North to South Tour - Day 20

07/14/2008 13:00:00 by Administrator

From: Condon, Montana
To: Missoula, Montana
Today: 89 miles - 1091 miles total

Off to a pretty early start (around 7:30) after we ate oatmeal in the motel room . Today the first 50 miles was finishing up on Rte 83. This time most of the weekend travel was gone, but the logging trucks appeared in force. The Rear Admiral and I waved to as many trucks as possible. We don't know if it helps or not. It must be a lonely job at times, and we only hope that the truckers used their CB to report two crazy people on a weird looking orange bike riding along 83, to other truckers. We didn't have any problems, and we have found the logging trucks to be very kind. Still, riding on 83 with little to no shoulders is NOT fun. We passed many lakes (Summit, Rainy, Alva, Inez, Seeley, and Salmon) along with miles of forests and hints of mountains. This route goes primarily through National Forest land. If there was little traffic, I would ride 83 anytime. However, I can not recommend it. I don't know about 93 out of Kallispell, but maybe that would be a better alternative.

We had a picnic lunch at Salmon Lake state park, and the wind was BLOWING. It was too early in the day to quit, but we did have the option to camp here it was a great spot (we alway have the option!). Maybe we will come back and camp during another tour.

Once we turned onto Rte 200, we had 39 miles to Missoula, and a very strong headwind. Thank goodness it was down hill most of the way, but we pedaled all 39 miles....straight into the wind. Rte 200 was as busy as 83, but there was a wide shoulder. It was a very beautiful ride, maybe because I finally stopped looking at the road...and start looking around. You might think of me as weird, but I will take Rte 200 with headwinds ANYDAY over Rte 83!

We stopped for a rest break at the University of Montana's forestry camp. I talked with the young lady who was in charge of the kitchen, she was from North Conway, NH. SeeMore must have impressed her, because she gave us 2 cookie bars. They were sooooo good! She also let us fill our water bottles. THANKS. We meet so many nice people along the way.

We are tired, but living large in a hotel in Missoula. Tomorrow we will explore Missoula.