Friday, August 14, 2009

Day 20 – Aug. 8, 2009 – Stevensville – 41 miles

Bike path to Florence. Yippie!

Stevensville Creamry Days. Firetrucks!

A flower from my son

Railroad crossing. The road to our host home.

Angel Pony

Barry and Jan say goodbye the following morning.

We finally departed Missoula! It was partially cloudy with a few threatening rain clouds during the day but 70 degrees and really ideal riding conditions. We did have a bit of a headwind but nothing unbearable. We were only just 7 miles into the ride (just across town) when I needed the inevitable morning potty break. We pulled into Wal-Mart and Gregory and I came out with a half-gallon of chocolate milk and a bag of powdered donuts. Mike gave me a lot of grief about this because I’ve been trying to get these two to eat healthy (with not much luck I must add). I’m diabetic (type II controlled by diet and exercise) so must be careful and Gregory is very cavity prone so I’m also very conscious of that. It is hard to say no to ice cream when he is working so hard pumping those pedals. Mike would probably say, “Let it go Mom!” I’m trying but it is hard. Anyhow, I had a yogurt but must admit I sampled the donuts and had a sip of chocolate milk. Oh well, I’m not perfect.

The highlight of Gregory’s morning was that he found three Montana license plates within a half hour! He found two within minutes of one another. They are all different and he wants to ship them back to Grammy and Papa so he can have them to decorate his room when we settle back down. He had me on the lookout for plates all day long because as he puts it, “Daddy won’t stop for me Mom but if you say stop he will.” That is only because Gregory wants to stop about every few minutes or so and when you want to find a license plate everything looks like a license plate!!! I did look up now and then and enjoyed the majestic Bitterroot Mountain Range. We were fortunate to have a bike path most of the day and it paralleled Highway 93 South.

Gregory did pretty well until about mile 30 when we hit Florence and then his slight cold caught up with him. He was tired and wanted to stop. With no camping in sight he and Daddy split a Powerade and we talked him in to 8 more miles to Stevensville. Good thing we did too because along the bike path we met Barry who pulled up along-side us and eventually invited us to stay with him that evening. Barry was training for a triathlon and doing a day ride from Stevensville to Florence and back. We met up with him outside Stevensville and got directions to his house (5 miles the other side of town). When I asked if he’d called his wife to clear it with her he said, “No, we’ll surprise her.” Well, she was great and gave us a warm greeting.

Before we reached the house we stopped in Stevensville to enjoy the festivities of their Stevensville Creamery Picnic including a firefighter water challenge. They raised the buckets on two backhoes, strung a wire between with an empty keg attached and then preceded to use the high-powered water hoses to propel the keg across the wire. First team to the opposing side wins. Gregory planted himself on the step side of the fire truck and enjoyed the spray of the competition.

At Jan and Barry’s house we enjoyed the conversation and had some delicious barbecued chicken, pork and beans and fresh cucumbers from Jan’s amazing garden. She took Gregory and I down to her garden (in her daughter’s yard just down the hill on flatter terrain more suitable for gardening) and I think she was pleased that Gregory was so interested and impressed with her work. He was able to identify most plants (thanks to his grandparents and Mom) and even helped pick a zucchini Jan had overlooked earlier in the day. Jan also introduced us to her daughter’s pony Angel and Gregory was able to feed her carrots and have a ride! He was in his biking tights and rode without a saddle so we had quite a mess of horsehair when he was done. Daddy and Barry took the duck tape to them later though! Again, the many uses of duck tape!

We had the best nights sleep we’ve probably had thus far. The next morning they fixed us a delicious breakfast of eggs, toast and fresh fruit with plenty of coffee. We hated to say goodbye but finally were on the road around 10:30 A.M.

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