Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 1, 2010: Eureka to Whitefish, MT. 59 miles.

Last night we went out to the grassy area across from the motel to play Scrabble--and we drew a crowd this time. I'm not sure what impressed them the most--the timer, the obscure 2 and 3 letter words we both knew, or the fact that we each used our own score sheet and checked off the letters as they were used. At the end of one game, Dianne had a slew of good letters and both blanks, but was drawing a (mental) blank for a 7-letter word... Amy looked over her shoulder and saw ENJOINS right away. Doesn't Amy look so proud of herself? For some reason Amy avoided me after that....

It was 37 degrees overnight, in the low 40s when we started out at 7 AM... Chilly riding! We rode on Hwy. 93 south out of Eureka for about 2 miles and then turned on to Tobacco Rd, which parallels Hwy. 93. It was a lovely ride, rolling hills, horsefarms and ranches, very little traffic. We made a few backroads turns, first a right on Barnaby Lake Rd. and then a Left at Meadow Creek Rd. I slowed way down for a railroad track and Judie asked me what I was doing. I told her I was looking for remote control locomotives. She thought I was joking until I pointed out the sign.

Then we reentered Hwy 93 south and the traffic was brutal! There was no shoulder in some places, and logging trucks, ore haulers, huge RVs and campers every minute of the ride. I was really getting rattled! Once I was even blown off the pavement! I was riding right on the edge of the pavement when 2 semis went by and the rush of air skipped me over an inch and I was off in the gravel... fortunately I stayed upright, took a moment to breathe, and then got back on the road.

There was a sag at mile 20, and I took this photo of CJ, Pat, Dianne, Kathy L, Patty, Jennifer, and Suzanne (today's sag driver). Dianne thought it was funny that Jennifer was doing her private thing by the No Fireworks sign and wanted me to take a photo. It was too late to catch Jennifer there, but guess who? Dianne hid behind that rock next! A real case of being careful what you wish for!

We were on Hwy 93 for 28 miles this time, and I was pretty stressed by the time we turned off on to Farm to Market Rd., which was a beautiful route, and where CJ took the photo of me below. Rolling hills with mountains in the background, more horsefarms, little or no traffic.... we rode on to Twin Bridges Road and Lodgepole Dr. before returning to Hwy 93 one last time. The last 5 miles were wicked... terrible traffic, no shoulder, curves and hills that made it difficult to see what was behind us... then at a mile and a half from our hotel, CJ had a blowout. It sounded like a gunshot!

Fortunately for us, Suzanne saw us on the side of the road and turned the sag vehicle around and came back. So we had the use of the floor pump. Strange thing--the tire was whole. There was not a mark on the tire, but a huge hole was blown in the tube.

When we got to the hotel we took a quick shower and headed out to the bike shop. We met Dianne's friends from Florida there, and went out for a sandwich and soup. We had a great time! Ray bikes with Dianne, and Lisa (Ray's wife) was intrigued by our "women only" ride. We saw some other riders from our tour in the same restaurant, so here we are: Jo Ann, Dianne, Mary, Carol, me, and Lisa. Ray and Lisa dropped us at our hotel after loaning Dianne a pair of gloves for the climb in Glacier Park. After all, what Floridian needs winter biking gloves?

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