We are back!! And thank you for all the many messages of well wishes for our anniversary yesterday!! We had a nice relaxing day wandering around the very cool downtown part of Missoula and stopped in at Adventure Cycling Association Headquarters! Not sure why it was so exciting, other than of course that is the mission center and driving force behind all of the routes we have enjoyed on our bicycle adventures! Because of the planning and preparation that goes on here, we look so adventurous and capable!
It was quite a welcome! First of all the door handles were bicycle handle bars . . .so I was already impressed just walking thru the front door. Donated bicycles hung and covered the walls that various characters have used thru the years and hundreds of photos filled in the rest of the space! We of course made the board of fame and joined the hundreds of cyclists that stop in for their Poloraid photo and pin it up on the board!!! You couldn't help but notice how environmentally savvy and extra cool everyone was with the mascot dog running around, dreadlocks on many employees, Birkenstocks, everyone looked exceedingly fit working at standing desks or bouncing on their Swedish balls as chairs, and everyone was smiling! This had to be the most ideal work environment ever! The new director of marketing, Dave that gave us our tour, had just left Microsoft to do this job. As you can tell, i just loved our visit and all the info. In the end we just sat in the area for quite awhile, just absorbing all the great energy there! I loved it!
Not much more exciting stuff to report, just a general nice day! A great lunch. So fun to sit and watch all the busy young proffessionals working, walking, talking and just looking busy and occupied with a destination! Felt like we were almost invisible! Just walking thru all the activity unnoticed, which works for me!
HaHa, want to know what i had for lunch?? The most amazing, delicious bowl of sautéed Brussel sprouts!!! Topped off with a glass of Chardonnay, what better way to celebrate than with something you love but rarely get to enjoy! Not a delicious as these were! Mike had fish tacos washed down with a Bud Light . . . Don't think he was quite as excitied as I was!
Rested up we are on the road again! Not what you would call a hard day, the Bitterroot Trail is a bicycle path that gave us a smooth unchallenged ride all the 47 miles to Hamilton. Before we left Missoula I had made arrangements to stay at a family home that offers cyclists only camping. When I called the number on the map and spoke to Frank, he advised he was 90 now, didn't do it anymore but his daughter did! So I called Sally and made arrangements to stay. There is a barn that has been converted to provide a shower and a few comforts for the cyclists. Great! See you tomorrow Sally!
The ride on the bicycle trail went pretty fast as you can expect! The only thing to slow us down was the fact that we just could not take our eyes off the amazing view, the Big Sky and the Bitterroot Valley as it lay ahead of us and then behind us as we pedaled along. Arriving in Hamilton fairly early we decided to ride further, once again to get as close to the start of the next climb. Great plan but the campsite ahead was closed, a second one didn't answer. We got into that position again where we sat for so long, tried to make so many decisions, ate a bit of lunch and just basically lost something in our drive to move forward! Dave the FedEx guy stopped at our table for a chat, we were hanging out in a nice park behind McDonalds borrowing some of their WiFi!!
What is the problem you ask, we had arrangements with Sally for the evening. Sally did mention they were a bit of uphill, and it was like 3 miles off our route, it wasn't what we felt like doing, we tried very hard to move forward because we had so many good riding hours left, but once again we wallowed in indecision and now it was 3:00pm almost too late to go too much further. Dave the FedEx guy kept telling us "Go and talk to Randy in the Hamilton bike shop, he knows everything!!!!!!" So we went and talked to Randy and yes, between the 4 of them in the shop they knew everything and within minutes we had our answer!
Sally was the answer, she was in a beautiful area and then tomorrow we could ride to the last 5 miles at the base of the climb there is a hot springs with a campground! Done!
Got on our bikes and headed to Sally's Barn and Pedal Stop! It would have been such a shame to miss this opportunity! Sally is wonderful, the Barn was way more than expected! It is old, quirky and quaint! Total privacy buried in the trees! Walked inside and there are beds with sheets, hot showers, towels, soap, shampoo and if that wasn't exciting enough she said go upstairs! Really, there is an upstairs?? Full kitchen, TV, direct tv, HBO . . .are you kidding me?? It is just great! All for cyclists! Thank you Sally! We have been relaxed and enjoying the afternoon! Life is good!!