Another Day Of Rumspringa: Time For A Break?

Whitefish, MT
I realized today that lately whenever I submit a report to yinz it’s on days when I’m too exhausted to ride or do much else. That has probably affected my writing a bit! Today is such a day, I did about a half days worth of miles and crashed here in town. I don’t have the energy to type up something detailed, so I’ll summarize: Glacier is amazing! I hiked, continued to get soaked and shiver, celebrated my birthday (33rd) with some other vagabonds, crossed Logan Pass again in the opposite direction (#7) and ate huckleberry cobbler.

There’s a lot more to see and my snacks ran out so I left the park this morning. If I can overcome my cheapness I may check into the hostel or RV park here because right now I feel like I could sleep for a week. I always get a little disappointed in myself when I need a day off, but I pulled a hard day yesterday and didn’t sleep that well. The locals like to stay up late, and I like to get up early which means I don’t sleep. If I can manage to swallow my pride my body tells me it’s time to relax for a day or two.

In Which Chris Carries Way Too Much Gear Over Logan I Pass

St Mary, MT
The trees around me quiver and bend as the wind continues unabated. If I listen intently I can hear each gust start as a low rumble on the far end of the valley and then steadily rise in pitch as it rushes my way. The trees to my right are tossed about first and then all the others follow suit down the line leaving no leaf unturned. My tent likewise shakes, flattens, and flaps. It reminds me of home, where Autumn storms blow through the night and shake the house to its foundation. The wind is blowing between 30 and 40 mph and I’m finding it hard to motivate myself to be adventurous today.

I melted my quads dragging an absurdly heavy bike over Logan Pass Friday and spent yesterday hiding from waves of lightning inside the lodge in St. Mary. I definitely needed the rest, after one mile I realized the other 19 were not going to happen. It’s ok, I need to spend more time reading and writing anyway. The decent weather will return tomorrow and I’ll once more find it impossible to sit still.

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Another Day Of Rumspringa: Freezing

Big Fork, MT
The weather has been miserable today. The thermometer hasn’t crossed 50 and it’s been raining since I awoke in the dugout of one of the Polson baseball diamonds. I was in a rush to get to a bank to aquire (dub)loonies but when I stopped for coffee I realized my hands were pink and I was shivering. Temperature management on rainy days is difficult: too many layers and you sweat, not enough and you freeze. Rain gear is swell but you’re going to end up wet one way or another. Also, my rain pants have a huge rip in the crotch so their effectiveness is limited.

So I’m typing this for you from the really comfortable rec room of the Rollins RV park as I wait for the storm to pass. When you have 16 hours of daylight waiting on weather is less frustrating. The staff has pitied me and the cook made me a delicious meal for free.
Forbidden Love


Don’t Look Back!

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Chris Finds Peace Of Mind In Montana

Is this, (Western) Montana, the promised land? I’ve been busy asking myself that since I left Yellowstone. What a contrast it is to leave an area entirely populated by tourists to arrive at an area with next to none. Not many locals either, just big sky and rolling hills.

I’ve seen a lot of rural towns, villages, and hamlets in this country and I thought I knew what to expect. Generally speaking: poverty and the last vestiges of long gone industry. And you know, to be fair, I skipped the Midwest in favor of the poorer parts of the South. Iowa may have a lot of to offer, I mean it! Anyway the cities and towns here are seemingly healthy and well adjusted. Old brick buildings which serve to anchor small towns against the prairie wind are occupied and streets are clean. Not overly clean in that creepy Provo way, just well cared for. I like Montana!

Don’t like the looks of them clouds either, mister

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Another Day Of Rumspringa: Fatigue

Emigrant, MT
When I find time I’ll do a proper write up of Yellowstone (and a lot of other places) but for now suffice it to say that it’s an interesting place that suffers from over population. I did get to see all the varieties (2) of bears without getting eaten by one, but I’m not out of the woods yet.

I’ve been dealing with some powerful fatigue, and a bad wind on top of that, so I didn’t get very far today. I’ve been very tired for a few days and I’m not sure what’s up. Maybe I picked up something from the (other) tourists in Yellowstone. Maybe my diet hasn’t been all that good. Typically I can grind out miles for days and not feel too terrible. For now I’m not concerned, although I would have liked to reach Livingston today.

I’m heading to Glacier in a round about way. I’m trying to get my fancy dynamo light warrantied so I can use it to charge devices when I head to British Columbia. I guess I didn’t mention that: I’m heading to Jasper, Alberta and then flipping a coin to decide what happens after. The only deadline is to reach the greater Seattle area by the first week of August. Anyway the light is getting shipped to Missoula, and there’s no sense beating it there, so I’ll ride shorter days and find fun things to do in Montana.

Another Day Of Rumspringa: Grizzly Country

Jackson, WY
I made the transit to Jackson in good time and enjoyed a day of rest in town. The ride from Logan to Jackson on US-89 was splendid and, other than Logan Canyon, pretty safe.

I’ve talked with as many Jackson locals and we get along swimmingly. The snake river brewery has a loyalty mug you can buy, so at the bar it’s easy to differentiate tourists from ski bums. The density of really friendly people who throw themselves off of cliffs is really high. So I’ve asked them what to do and where to go and the consensus is that riding Beartooth Pass on the far side of Yellowstone is mandatory. They bought me a few rounds, so I’m obliged to suffer a bit on the scenic route to Missoula.

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Another Day Of Rumspringa: Logan Canyon

Garden City, UT
As I sit not far from the massive and rather blue Bear Lake I think it’s no longer premature to declare that I have successfully traversed the desert. The mountains on the far side of the river are obscured through a thin haze that I believe indicates water vapor. My rough estimate is that I rode 2,000 miles, ignoring my brief stint in Colorado, from the start of one desert in Del Rio, TX to the exit at my current lakeside campsite. I enjoyed my time in the Southwest but Summer is nearly here and the desert will become inhospitable to someone as Irish as myself.
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