8/15/14 Missoula to Big Pine Campground

Day 12 Missoula to Big Pine Campground
8/15/14 Friday 45 miles

IMG_0369Packing up our bicycles after waiting out some threatening weather. The comfortable bed also certainly contributed to sleeping in a little bit! Our stay with Barbara was really nice and we got some important domestic work done like thoroughly scrubbing and cleaning our water bottles.  The science experiments were killed! We felt  pretty dang refreshed as we pulled away from our host’s house of the last two nights.

IMG_0372That’s a lot of bicycles and crane work and we’re not sure why. But definitely looks pretty cool. Anyone familiar with it? Please comment away!

IMG_0375The break from the sun was nice and worth the threat of a downpour. Earlier, many of the ridges were in the clouds, but the valley and us stayed dry. Great riding weather.

IMG_0377And we’re now riding bicycles on Interstate 90.  It is a really nice and wide shoulder though, and feels safer than some of the secondary roads we have been on! The perpendicular rumble strips weren’t an issue at all. Keep in mind we were also running some 26×2.1’s in anticipation of lots of gravel, dirt and railroad ballast. Oh my.

IMG_0380Nice little preview of what’s to come..lots of amazing old railroad trestles and bridges.

IMG_0381First flat of this trip. Not sure what tire could have won that battle! At least we had shade, glorious shade and great scenery for the work of swapping tubes.

IMG_0383And we’re back again on i90, but the shoulder is still super wide and the riding really isn’t bad at all.

IMG_0384Our route soon took us back off the interstate and onto the very desolate and pretty much abandoned Old Highway 10. The road is seemingly forgotten by most.

IMG_0386Really, really beautiful riding and very, very little traffic. Those are good numbers!

IMG_0387Yes! Life is good. The road is being kind and we’re allll smiles. This is how you cross the country!

IMG_0389And we’re now officially enroute to the Champion Ponderosa Pine of Montana, down several miles of dirt and gravel roads. We’re also pretty sure we are near the derailed railroad cars with airplane fuselages we saw on Reddit.

IMG_0390Definitely off the beaten path and loving it. Its been all down hill so far, leaving a long, dirty climb in the morning to retrace our path to i90 and continue west.

IMG_0392 There’s a few puddles best to avoid riding through! We  are really off the interstate now!

IMG_0393We made it! This is the primitive campground where the giant tree lives.

IMG_0394Several forest service fire fighters, a bear box and the biggest ponderosa pine in all of Montana. The bear boxes were great to see as we were really out there and a little concerned about food safety.

IMG_0395Terrance being Terrance. I love this little guy!

IMG_0404It is not a small tree! That’s Kerry. She’s a regular sized human! That is not a regular sized tree however.

IMG_0415Sunset was really nice. The low clouds and passing showers kept the sky ever changing and really pretty.

Hoping for a dry morning……

8/16/14 Big Pine Campground to Saltese

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