July 2-9 -- This week was Montana, Montana, Montana. Not Hannah, not Joe, just Montana in all its vastness. On July 2 we climbed Logan Pass in Glacier National Park, slogging up magnificent Going-to-the-Sun Road surrounded by soaring, snow-capped peaks. We arrived at the 6,647 foot summit by 10 a.m. Celebrations, hugs, tears. We had made it! It was all downhill from there to the Berkshires. Some hiked in snow, some rested, some just headed downhill. The next day we saw the mountains grow smaller in our rear view mirrors as we headed onto the Great Plains. And we are still here.
For five long days, we pedaled across Eastern Montana, through small towns, smaller towns, towns so small we camped in public parks due to the lack of campgrounds or motels. Eastern Montana's plains stretch more than 500 miles and we rode every one. And as we rode the drought continued and the heat mounted. We finally arrived in Circle, Montana on Saturday, July 8 and, in 98 degree heat, we'd had enough. All agreed to drive -- yes DRIVE -- the next 45 miles to the teeming metropolis of Glendive where we enjoyed a hotel and reset ourselves. On Sunday we rode the last 30 miles of Montana, entering Beach, North Dakota and going on to the lovely bluffs of Theodore Roosevelt National Park for the night.
June 26-July 1 -- This week we crossed the Idaho Panhandle in a day, stopping for a wonderful evening with Carol and her husband Steve, she being an old friend of Clif and Arleen's. They live north of Sandpoint in an amazing timber structure Steve built back in the '70s when he went "back to the land." He's still there and they treated us to warmth and hospitality. We moved on into Montana which amazed us with soaring mountains, pastoral meadows, and a few cute small towns. We had our longest day so far -- 95 miles. And we had our first full day off -- in the teeming metropolis of Whitefish, pop 7,000-something -- the biggest town we've seen since leaving Anacortes. We had two more flat tires, blowouts that sounded like gunshots but luckily were while we were standing still. We now head into Glacier National Park and its fabled Going to the Sun Road.
June 19-25 -- This week we rode across Washington state from drizzly Anacortes on Puget Sound to the dry, rugged mountains near the Idaho border. It was not just the opening week of our 3,700 mile journey, but the most rugged week, with four separate days featuring 4,000+ foot climbs. We met fellow bikers, gawked at granite peaks, and slogged one 93-mile day around a slice of our route closed by mudslides. We had seven flat tires. (We're looking into that.) Sunday, June 25, will bring us to the Idaho border.