Day 63, July 20th 2008, beginning in Kalispell, Montana

I awoke and quickly jumped back on the computer. Mark and Ted were up, probably chatting about running or something, and they began preparing breakfast. After a while, pancakes were up. We had some blueberries, strawberries and bananas to garnish them if we pleased. It was a great breakfast to start off a nice long day. After breakfast, I kept on writing. Ted was looking to leave on his own bike ride for the day, since he was training for another iron man, and I was cutting it close. I finally finished up a post, and we were ready to leave.

We took a picture, and hit the road towards a trail that was near his house that would dump us out near Flathead Lake. Ted also left us Jamie's phone number so that we could call her to see if we could stay with them that coming evening.

Although we were riding along a lake, the terrain was quite up and down. It was a very pretty area which was nice, but also brought a lot of traffic. We had plenty of shoulder though, so it was an enjoyable ride. I took a bathroom break at one point and heard a voicemail from Jamie confirming that it would be agreeable by all parties if we stayed with her folks that evening. She was actually planning on being there as well, which was nice.

We continued on to a junction where we had to turn off the road we were on. We looked around for a bit and saw nothing. Mark noticed some cars pulling down one sttreet, so we decided to check it out. A bit over a hill from where we were searching was a massive native american pow wow. The festival is held only one weekend a year, and we happened to be there at the right time. There was food everywhere. Every member was dressed differently with really ornate and colorful apparel. It was a very nice treat. I'm pretty sure I spotted Steven Spielberg, or maybe his evil twin. What do you think?

They held a ceremony where they were separated into age groups, and each would walk in to the tent area singing and dancing. Lots of energy, lots of fun.

Once that was over, we had to get back on the road to make decent time. We cruised downhill for a while with a nice tailwind after we had climbed a large hill right outside of Elmo, where we had stopped. We were averaging above 20 mph for a while until the terrain leveled off and we turned out of the wind. Our next stop would be Hot Springs

Hot Springs had hot springs, go figure, but they were a few miles off the road and we were sort of behind schedule after the pow wow. It may have made our legs like rubber as well, so it probably was a good decision, although too bad we couldn't enjoy them at the end of the day. We ended up stopping at a little bar where we got a couple pizzas. We filled up and were back on the road in no time.

We set out to make our final leg of the day into Plains from Hot Springs. Ted had mentioned how we would get up over a hill and it was easy cruising into Plains. After about hill 23 we were wondering if he was just telling us that to keep our spirits up. It was a massive climb out of Hot Springs to Plains. Sometimes its better not knowing. Eventually, like we always do, we gave all the elevation gain back as we cruised down the other side heading into Plains.

We stopped at a Subway to fill up since the water was really sulfury and gross from Hot Springs. I had finally gotten back into cell range, and was able to communicate with Jamie. She said we had about 7 miles to go to her street where she would meet us on her bike and ride us back towards her house. Perfect.

Arriving at Buffalo Hill Rd., Jamie greeted us with a smile and congratulated us for making it that far. It had been about a 95 mile day, and we were ready to relax. We made our way back to her parents house, where she played an excellent hostess. She showed us to the laundry right away, and had been preparing some amazing food for our arrival. Her mother was at a barbecue, and would return a bit later, and her father we would have to meet in the morning since he was an engineer for a train that goes from Spokane, Wa to Missoula, MT and he would be returning late.

Jamie also had some steak for us, and tasked Paul with the job of preparing it since she admittedly was no grilling expert. Soon enough we had a Smorgasbord of delectables that we all enjoyed, complete with good company. Paul, apparently in need of watching his weight, sat down and broke a bench they had on their deck where we ate. He felt bad, but we would find out later that it was already broken. He was cleared.

Karen, Jamie's mother came home and we all chatted outside for a bit. She is a really sweet, sincere woman as well, and seem to enjoy our company too. Jamie topped off the feast with some angel food cake with strawberries and blueberries in the middle. It was to die for. Man she's a great cook.

After we went inside Jamie had suggested we relax in front of the tv. I went into the room first but was not followed. After a solid 7 or 8 seconds, I had dozed off in this really comfortable chair they had, while the others were in the kitchen. Man I was beat.

I did wake up in enough time for Karen to show me to the couch she had set up for me with blankets and pillows and the like. Man these people were good. Hopefully Tom, Jamie's father, wouldn't be startled when he came through their living room and saw me on their couch. Not sure she had gotten the word to him yet.

Paul and Mark went upstairs to sleep in some spare bedrooms they had and I stayed put where I was. We were so happy to be among great hosts two nights in a row, now it was time to go back to sleep for me.

Life was good.

9 Replies to “Day 63, July 20th 2008, beginning in Kalispell, Montana”

  1. Yeah! PowWow pics! Nice! What an unusual opportunity!

    Jamie & family: Thanks for treating our sons as if they were family!

    Once again, awesome pics!

    Take care and ride safely, Chris & Paul .

  2. Ditto above. And, yes Chris, it might've been SS himself!
    Amazing the good fortune you've had of riding into cultural experiences as well as lifestyles.

    I know this is ahead of the blog date, but Kudo's to you both for the major accomplishment of going across the country, from Key West to Seattle ~ on a wing, a prayer and a bike! Impressive determination and ability; you two are sooooo inspired and inspiring!

    As always, I'm sure for both our families, we are proud of you!


  3. Ny & Ron said it BEST: How truly amazing this all has been.

    A wing, a whim, a prayer, a bike and two determined men ! And they said it couldn't be done!!!!

    A big celebration is in store for you both when you touch down in beautiful Connecticut which we call HOME!

  4. When you get back, maybe we can go to a pow wow at the casinos here. Not sure about Steven S. but the pow wow sounded awesome as well as your host families. I think Mark is headed for a higher weight class.


  5. It was certainly a pleasure to be able to host the guys for a night. They were very easy and fun company.

    Sorry you had to grill your own dinner, but I know Paul did better than I would have and I promise-the bench was already broken. It was not due to the countless buffets you've been enjoying. 🙂

    Anybody is welcome if you're up in NW Montana. Give us a call.

  6. Jamie, Thank you, Ted & your family ~ I'm glad you enjoyed their company, they obviously enjoyed & appreciated you all.
    Also glad ‘the heavyweight' didn't really break the bench!

    Please keep us in mind when traveling the NE.

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