Day13-Aug. 1, 2009 – Lolo Hot Springs RV Park to Missoula, MT - 44 miles:
Mike and I pitched in and cooked bacon and potatoes for our new friends “Sisters On The Fly”. Mike even wore a “Sisters” apron and looked quite official. There were also cheesy eggs, salsa and tortillas to make scrumptious breakfast burritos. We took a short hike up the ridge and looked down on the “Cowgirl Caravan” nestled in along the river. It was hard to say goodbye to our new friends but we have memories we’ll treasure forever. This is one story we know will be told again and again. Though we were on a mission to get into Missoula we took the time to stop at a Dog Agility Exhibition we came upon. We spotted this enormous long metal building, lots of cars and campers and several people milling around with dogs so I hollered from the bike, “What do you have going on here?” The response was, “A dog agility exhibition.” I quickly encouraged Mike to stop and it was entirely worth it. Gregory was thrilled to watch the dogs and several trainers let him pet their dogs and even lead them out to take a dip in the kiddie pool to cool off. These folks from Boise, ID (BARC-Boise Agility Runners and Climbers, boiseagility.org) were just as interested in what we were doing and talked to us for over an hour. We left feeling like we’d made new friends. The riding was fairly easy today but poor Mike did encounter two more bee stings. One got him on the stomach and another got into his jersey and stung him on the back. Gregory and I are sure thankful he is blocking all of those bees! We broke out the “Adolf’s Unseasoned Meat Tenderizer”(recommended by our dermatologist Dr. Richey) and doctored him up. We did finally make it to Missoula, MT home of Adventure Cycling. (We are following the Adventure Cycling Trans America Trail for the U.S. leg of our journey.) Unfortunately we arrived after they closed for the day. However, we collected a map of the area and made contact with our first “warmshowers” host. (Warmshowers.org is a network for cyclists to connect with a host for an evening or two and was recommended to us by several cyclists.) Our host, Inky, had only joined a few weeks prior and we feel so blessed to have connected with her. Though she was correcting papers for her university class and leaving on a rafting trip Monday she still generously welcomed us into her home. She lives in a charming cabin in the hills above Missoula and is surrounded by the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Wilderness. Climbing the hill to her house was something, especially after a 40-mile day, but we did it and were pleased to be greeted by Inky’s warm smiling face.