Saturday, June 28, 2008

Missoula to Sula

I was a little apprehensive returning to the bike after a rest day. I worried whether a rest day would decrease my motivation. Fortunately, it was good to ride again. It was another wonderful day. I know this is sounding very repetitious, but it’s true. I finally have my bike seat and the rest of the components adjusted to the point that I don’t notice them.
I misread the map yesterday. Instead of 110 miles, today was only 96 miles, including another map mistake which caused me to add some extra miles in Missoula. I needed to backtrack to Lolo to head south. The Adventure Cycling maps don’t show this very clearly and I had neglected to look at a regular map. Once I got this clarified, I was on the road again. I began humming a paraphrased version of a song my father liked. “You can bring cake and porterhouse steak but don’t bring Lolo.”

Today’s ride was very easy. The terrain was flat overall. I pushed into a mild headwind the first half of the ride and enjoyed a mild tailwind the second half. First thing tomorrow, I climb to the 7,241 foot Chief Joseph Pass on the Saddle Mountain.

Road kill. I’ve seen deer, a dog, a cat, skunk, opossum, several types of birds, raccoon and a fox. Today for the first time ever I saw a porcupine. Mary wanted a picture and a quill, but at the time I had no interest in stopping. It stunk.

Tonight we’re back in a national forest. Mary has selected yet another delightful USFS camp site next to the East Fork of the Bitterroot River. It’s just as lovely but quite a contrast from the Wendover campsite in Idaho. That was still rain forest. This is Ponderosa pines. The campsites make interesting bookends to the KOA now enclosed by Missoula. Here’s what it looks like from the camper.

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