8/11/15 Big Fork to Swan Valley Centre, Condon

Day 8 Wayfarer State Park, Big Fork to Swan Valley Centre, Condon
8/11/14 Monday 48 miles

Our first day without proper stove fuel, but we did meet some very friendly people. And have some amazing luck! Unfortunately, some parts of Rt. 83 had really poor shoulders, especially when right next to Swan Lake; killer view! Be careful through here, be aware of what’s coming up behind you and if there’s gonna be a squeeze play of two cars.

IMG_0319Things quietened down quite a bit by the time we got to Swan River. The sun wasn’t calming down however, it was growing more intense if anything. We began looking for spots to get water after the big bend into town and stopped at the Laughing Horse Lodge. It wasn’t currently staffed, but a jogger we had recently passed had caught up to us and offered his help.

IMG_0324Garth lived across the street and when his wife Barb, also jogging, arrived seconds later. Super super nice people! We all walked across the street to their house and filled up on water while getting to know each other.

IMG_0326There was a small waterfall along their waterfront they insisted we saw. It was a waterfall indeed!! And fun goofing around in the shade. Barb threatened to make us lunch if we would stay and swim and relax for a bit. We felt as though we still had a ways to go and knew we were still in grizzly country; so wild camping definitely had a bit of stress to it if that became our only option.

IMG_0330Back on the grind. Under an August sun.

IMG_0331We stopped here for some snacks and water in the shade. It felt great to be off the bikes and out of the sun.

IMG_0332The high sun in Montana in August ain’t playing around. So I brought my A-Game from the Florida Keys to stay as protected and cool as possible.

IMG_0333We are so remote, that even the airplane landing strips are not paved! We did encounter a grocery/gas station with a great selection of foods for touring. Really good!

IMG_0335The next place was Swan Valley Centre, which is where we camped after a very hot 48 mile day. Camping was $10 and showers were $4 each. Also available was an automobile service station, cabins, laundry and a small general store. Even more amazing was the one, lone iso-butane sitting on an almost empty shelf. SCORE! Glad we are cooking again! This should last us to Missoula and its REI.

IMG_0334The funny part is later we realized we did not have a safe place for our food…

IMG_0337Another new friend. In the grass here were thousands of grasshoppers that would all leap into the air in front of you as you walked.

IMG_0338I remembered to take a picture of camp! You can’t see all the ants and grasshoppers. But they are there. Lots of them.

IMG_0339There was no place to safely store our food. The bathroom door wasn’t very secure. We were told bears do walk through sometimes. I bear hung the food in a very, very sappy pine.

Tomorrow!
8/12/14 Swan Valley Centre, Condon to Salmon Lake State Park

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