Amazing amazing day with a bittersweet note. Today was my last day riding with my two good friends Ryan and Matthew. When I first met them, I was riding with my buddy Jakob (Aloha Jakob!). We were getting ready to go off in our respective directions, Jakob to Colorado and me further north. Matthew and Ryan were very kind, but intimidating souls, decked out in cycling attire and sporting awesome English accents. Ryan helped Jakob out with some advice on the TransAm route, while Matthew gave me the English equivalent of Bengay for my cramping thigh muscle. I really didn’t think I’d be riding with them, but I was excited by the idea of having friends somewhere in the general vicinity. Little did I know…
On August 10th (Day 35) I met up again with Ryan and Matthew in Dalbo at Don’s bunkhouse. We’ve been quite the team ever since. It has been so wonderful to share this experience with two so genuine people. We’ve made countless camp dinners together, laughed at headwinds and loud trains, joked about PopTarts and Reese’s addictions, explored libraries, abbeys and towns, celebrated my parent’s birthdays, cheered for Newcastle, and thoroughly enjoyed the adventure. Both Ryan and Matthew are strong cyclists, and I’m not joking when I say that Ryan very literally pulled me through parts of North Dakota and Montana. My contribution was as “Flav-Nav” and as resident goober. 🙂
We started off early from the campground, and had breakfast at an inn. I’m not sure whether it was gratitude, hunger, or the cold, but breakfast was delicious!
The scenery in Glacier is spectacular. The air smells like Christmas trees and citrus. I stopped every few miles to take pictures. I honestly can’t wait to come back!
We stopped in West Glacier and I met a (carved) bear buddy:
We stopped to swim/skip rocks in the Flathead River before continuing on to Whitefish. I loved that we weren’t in a hurry. Full day of enjoying Glacier! As we approached Columbia Falls, we met a recreational rider who told us about the farmer’s market in Whitefish, as well as the Great Northern Brewery. With that, we had our night planned!
After shaved ice, local pizza, and huckleberry ice cream, we went over to the Great Northern for Going-to-the-Sun IPA. Too much fun! Then, Google maps conspired to make a 2.5 mile ride to the state park take an hour (the road listed led to an overgrown path onto the railroad tracks, hmm…) so we had to break out night-riding gear. Hilarity (and safety) ensued.
As the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” Ryan and Eley are off to Portland, but hopefully they will make it up to Seattle to visit in just a few short weeks! Now, I just need to get there myself!