Missoula, MT

“Daily” photo, Friday morning before leaving Kooskia

We landed at Powell campground Friday night. We didn’t expect cell service up there – and campgrounds are first-come, so we devised a simple plan where Bob would go to the furthest campground first, then drive back until he found an open spot. He’d then tape one of our donation cards to the sign, and we’d use his old walkie-talkies to make contact. Well, that didn’t work out. We both missed the last campground due to poor signage and had to turnaround. Our radios were on different channels, and I didn’t notice the card he taped up there. But it worked out – he got a spot at the first (furthest) campground and was easy to find. We’ll do it better next time.

The ride up there was awesome. Each bend of the river opened up an incredible view.

We already planned to stay in Missoula Sunday->Tuesday to wait out the storm (Winter Storm Warning in mid-June!), and some less severe weather was also forecast for Saturday, so we decided just to stay put for another night.

We woke up to rain in the morning, giving Bob a chance to test out his shelter setup. After the rain turned into hail we determined it to be a success, and less bulky than an ez-up. But we do need to adjust a couple things in case of heavier rain.

We also sat down and planned out the next week of riding, which should put us in Bozeman next weekend.

Today was a fairly short climb to the top of Lolo Pass and the Idaho/Montana border, followed by a mostly-downhill mile ride into Missoula. It was the shortest day so far, though pretty chilly. I accidentally left my new-for-this-trip cycling jacket at Chark’s place in Oregon (thanks for shipping it to Billings!), but I had sufficient layering.

Lots of animal spotting during the descent:

The last 5 miles I suffered a mechanical – I think I may have stripped out my hub, if that’s a thing. If it had to happen, it couldn’t have happened at a better time/place. Tomorrow is a rest day, and Missoula has several bike shops – including an Orbea dealer that can hopefully fix it under warranty. I just hope they can squeeze me in.

We had dinner at a brewery in Missoula and I walked around and passed out our donation cards. Everyone was very cool – especially, I realized towards the end, that I was interrupting Father’s Day dinners. These folks were very cool, and shared a story about a friend of theirs with MS:

I’ve been fighting my introversion and doing more reach out – it’s also a great excuse to visit breweries 🙂 Sadly MS fundraising this year has been down across the board. I’m hopeful things turnaround ahead of the Colorado ride (June 29). Please help by donating!

fyi, more frequent pics/short updates on Instagram.