want it to end because of the beauty of everything. The morning started with us climbing a big pass in the snow (elevation 7,000ft), that ended up not being as scary as we had thought, and then a quick, cold descent into Lake Louise. We hopped right off the bike, and headed on a 11k hike up to a tea house. We shared the trail with horses, climbers and people from all over the world. In terms of beauty, this day took the cake. We can't wait to see what tomorrow is going to bring, but we are also really looking forward to a long hard night of sleep!