How did we get to the start of our great big adventure? Ha! That’s quite the story. It’s probably best to just skip down to the next photo and not read the ridiculous next few paragraphs.
We left Key West, Florida, the southern end of the road, in a van loaded with camping gear, touring bikes and cycle-cross bikes. We then drove north to Hartford, Connecticut to visit my friends and family. Kerry was excited to ride a bicycle in hills for the first time! She’s ridden for years in southern Florida with only headwinds, tailwinds and the occasional bridge.
Next we continued driving north along the eastern coast all the way to Maine to visit some of Kerry’s friends and family. At one point I found myself sitting in blueberry patches gorging myself in between trips to the vegetable garden.
Then it was back to Hartford to disassemble the touring bicycles and eat more amazing food at all the local restaurants. We eventually packed our steel steeds in cardboard bike boxes and shipped them via Bikeflights.com to the Backpacker’s Inn in East Glacier, Montana.
We spent a few more days eating, riding our ‘cross bikes and hanging out with friends before finally flying to Spokane, Washington. We each carried only a single pannier with a few days of essentials. We hopped a bus to downtown and hung out all afternoon and early evening waiting for out train.
The library in downtown Spokane had a great view! They had a few books and gazetteers we were happy to read over and work on some last minute research. There were still a few sections and trail transitions to figure out. We had a very good idea and maps for most of our trip, but there were still a few areas where we’d have to just figure it out when out there. That’s why its called adventure travel! We were prepared with good gear, good brains and a great attitude!
Fish Creek Road might solve the next night after Missoula issue….might as well enjoy some off pavement riding and see the Champion Ponderosa Pine of Montana! Why not!? Connecting Missoula to the Coeur d’Alene Trail and the Hiawatha Trail didn’t have any standout, great options.
A storm in the distance. We walked down to the rivers and explored around a bit. We were walking back towards downtown when the storm hit us suddenly with gusts of wind. Sand and dirt was blowing everywhere as signs were knocked over and debris floated around and about. We found refuge in a little pho place next to a parking garage and enjoyed a great meal.
Our time later at the Amtrack Station was entertaining as well sometimes frightening. We still had a few more hours before the train departed and decided to just hangout and wait at the train station. Wow. It was like DMV except full contact and no security. We saw gaping, pussing, open wounds, an obvious (and poorly excecuted) vending machine change robbery and drunken, prison tattooed women causing a ruckus.
We arrive a little after sunrise in East Glacier, Montana. We take in the views for a few minutes before wandering into a greasy spoon for some coffee and foods. Afterwards, we checked into our dorm room at the Backpackers Inn located behind the Serranos Mexican restaurant.
I had packed all smaller pieces and gear into plastic grocery bags that were tied around the frame in case the box was breached. All was OK and I assembled the bicycles with no issues within hours of checking into our dorm room! and we were off on our journey the next day.
Day 1 on the road!
8/4/14 East Glacier to Glacier National Park