Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 6 - West out of Missoula

We woke up feeling refreshed, packed up, and did some yoga in the sun while the girls basked in the grass, stretched out to soak up as much of the golden rays as possible.  We enjoyed the bike lanes of Missoula and stopped at REI and the Big Sky Brewing tap room, where we enjoyed four free samples of beer from one of our favorite breweries.

We also stopped at the Good Food Store, which had a huge bulk selection and great organic produce.  We bought a ton of food for a very small amount of money and they were more than happy to plug our phone in behind the customer service counter to charge.  The girls have been doing very well hanging out in their trailers while we go into stores and restaurants.  They are very comfortable in their trailers the way that they are in their kennels at home. 

We rode through town after town while trying to get out of Missoula.  It was mostly a single row of houses lining the highway and ranging from ragged shacks and mobile homes to suburban, upper-middle class, cookie cutter two-stories all in a row with their out-of-place green lawns.  The mountains loomed in the background.

The highway turned into a gravel road and we had not ridden it for long when I heard a loud pop like a gun shot from ahead of me.  Brenton’s rear tire had torn at the bead and the small wire pieces that were supposed to be holding the tire together, now stabbed the soft tube inside. 

Brenton replaced the tube and, with MacGyver like skill, he covered the tear in the tire with electrical tape to prevent it from piercing the new tube.  We hoped it would hold.

We took this road that followed the interstate through woods and ranches until it dead ended at a driveway and we had to unload our bikes and trailers and move everything over the barbered wire fence and hop on the shoulder of I-90.  I had been dreading riding along the interstate, but it really wasn’t as bad as I had expected.  The shoulder was wide and smooth and the scenery was still pleasant even with the roaring trucks surging past. 

Our campsite for the night was right on the river, and we saw what we think was a mountain lion walking down the railroad tracks across the water.  The couple in the RV behind us said that they sat here last year and watched the bears eat huckleberries by the tracks. 

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