Another ten days has passed since our last zero-mile day. Today we are resting in Eureka, Montana. Not a terribly exciting town but a town with affordable hotel rooms, good coffee, a big grocery store, and only ten miles from the Canadian border. That’s right! Tomorrow we pass over to Canada. Only 225 miles to Banff! And we have seven days to ride, so at least three zero-mile days before we finish. Don’t want to arrive in Banff too early because we can’t afford it! 😛
Quick updates... after leaving Helena, we rode to Barbara Nye’s Lost Llama Home for Wayward Cyclists. She and her beau, John, offer GDMBR cyclists a place to stay, food, and showers. Upon arrival you are offered sandwiches, soda, and beer. Then escorted to your cabin with full kitchen, stocked with food, wine, and candy; beds are upstairs, in the loft. There is an AUTOMATIC M&M CANDY DISPENSER in your living room. Other cyclists arrive and come hang out with you. That evening, Barbara and John build a fire and treat everyone to s’mores. And this is all free. They just request you pay-it-forward to someone down the road. Oh, and add llamas, alpacas, and baby bunnies to the scene. One of the highlights of my GDMBR journey.
Next night we reached Ovando, Montana. Steffie and Quentin had already arrived but passed on the opportunity to sleep in the shepherd’s wagon due to the fact that they were both too tall for the bed! In Ovando, cyclists can choose to sleep in a teepee, old jail, or shepherd’s wagon. A small town but they really cater to GDMBR cyclists, even providing free coffee at the general store.
Other highlights of the past week include spending a half-day in Seeley Lake drinking espresso, eating ice cream, and relaxing. Amazing single-track riding in Flathead National Forest and taking a day off-route to ride into Glacier National Park. A very worthwhile 40 extra miles. We rode the shuttle bus up the Going-to-the-Sun Highway, perhaps the most scenic of all mountain roads in the United States.
We’ve been riding more miles per day. At the beginning of the trip, we averaged maybe 30-40 miles a day. Lately we’ve been riding 50-70 miles. Feeling a bit sore and tired but I’m enjoying the riding and it is worth cycling the extra miles in order to stop and rest in the few towns along the route. It is also nice to camp in a campground with bear boxes since hanging our food in a tree is a bit of a pain (although John is very good at it!).
We’ve still not seen a bear, moose, or mountain lion. Personally, I’m quite relieved but John is disappointed. I have gotten in the habit of playing music, podcasts, and audio books loudly on my speaker. I don’t want to surprise any big critters. Most days we only see a few other cyclists and maybe a couple of trucks. Still enjoying the opportunity to wild camp in the national forests and tackle the mountain passes... up, up, up and down, down, down.
I hope you enjoy the photos! I think they tell a good story.