Diary

Mileage:† 90 miles

Elevation Change:† 3492 feet

Weather:† sunny and hot

Morale:† jet lagged

Incidents:† 2 flat tires, ran out of water

Daily Summary:

We were up early today, despite going to bed after 1am, because of the time change.†† Raymond wore his ND jersey, so at breakfast at the hotel a guy came up to us to chat.† He was from South Bend and his son had just graduated and his dorm had been Fisher.† So, Raymond has a standing invitation to his tailgate.†

 

We were a bit culture shocked being back in the USA.† Itís great to have bagels and to be back in the land of free drink refills.† We had forgotten how really difficult it is to be a pedestrian, and were amazed by the size of the cars, SUVs, and pickups.† No wonder everyone is squealing about the cost of gas.† These things are monstrous!

 

First stop was the bike shop down the street.† The guy tried to reopen the front drop out by bending it, but it snapped.† This was to be expected, as aluminum doesnít bend well.† So we were in the market for a new fork.† The guy didnít have any, but sent us to the other bike shop in town who had a used one hanging around.† It is a nice carbon fiber fork, and a bit longer than what was on the bike, so it actually fits Raymond better now.† An upgrade!† While the guy was putting it on for us, we were chatting with him.† They have a more than 2 week backlog for repairs right now!† The cost of gas is causing everyone to get their old beater bikes out of the garage and down to the bike shop for a tune up.† We were happy to get in and out for $100 and in under an hour.†

 

We finally got on the road by 11ómuch later than we wanted.† We werenít five miles down the road when Raymond had a flat tire.† We had to ride on the highway for a few miles to get out of town, and there is always a lot of crap on the side of highways waiting to grab your tire.† But we fixed it quickly, got off the big road, and had a delightful ride up to West Glacier.† A great tailwind most of the way and an easter egg blue sky had us loving life.† As we were pulling into our lunch spot in West Glacier my rear tire went flat.† Darn.† We fixed it, but had used both spares already.† The next flat meant we would be patching on the side of the roadónever fun.†

 

The two busiest parts of the Going to the Sun Highway are closed to bicycles between 11 am and 4pm, so we had to take a shuttle for a few miles by Lake McDonald.† We both had a low point here.† We had to wait 45 minutes for the shuttle in the hot sun, it was midnight for us in Paris, we had only had 6 hours of sleep, so we were both pretty trashed.†† I felt better as soon as we got back on the bike, but Raymond never snapped out of it.† Consequently, he really labored up to Logan pass.†† The good news about our late departure is that we didnít start the climb until after 4, so could do the whole thing.†† As you can see on the elevation profile above, itís a 3000 foot climb over about 10 miles.† Itís not steep, but itís long and relentless.† We stupidly ran out of water on the way up, but successfully begged for a liter from some nice people at one of the turnouts.† The climb was harder than it should have been because several miles were not paved.† The road really suffered over the winter because of all the snow, so is under construction almost all the way up.†

 

We finally made it to the top had had a wonderful descent down the other side in the evening sun.† The views were fabulous.†† We stopped for dinner in the tiny town of St Maryís before heading to our overnight place.† We were staying in a log cabin a few miles north of town.† We took showers, patched our tubes, washed our clothes (we were traveling lite!) and fell into bed by 9pm.†

 

Below Raymond is smiling as we start our day in Big Sky Country.† Next is Lil and Raymond at Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park.† Then is Ray laboring up the Going to the Sun Highway.† Finally, Raymond is no longer smiling at the topóour first crossing of many of the Continental Divide.†