Made it to Montana
Day 11- June 11, 2014
Coeur d’ Alene – East Hope – 68 miles (Total miles 568)
Weather was nice 60- 70 degrees, sunny and a nice tailwind from the south
Today was our first day back on the bike after taking the last three days off for Peter to teach. The ride was mainly on Hwy 95 and 200. Highway 95 was not too bad to bicycle on it had a nice wide shoulder and the motor vehicle drivers were really good about moving over. We then biked across the long bridge into Sandpoint, ID. It was a fairly nice separated facility adjacent to Hwy 95 that only bicycles and pedestrians could use. It appeared to be the original bridge crossing Pend Orielle Lake. It was nice to be separated from the motor vehicles on the long lake crossing.
We stopped in Sandpoint for lunch and to shop a bit. It is a cool town with lots of nice places to eat and shop. We ate at the local brewery – McDuff’s the food and beer were both good. Then back on the bike for the last twenty miles to our campground in East Hope. We were on Hwy 200 for the rest of our ride to the campground. It was not the best road to ride on, narrow and very little shoulder, but at least the drivers were good about going around us. The whole ride was fairly flat with a few small climbs. We stopped in Hope at the little store, bakery, ice cream shop. We each had ice cream and enjoyed the great view. Our overnight is at a beautiful National Forest Campground located on Pend Orielle Lake. This is our first night of camping on our own in our tent and it is talking a bit of time to get used to it and where everything is and where everything goes. I am sure we will get better and better at it as the days go by.
Day 12 – June 12, 2014
East Hope to Libby – 82 miles (Total miles 650)
Weather was cooler but sunny – 50 – 70 degrees
Was a long hard ride to Libby – second day carrying all gear. Route was hilly and we had to fight the wind most of the day. Tracy pooped out with about 10 miles to go – luckily there was a tourist attraction – beautiful falls and suspension bridge that we were able to stop at and take a break. Peter checked out the falls and bridge, Tracy relaxed and refilled her tank. It is amazing what a coke and candy bar will do for you.
Today we crossed into Montana and were greeted with a 3 mile gravel road and a very basic welcome to Montana sign. We stopped to take a picture of the sign and Tracy pulled the map out of her pocket and left it sit on top of there bike bags, of course it fell off. Tracy realized she lost the map about a mile down the gravel road – so we had to go back on the gravel road to find it luckily we found it laying in the street. We then stopped for a snack at a restaurant and had the very nice owner fill up two of our water bottles which Peter proceeded to leave on the bar. We did not notice they were gone until we were about 5 miles away – we were not going to return for them!!
The rest of the ride was uneventful and we got into to Libby at about 5:00pm and found a nice campground with showers – yea. We were supposed to get rain tonight but it held off and we stayed dry.
Day 13- June 13, 2014
Libby to Eureka- 75 miles (total miles – 725)
Weather – cold and rainy – 50 – 60 degrees – rain for the first part of ride
We were up and on the bike by 8:00am with a quick stop in town for a coffee and tea. Shortly after leaving Libby the rain started and it was with us for the first 30 miles of our ride. Temperature was in the upper 50 and with the rain it was definitely a cold ride. But we just kept moving and it did not seem too bad. We stopped at a restaurant for an early lunch and were able to spread out our wet clothes and have a good lunch and something hot to drink. We were the only ones in the restaurant and the woman running it was really cool and allowed us to spread our wet gear out.
After lunch we hopped back on the bike for the next 45 miles – thank goodness the rain had stopped but it still was a cool and cloudy day, although towards the end of the ride the sun did come out.
The ride was a great one along Hwy 37 most of the way – which was located next to a beautiful huge lake – Lake Koocanusa. The lake was 50 miles long. There was one bridge across the lake which was located about 20 miles from Eureka – it was the straightest bridge I have ever scene and very high in the air. The ride had lots of uphill climbs and some long rolling descents – it was a fun ride but tiring after a whole day of it. Decided to stay at the Silverado Hotel in Eureka after a day of getting soaked and needing a nice hot shower.
Day 14 – June 14, 2014
Eureka to Whitefish- 60 miles (total miles – 785)
Weather – cold and rainy – we rode the whole day in a drizzle to a downpour
Started the day at about 9:00am in Eureka to a steady rain. Rode the first 15 miles on Old Highway -Tobacco Road. It was a really nice scenic ride on a lightly traveled road. We saw lots of cool things along our ride. Tracy took a lot of video on the road but unfortunately the memory card was not in the camera so you do not get to see any of it. So here is what you will not see – cows wandering on the road(many), four really cool old cars that drove past – including a vintage Rolls Royce and Ford Mustang, beautiful adjacent stream and cloud covered mountain views etc.
After Tobacco Road we traveled most of the rest of the ride on Hwy 93. The road was not too bad but with the rain and wind and fast cars going by it was not the most enjoyable part of the ride. We were totally soaked by the end of our ride. We stopped about half way at a really cute diner – On The Fly Café – it was an extremely small café only two tables but it had great patrons and a very nice owner who served great food with an amazing sense of hospitality, it was like be a guest in her home. We got lots of tips from her and the other patrons – unfortunately they could not help with stopping the rain!!
We got in to Whitefish at about 3:00pm and decided on a hotel again to get out of the rain and get warmed up. We are hoping the rain will not be so bad tomorrow and we will be able to camp again. We walked into town and hit the local Brewery – Great Northern Brewing Company and then dinner at the Buffalo Café. The burgers were very good and definitely hit the spot after a long cold bike ride.
Well tomorrow is a special day and we want to wish all fathers a very happy Father’s Day. Especially our fathers who we are not able to spend the day with- we love you both and will be thinking about you. Also want to wish Rod MacKenzie a special day and thanks for taking such good care of us during the first week of our trip!!
More to come – hopefully more pictures and videos!!