Brianís Cross-USA Bicycle Tour
Day 21 - Sunday, July 8, 2001
I had hoped that the wind would have died down after the storm blew out, but that was not the case.
My map showed a few restaurants in the first 20 miles or so, but all of them were only open for dinner. So it was a Hostess Donuts breakfast at one of the small stores at an RV park, supplemented with some food I had in my bags. I decided to try the rice cakes I had been lugging around since Missoula, and was pleased to discover that the apple cinnamon flavored ones don't taste too much like cardboard...
Quake Lake was interesting. The lake was formed in the 1959 earthquake when one of the hillsides collapsed into the Madison River. You can still see the dead tree trunks sticking out of the water in some places (pictures forthcoming).
Soon I saw five cyclists riding in the opposite direction, each appearing about a minute apart. I found out that they were all in the same group.
I then stopped at a turnout and found a tree to "do my duty", in a spot where I could see any traffic from one direction and hear the traffic from the other. But then a few female cyclists (who didn't make any noise) appeared as I hastily finished my business. They pretended not to notice and stopped to chat.
They were in the same group as the other five who passed by earlier. They're a group that all finished graduate school in the Philadelphia area and were crossing the US from east to west and ending in Seattle. I gave some advice on how to get from Highway 20 in the north back down to Seattle.
They were taking my route in reverse to Missoula, then renting a car to go to Glacier Park, and then riding to Seattle from there. They didn't consider it "cheating", since it's north/south miles that they were driving, not east/west. I wasn't so sure (but I wasn't going to say anything) - by that logic, I could have gotten a ride down to New Mexico, crossed the divide there, and then gotten another ride back north to continue my trip.
I explained that after Yellowstone I was going to take my own route east. One of the ladies said that I couldn't miss the Tetons (I got many private e-mails to that effect) - she just got engaged there a week ago. I said I was already married (bike gloves hide the wedding ring), so that wouldn't interest me, ha ha ha. But there's so much to see, and so little time that something had to be cut from the plan...
It's been amazing how many people think that I'm a student from random conversations. Maybe because most of the people I see are young students, or older people who are retired or with kids old enough to be in college.
I think I'm going to take a rest day tomorrow so I can figure out the camping/hotel situation in Yellowstone, as well as - oh yeah - rest.
Also, the dots on the map on the web page are updated up to my current location (decent internet access here).