Whitefish, Montana is a small city at the western edge of the Rockies and Mike had arranged for us to stay for a couple of days with his old friends, Don and Sharon, who live a few miles outside of town. Don was standing in his front yard waiting for us when we arrived. He was in his early 60’s and was retired from his career as an x-ray technician. He and his wife, Sharon, live on a 20-acre horse ranch with a view of the nearby ski resort, Big Mountain. “Welcome!” He shouted, as we rolled around the last corner of his quarter-mile-long driveway, “We’ve been waiting for you guys!”
We settled in and spent then next two days resting and working on our bikes. Mine needed some maintenance and Mike had to disassemble his and put it in a box for the trip back to Seattle. It was nice to lay around and take it easy but soon it was time for Mike to head home. “It’s been a great trip,” he said as he climbed the steps to the Pullman car, “remember to keep the greasy side down!”
I spent that night at Don and Sharon’s, and the next morning they sent me off with a big slice of banana bread that Sharon made. Though we’d only known each other for a few days, I felt we’d formed a lasting bond. They stood in their yard, waving, as I rode away. It was another sad moment but there was no time for tears. It was Monday, May 21st, 2012, and I had a mountain to climb; the great Continental Divide!
Get your FREE copy today!
I've been working on the book about my bicycle ride around the world and it will be available for sale in March of 2016. But as a visitor to Bike Around The World, it's yours FREE. All I ask is that you read it and leave a review on Amazon. Just send me your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get you a copy pronto!
I worked my way east out of Whitefish in a steady downpour. Even though I was wearing foul-weather gear, by the time I reached West Glacier, at the foot of the Rockies, I was drenched. As I climbed higher, I left the core of the storm behind, and by late afternoon I was riding in dry weather. Mike had given me the maps we’d been using, and I saw that there was a campground ahead at Stanton Creek. It was just a couple of miles up the road and I reached it in an hour. I walked into the small cafe and I asked about camping. The man who ran the place took one look at me and said, “You came here on a bike?”
“Yup,” I replied, “all the way from Seattle.”
“Well then, it’s free.” He reached under the counter and handed me a key. “That’s for the shower, you just set up anyplace you want.” I thanked him and we sat and chatted while I nursed a beer. Later in my tent, fresh from a hot shower, I settled into my sleeping bag. Soon, it started raining then the rain turned to snow. Now the wind began to howl, and my little tent trembled in the storm.
It was early yet and I wasn’t sleepy, so I watched a movie on my iPad. I had to marvel at the strangeness of it all. Here I was, high in the Rocky Mountains, in the middle of a storm, being entertained by the latest Hollywood blockbuster. What would those early pioneers who’d braved this same torturous route think if they could see me now?