Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day 48 - Shelby to East Glacier, MT

Total miles bikes: 12
Total miles to date: 2436

We woke up in our comfy motel and made an amazing breakfast on our porch. The day before we stopped into the Shelby visitor center and they gave us a gift bag including small bags of granola. That morning I went to the grocery store to pick up some breakfast supplies. We made scrambled eggs with our camping stoves and also had granola with milk and 1 banana for each. We calculated the cost of our meal and decided we spent $0.75 each. We took a little pride in our thrifty and delicious breakfast. We boiled the rest of the eggs for our lunch. One advantage to having travel partners is cooking and buying food is much easier and more realistic.

I failed to mention from the two days ago that our couchsurfing host Tyrel provided an excellent service for Gretchen. Since Gretchen has never used her bob trailer before this trip, she did not realize she lacked two very small, yet crucial, pieces of her trailer. They are pins that attach the trailer to the axle of the bike. We improvised and used bobby pins for several days which surprisingly worked quite well. Somehow while talking with Tyrel this came up in conversation and he said, "Well, I can just make some." He constructed two pins that fit perfectly into the trailer and axle and sent us on our way.

Apparently these parts of Montana have consistently strong winds from the east. We thought we would attempt the 48 miles to Glacier National Park and see if we could defeat the wind! After biking for a while we stopped for lunch and made mac n' cheese with tuna. It was fun to make a hot lunch on the road. Nicole, who has biked across America, told me that she would do this often. Several hours later when we had accomplished a whopping 12 miles into the 25mph head winds we decided it would be more fun to make it to make it to Glacier and leisurely bike around the park. We called our trusty friends from East Glacier and they picked us up and hauled us the 36 miles. To entertain ourselves we played a round of stand up spades on the side of highway 2. For over a week my scenary has consisted of flat, farming, indian reservations and down right unappealing terrain. As we drove and we could see the rockies in the far off distance and a rush of excitement came over me. I felt like I was coming home. I miss many aspects of living in the moutains of Colorado - I believe when I am in the mountains I feel like this is where I belong. It was a tremendous sight to behold as we climbed the hills in my friend's truck.

We arrived to our hostel and met the world's cutest hostel workers and they all quickly became our friends. We moved our stuff in and after a long debate of what to do next we biked into "town" and went to the Mercantile. We purchased staples for the evening including a 6 pack of beers. We sat on the front porch of the mercantile and continued to debate about what to do with our remaining hours of the day. Nicole says, "I think I just want to sit on this porch and drink a beer." Two hours and two beers between the three of us later we still sat on that porch and watched the town of East Glacier go by. We made friends with the clerks at the mercantile that offered free samples of fudge and made it our duty to tell all of those who entered they must try and buy some yummy fudge. We met some local characters: a crazy hippy herbalist trying to sell us salve and tell us about Jesus, a young man who had just driven from Texas and was looking for a job, a local forest service ranger and more that I do not have time to share. While lounging on this fine porch, we saw a man across the street trotting along on his horse. Nicole jumped up and ran across the street. She asked if she could hop on the horse and he obliged. I followed in her footsteps and he also let me take his horse for a short trot.

We eventually made it back to the hostel to prepare dinner. I have a longtime friend, Beth, who lives in Glacier National Park and she and her friend Anna met us at the hostel for a home cooked burrito dinner. We ate dinner on the porch with the backdrop of what I believe to be one of America's most majestic National Parks and we watched the sun drop over the mountains. Another amazingly epic days!

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