So we rode about 50 miles today, thinking that it may be a relatively easy day after yesterdays 83 miles, well it was for the most part before that last 10-13 miles of constant elevation gain that we experienced. After leaving Flagg Ranch we stopped along the way to take pics of the Tetons. Lucky for us there were not many RVs on the road so it was smooth sailing through RV alley between Yellowstone and the Tetons. We stopped in Colter Bay for some lunch and groceries then headed to the Buffalo Road Cafe for some pie ala mode, yummy. We arrived at the Togwotee Resort, where a guy, Pete, we had met earlier in the trip who is also riding the divide, offered for us to stay in his hotel room to be able to get showers and clean up a bit. We did some laundry in the shower and hope to get to bed soon. Well we are up to about 1,038 miles, so we have about 1,716 miles to go. We think we are going to slow this down a bit, in terms of miles/day, then again we are tired right now and even 20 miles seems too far to go tomorrow. We continue to gauge it as we go, with no real set plan for each day, at least not for the most part. Thanks for the continued donations, hope you are all enjoying the blog!
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Posted by Doug at 10:32 PM
Gitty up and away we go from Big Springs, ID to Flagg Ranch, WY. From the look of the maps it looked like a doable 83.5 miles, well it was doable, just took longer than we anticipated. We rode for 9 1/2 hours out of the 12 hours we were on the road. It was a loong hot day about 80 degrees. Got a great view of the Western side of the Tetons, after riding on soft cinder, washboarded rail trail. So we are riding along and suddenly here comes a Jeep, backing up the rail trail with an Florida State University bumper sticker. So to all you FSU fans (Amy S.), the only thing I reckon caused this person to drive onto a rail trail and reach a point that they were no longer able to drive was that they must be so educated that they could only read word signs and not signs with pictures on it, such as the rail trail sign. I will have to look more into this, in my spare time. So along the way, were told that there had been some bear sightings, well I had gotten rid of the obnoxiously loud, annoying sounding horn that was given to me at work and replaced it with yelling "hey Bear." Well, we thought we would change it up a bit and started yelling "Peanuts, Popcorn, Crackerjacks" and "Ice Cold Beer" as well as "Free Beer." Then realized that we may get some business by the locals, as this is the middle of nowhere and if I heard people yelling this I just might grab my money pouch and head out to see what I could get.
Posted by Doug at 10:27 PM
So we took another day off to meet up with some friends and explore Yellowstone. We may be the only 2 couples on earth to have explored Yellowstone all in one day, it was the Griswalds do Yellowstone tour that was fast paced and tiring. Jen with her keen bear spotting eye sight, was able to spot a bear, laying down, behind a tree, while driving in a car at 35mph. Well this then caused a Yellowstone traffic jam as everyone began stopping to see what we were looking at, blocking the road and the pull off. We can definitely say that Yellowstone was truly beautiful and amazing and it was great to hang out with friends, though we prefer the road less traveled.
Posted by Doug at 10:16 PM
So we have some more time now to add some details to the previous post. The last couple of days in Montana were wind filled to say the least and not a tailwind either. We battled some pretty strong head and side wind that pushed us across the rough, dusty and washboarded roads. At one point we were stopped in our tracks and got sand blasted, just putting our heads down and pushing our bikes through it. The long day into Lima, we rode approximately 83 miles, stopping along the way to filter water out of a stream in a cow pasture with cow patties on the streambed, yummy! So far, so good with the water, the filter appears to be working well as we haven't gotten sick. Now you may be asking, why drink from the stream with cow poop in it, well, there were no other options at the time. It has been quite hot lately and we are drinking more and more water, applying sunscreen like we live on Mercury. That day also consisted of riding through 2 cattle drives, which 5 cowboys and a number of border collies were moving cattle 3 days away, it was rather neat and thought about riding along with the cows, but they were headed in the direction we had just came from. The day into Bannack State park we rode about 50 miles, the day before we did about 58 from Butte and into Butte we did about 60 something. So we have had our fare share of long days and it seemed to get hot fast, though there is some relief in the shade due to the dryness, that is of course if you can find shade in the arid, sage brush landscape.
Posted by Doug at 10:11 PM
Thursday, June 28, 2012
So we took day 11 off in Butte to do erands and such. Day 12 we rode into Wise River, home of the aggressive and ferocious mosquitos that were attacking us while riding at 14mph. Met up with some rafters that lent us their bug spray and invited us to hang out at their campsite. We feasted on their leftovers and had a great time talking and hanging out with some new found friends, whose names shall remain anonymous as requested. Day 13 we rode against the wind and into an oasis in the middle of the arid, sage brush landscape of Montana, Bannack State Park. Thank you to the campground hosts there, Jamie and Paul for thier hospitality and generousity. Day 14 we got an early start to try to avoid some of the wind, rode til about noon or so and took a break and a nap in a dried up creek bed under a tree. Broke a spoke, fixed the spoke. We then rode on and decided to ride into the night, arriving in Lima, MT at 11pm, camped in the wind with the tent bending and flapping. Along the way we met an elderly gentleman, from Gilford, NH, who was waiting for his wife as she was hiking the CDT. When finished she will have completed all 3 of the long distance hiking routes, the AT, PCT and finally the CDT, way to go! So we rode 80 miles and did some awesome night riding. Day 15 found us fighting some 40mph cross wind and head wind that gusted to up to 70mph at times causing us to stand still. We ended up staying a the Centenial Outfitters lodge as we just could not ride any further in the wind as it was already 7:30pm and we were still not at our destination. Highly recommend this lodge, Mel and Chris were just fantastic hosts, good food and a warm hospitality, making us feel part of the family. Mel had some great stories from when he was a kid in a one-room school house with only a hand full of students. Chris also shared that she had lost her father due to complications related to Type 1 diabetes. McKayla and Levi were working with the family and were some very nice young adults, looking forward to going to school next winter. Left the lodge on day 16 and ran into Greg and Tracy and rode with them for a bit. Reached Big Springs Idaho and met up with our friends and stayed with them in Yellowstone. Day 17, we are currently in Yellowstone with our friends will check it out today and get back on the bike tomorrow. Should be in Wyoming in less than 2 days. Thanks for the comments and continued donations, much appreciated, we are now up to 71% of our fundraising goal. So the question is, why on earth do mule deer hop away when it is clearly faster to run?! Time limited again with the computer, hope to have more time in the future to add more interesting and funny occurrances. Hello to everyone at both our workplaces, you are all awesome for supporting us on this journey/adventure. Thanks for reading. :~)
Posted by Doug at 11:57 AM
Friday, June 22, 2012
Just wanted to keep the part 1 and 2 going. (Rob Leipheimer in front of Levi's jerseys at the Outdoorsman) So we will leave tomorrow for somewhere else, probably around Wise River area. We may have picked up a tag along for at least a while or so, a racer was at the bike shop and she has been been battling illness and some frightening times alone as a woman on the trail. We have offered for her to tag along with us and she was sounding like she was going to take us up on our offer, though she was going to get checked out at Urgent Care. Wishes to Niels and Willemijn and Greg and Pete, riding out there somewhere in the Montana wilderness, hope we run into you again, it was a pleasure. Hello to Juan, wherever in the world the Navy has you at this point, wish you were here! I have updated the pics in the right hand column, click on and enjoy. We are now up to 66% of our fundraising goal, remember the link is in the right hand column and all donations are tax deductible and go directly to the ADA. Thanks for reading and traveling along and for the donations. If you want to post a comment it looks like you have to gain a google account, which is free and easy to sign up for then you can comment on our blog, please do, it is great motivation and inspiration. Until next time, you can hear my butt mumbling through my bike shorts, "get me off this seat!"
Posted by Doug at 6:08 PM
Hey again folks, so let's see where I left off, oh yea, day 9 the ride out of Lincoln. It was a beautiful sunny day, rode over 3, yes 3 passes that crossed over the continental divide. So if you are keeping track at home we have crossed the divide 3 times in the US and 4 overall. It was a long day camped at Moose Creek outside of Helena. Met the county commissioner for the Lewis and Clark County that was in office when they captured the unibomber in Lincoln....interestingly small state for how freakin huge it is! Day 10, Sunny all day and one of the toughest days so far, though I will probably say that after everyday. Rode into Butte, MT got in around 7pm after leaving around 9am. That is a looong day in the saddle. We decided to take today off after getting in late, need to recoup, re-supply and get our bikes worked on, last bike shop til Colorado. Stopped in at the Outdoorsman, owned by Rob Leipheimer brother of pro cyclist Levi. Rob was more than generous, had a lounge set up for people on the divide, whether touring or racing, worked on our bikes immediately for free and offered some great advice. Thank you Rob and Larry for the work and generosity, it is much appreciated. Highly recommend stopping here for anyone doing the divide, actually it is a must!!
Posted by Doug at 5:56 PM
Day 7, well more rain, this is a theme for a while, i tell ya. We ended up avoiding another pass that had reports of snow, still road through the cold rain all day into Seeley Lake, MT. Met up with 4 other riders that took the pass and told us how bad it was and how we were lucky to have avoided it. They were up there for hours trudging through the snow with hail and rain pounding them all along the way. Phew, yet another one missed! So we hung out with our new found friends and all left the next day and road together for a while at least. Before we left Seeley Lake, MT we stopped at an Ace Hardware/Convenience Store/Eatery, where we received donations from Pat the Manager and 2 lovely ladies working at the eatery Jody and Radean. Thank you very much, it was truly humbling and emotional for strangers to offer the donations! Later in the day one of the 4 riders we met up with, Greg, also gave a donation before we rode on. Thank you Greg! So Day 8 brought slightly less rain, rode over huckleberry pass to Lincoln, MT home of the infamous unibomber. Stayed at a motel as again we were wet and cold and the temps were dropping, Kevin at 3 Bears Motel was very nice and friendly and accommodating. Thanks Kevin and keep panning!
Posted by Doug at 2:35 PM
So it has been sometime since the last update. Day 6, we left polebridge went a different route to avoid the snow in the pass. Definitely a good decision, stopped at a winery along the way to columbia falls, MT and had a wine tasting. The guy running the winery used to live in PA near where we grew up and was in NH the week before, unbelievable. We camped in Tom and Patty Arnone's yard, they are very kind and generous hosts along the route and love to have cyclists. Thanks again for your hospitality! Day 7 we had a tough 6 mile climb then the rain hit us, it was a deluge, so we were cold and wet all over. Arrived at an intersection on the trail, a jeep rolls up with 3 people, Brian, Apryll and Joost, who graciously offer for us to stay at their guest cabin at their place a few miles away. We did and it was truly amazing, an awesome hot meal that Apryll made and a cabin with a wood stove to dry our stuff and warm us up. If anyone is interested in buying a Didgeridoo, check out Brian's website at flyingpopcornranch.com.
Posted by Doug at 2:22 PM
Friday, June 15, 2012
So when saying the title of the post, you have to use your best western accent. As I said previously, the biggest challenge seemed to be being able to keep our caloric intake up...problem solved. (This one is especially for Martha)....Here is my thought (since I have a lot of time to think while the seat is becoming one with my buttocks) I thought for breakfast I would fry up some grizzle from a nice big fatty steak, fatty bacon on a lard lathered bagel and deep fried. All I can say is yummy and where is the closest outhouse! Polebridge, Mt is this interesting place in the middle of nowhere, that everyone around seems to know about, it has a saloon, mercantile and a hostel (where we are at right now) run by a fantastic guy named Oliver. Recap of day 4, long day against headwind, crossed border into US, I can´t remember much else besides the pain in my backside. Day 5, reports of snow over whitefish divide, only turned out to be snow patches, though it was a day of climbing 26 miles and not an equal amount downhill. Rode into Polebridge, which is 5.5 miles out of the way...and definitely worth it, got info on snow for tomorrows ride from a guy named Yan, who advised to reroute if possible. Itś possible and we may just do that, he found it to be quite miserable and he isnt pulling a trailer. To all our friends and family, thank you for your support, keep the comments and donations rolling in, it really means alot. Days are long, tough and tiring and they help to drive us forward. So remember boys and girls, when using your chamois butter, use the opposite hand that you would to dive into a bag of chips or popcorn, especially when sharing with others.
Posted by Doug at 11:54 PM
Thursday, June 14, 2012
So I would upload a pic to this post, but the computer is an antique and the software is from a decade ago and will not allow me to upload a pic. I think it may have asked me "what the heck is a pic?" Anyway it is the morning of day 4, we are in Fernie, about 160 miles into the trip. We decided to take the Fernie alternate route due to the weather yesterday, cold and rainy on and off all day. The other way took us to a higher elevation where there is snow and looked like it may have snowed more yesterday. So recap of the past 3 days. Day 1: stayed at Boulton Creek about 60 miles from the start, good weather, saw a couple of wolves and a cow moose and her calf. Day 2: stayed in Elkford, it was a 50 mile day, saw elk, big horn sheep and some deer. We had to go over a 6,400 foot Elk pass that still had snow patches and plenty of thick mud, took us 3 hours to go about 5 miles....good times, lots of hike-a-bikes. Day 3: went another 50 miles into Fernie, cold and rainy throughout the day, ended up staying here at Barbara Lynn's B&B, they accomodate cyclists for $40. So anyone reading this that is going to do this trip, definitely recommend staying here, we were able to dry out our stuff and get some much needed r&r. The biggest thing thus far is trying to sustain our food intake, pretty much we are eating everything in sight and still want more. I think we scared the bighorn sheep, because we were hungry and he saw the look in our eyes. In Fernie, I ate sushi out of the back of a van, yea that's right Yama to Go Sushi, it was gooood! I could not upload the pic from Jen's camera. Check out the picasa album in the right hand column, I was able to upload pics from my camera. Well we are going to shoot for the border today about 55 miles, so we may be in Eureka, MT, which is about 65 miles, we will see what the day brings first. Chow for now!! :~)
Posted by Doug at 9:13 AM
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Meet Olan, Shuttle driver for the Banff Airporter, very nice chap, excited about our trip. So the adventure has certainly begun early. In your great divide manuals, please turn to the "shit will hit the fan" page to review what may go wrong. We delayed our flight to Friday, while in line to board an American Airlines 1:30 flight, plane was taken out of service. Scrambled to find another flight, they booked us on US Airways for 4:30. Arrived in Calgary after midnight, so we missed our shuttle, bikes didn't show up and neither did the baggage claim reps. We had to stay in a hotel in Calgary, get to the shuttle pick up at 8am, for the guy to tell us everything was all booked for the day. Turned out he was looking at the wrong screen and there was plenty of room. Got to Banff, after hours and numerous phone calls over 2 days we were able to get our bikes today. We plan to roll out Monday June 11 at 6am.
Posted by Doug at 3:25 PM
Thursday, June 7, 2012
So the adventure has begun, no we have not begun riding yet, we are actually still in New Hampshire. So we lost our 17 year old cat the evening before we were to fly out, decided to switch our award tix, luckily a flight was available on Friday June 8. Spent the day looking for Mr. Felix, who escaped from the backyard somehow, get your ass back home buddy! So this will push our start to ride date off to Sunday June 10. Thanks to Scott at trackleaders.com we are back online with a map in the right hand column of our blog where you can track our progress and our whereabouts. Ok folks, will try to post again from Banff before we start the ride. Oh yea and we are up to 60% of our donation goal, freakin Awesome! A BIG Thank you to all the very generous donators.
Posted by Doug at 4:25 PM
Monday, June 4, 2012
We are down to 3 days til we fly out and 5 days til we ride. So we want to thank all of our friends and family for their support, it really means a lot to us. Thank you to our awesome dog/house sitter Chelsea, it is a relief to know our girls will be well taken care of, you rock! Thank you to all those who have generously donated to this very special cause, it really means a great deal to us, keep them flowing, we are at 39% of our goal and still going strong. Thank you to all of our colleagues at the Concord Visiting Nurses Association and Riverbend Community Mental Health, we are truly humbled by the support and appreciate this opportunity that has been allotted to us. Thank you to Spot Tracker for providing us with a Spot tracking device and subscription. (hopefully we can get the map working again on our blog) We are packed, psyched and ready to be one with nature for 2 months.
“You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself” (Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)
Posted by Doug at 8:47 PM