By the end of the day in Whitefish we’d done the town thing – stocked up on supplies, got my rear wheel hub overhauled and been to the library/internet and were ready to get out of town. We cycled 30km to Tom Arnone’s house near Kalispell. He’s a cyclist/engineer/pilot/amazing fix-it man who has a patch of lawn and amazing hospitality for passing Great Divide cyclists. His house is full of pictures and memories of adventures both in family and bicycles. His workshop had me and all the other boys/men drooling with envy. We wondered how he manages to keep it so cluttered with his wife Pat doing such a good job of the house and garden. There are parts of track, road and mountain bikes he’s built and a similar array of motorbikes and associated bits. Then there are the stunning wooden canoes he’s built… I want to be like him when I grow up (or at least have the ability to build or mend anything in any material).
The days have begun to take a pattern. Most days involve a large hill, sometimes more. We try to get them done in the morning, with lunch at the top and a fast roll down the other side in the afternoon towards a camp-spot. Mostly we’ve found nice un-organised ones – tending to avoid RV (caravan/trailer) parks. We’re getting fussy – we like a nice stream and a picnic bench. Mostly we’re managing it :-)
We’ve spent most of a week cycling with Phil and Mary (from Bend/Oregon), and parted company at Seeley Lake. The day into Seeley lake from the Holland Lake Packing camp had some of the best riding on the trip. A reasonable steady climb with a bit of ok singletrack up to lunch at “sunday mountain” with incredible vistas. Then a few kilometres of rattle and shake downhill singletrack. Tom’s Surly Big Dummy kept up with the MTB/Trailer contingent just fine – massive grins all round.
We now continue east/south and they are heading back to Missoula where they’ve left their car. So now we’re two again.
The last couple of days from Seeley Lake to Lincoln have been hot and still; but with at least a swim a day (always cold to a varying degree).
There’s been a prescribed burn that got out of hand in the mountains ahead of us. We’ll have to do a bit road loop to get round it when we get going again tomorrow.