Hank – Back in April, our good friend, Paul Brunton, told Kathy that if we were within 1,000 miles of Spokane and we needed help then we could call him and he’d come and get us. Tonight we are in Dickinson, ND, which is 857 miles from Spokane. Soon, Paul. Soon.
While in Missoula I had the bikes checked out. Kathy needed a new chain. Outside of that the bikes needed minor adjustments. We also worked on increasing our dividend from REI. I got my ukulele back and it feels great to play it again.
What are we doing in Dickinson and how did we get here? The short story is that things weren’t working out between catching the Amtrak, touring Glacier National Park, and the friends at the other end of the train we couldn’t catch weren’t going to be home anyway. So we pondered and penciled things out and decided to rent a van and drive from Missoula to Dickinson. It was available and saved us money in the long run. I felt some sadness about not riding across Montana but I got over it pretty quick.
I’m trying to help out with Spokane’s Street Music Week. We stopped at a rest area near Miles City, MT where I set up the bucket and played the ukulele. Considering where I am and where I’m going to be for the next four days, I think my participation will be more symbolic than anything. I’ll make up for it by doing an online contribution.
We stopped in Glendive to see our nephew, Parker. Today was his first day on the job as a diesel mechanic for the railroad. We caught up over dinner. It was good to see him.
The plan tomorrow is to ride to Theodore Roosevelt National Park and grab a walk-in campsite. We’ll spend Wednesday riding around the park. On Thursday we’ll head south. It’ll take four days to get to Spearfish, SD. There will likely be four to six days of no posting because I don’t think we’ll see much bandwidth while passing through the no man’s land between Dickinson and Spearfish.
Kathy – After getting into Missoula, Montana on Friday evening, Saturday consisted of doing our chores: laundry, purchasing renewed and/or replenished supplies, and visiting with our great friends who drove over from Spokane, Patty & Mike Gaines. Sunday after breakfast we said goodbyes to Patty & Mike. We will miss them.
My niece Anna in Boise was reviewing supplies in my pannier bags while we visited them. She is an amazing light weight packer and gave me great advice on how to reduce the weight of my bags. I listened to some of it, but I couldn’t part with my luxury item my jean jacket. Anna and her mom Jan both predicted that within a month I would be sending the jean jacket home. I insisted that would not be the case…well, it’s gone. You were both right! I was not wearing it and it added three pounds to my bags so I parted with it. Now my only luxury item is my super lightweight electric toothbrush that only needs charged every seven days…and I am NOT parting with it. My dentist, Dr. Heinrich in Spokane would be proud. 😊 Patty and Mike are taking the jean jacket back, along with a stack of other things home to Spokane for us. It felt like we reduced our weight by another 5 – 10 pounds. Our pannier bags continue to lighten up!
Hank and I decided to spend Sunday in Missoula. We initially planned to start riding again on Sunday but we really have not taken a day off since starting 5-1/2 weeks ago just to do a whole lot of nothing. The few days we have not rode we have done other exercises and or spent the day running around replenishing supplies, doing laundry, etc. I must say our time in Missoula was quite relaxing. Not only did we have time with Patty & Mike, but we also video chatted with the kids (some of my favorite times) and caught up on the phone with Barbie (Hank’s sister), and Mary Beth & Ginny (Kathy’s sisters). We have had limited conversations with family and friends since we left so it was good to reconnect with some of our loved ones.
We also spent Sunday working on our future travel plans. As Hank stated our plan was to leave Missoula, Montana and head north to Glacier National Park. We have been there a few times by car but thought it would be good to see the beautiful park by bike this time. Well, part of the Going to the Sun Road (the main road in Glacier) is still not open due to snow still on the roadways. The parts that are open have restrictions on them (starting this Friday when we would have arrived). Because of high traffic on the narrow road up the mountainside they limit cyclist from riding on the road most of the daylight hours. We then looked at possibly doing some bus tours of the park but they were all sold out until the beginning of July. Michelle & Andy, our friends in Minot, North Dakota will actually be in Spokane when we were due to arrive at their home. It is really sad because I was looking forward to seeing them and their beautiful children. After looking at all of these things we decided to skip Glacier National Park and Minot, North Dakota. We decided to move on to our next destination, Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, North Dakota. It would take an additional two weeks for us to ride from Missoula across the remote areas of Northern Montana to Medora, North Dakota. After much discussion we decided to rent a van on Monday morning and drive the ten hours to Dickinson, North Dakota. We are pleased with our choice. It was good to have dinner and visit with our nephew Parker during our stop as we drove across Montana. So, we are all rested up and will be back on the bikes Tuesday morning heading to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, North Dakota. 😊