Days 60+61 (July 27th and 28th 2016) Darby – Missoula MT; 62 miles

Yesterday was an easy day, but any one of us could argue it was a boring one. We spent the majority of the day on a bike path at the base of the Bitter Root Mountains. Though the scenery was beautiful, the bike path was long and tedious, as well as poorly signed and at times confusing. We had to cross the highway numerous times to stay on track as well as attempt to figure out where the next turn was. Even though frustrating, the bike path was a safer choice than the road, as there were white crosses littered along the way signifying highway deaths. Not the most reassuring symbol.

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It is now becoming a trend that the last pit stop of the day (usually 20 or less miles left of the ride) is the longest. We spend up to 2 hours at a gas station or convenience store putting off the inevitable. It’s not that we’re physically tired, we just are sick of getting back on the bike at this point. We want to get to the destination, but find it hard to find the motivation to hop back on the bike. But with only 2 weeks left of the journey, the excitement of getting to OR I’m sure will energize us to get it done.

I have noticed that I spend the most money to support my chocolate milk and gummy bear addiction. I get thrilled when I see a gas station convenience store, as I usually have a strong craving for chocolate milk. I will consume at least a bottle daily, sometimes more including what the dinner crew gets for dinner. It is proven to be a top notch recovery drink, plus it’s delicious! Gummy bears are great for just bored snacking when riding.

Today we had a rest day in Missoula, MT. It is home of the Adventure Cycling Association, the organization who set this trip up. They welcomed us with drinks and ice cream, and even weighed our bikes. Old Bessie came in a little over group average at 84 lbs, she’s a hefty girl. But I’ve come all this way with the weight, so no use making cuts now! We even got to see Whitney again, it was great to see her friendly and smiling face. We enjoyed exploring the town at night with Catherine.

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Today the ACA threw a delicious BBQ for us and gave us a tour of the headquarters. It was very interesting to learn the history and roots of the organization, and how we ourselves are advancing their legacy. At the end of the tour they gifted us with free jerseys, we all were very appreciative.

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Sheena and I ran various errands, including getting our bikes checked out at one of the many bike shops. Old Bess’ handlebar tape ripped a few days ago, so she got a makeover with purple tape. She looks so fierce now!

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Tomorrow we will be saying goodbye to MT and head into ID. We have been told that ID is surprisingly beautiful, so I’m excited to see if it lives up to the hype.

Sheena and I sprung for a hotel last night and tonight, so we should be well rested to handle the intimidating ride ahead of us!

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