Monday, June 29, 2009

So long Missoula

Sunday June 28
I’m sitting in the lobby of the multiplex theatre in Missoula while Donna and Lewis are watching the movie that Lewis has been talking about for 4 weeks. I hope it lives up to his expectations. Donna was hoping to get him to change his mind and go for Ice Age 3. Aint gonna happen baby! Transformers 2 Revenge of the Fallen is it.
Donna and I had a quiet evening without Lewis. We were up and busy by 8:00. Breakfast and packing consumed most of the morning until about 10:00 which was when Lewis was supposed to be dropped off. Instead a phone call was made. The Doyles were delayed but were confident that they would get Lewis to us in time for the 12:30 matinee. They dropped him off at 12:10 which left us 20 minutes to pedal the 4 miles to the theatre. We made it with 3 minutes to spare,

The plan for the rest of the day involves a visit to Safeway, followed by a visit to Walmart, followed by a short ride of barely 25 miles to get to the town of Stevensville Montana. The reason we’re stopping there is because we had a parcel mailed to us from home general delivery at the Post Office in Stevensville. This package has a couple things that were lost during the fracas in Eugene. The most important item if you ask Lewis would be the charger for his game boy. He is still operating on the initial charge that he had when leaving Shelton. However, he’s used the gameboy sparingly as he realizes that it can’t be charged until we get another charger. Fortunately we had 2 spare chargers from other GameBoys that have previously been broken or lost. In addition the package should contain a pair of pajamas for Lewis. Also included should be a spare canister of asthma medicine for me and lastly a memory stick to use with this computer to transfer stuff. We have to thank Moritz and his parents for pulling all of these things together and getting them shipped off. Hopefully the package is waiting for us but unfortunately this is Sunday and we won’t be able to retrieve our package until tomorrow morning.

So that means that with a short day today, we’ll need to make up a few extra miles tomorrow. And the day after that, and the day after that. Then we should be back on track. The topographical maps that we are relying on are looking easier and easier. While we will be steadily gaining elevation until we top out in Colorado at nearly 12,000 feet, the actual climbs are fewer and easier. Oregon and Idaho didn’t break us so we got it made!

We should be entering Yellowstone within a week. This was Donna’s initial break off point as she vowed to try and make it that far for Lewis’ benefit. Now that she has become conditioned, she’s gained enough confidence to actually think of completing this whole trip. It took her 3 weeks but we’re in it for the long haul now. I kept telling her that she would become accumstomed to the daily rituals of cycling and setting up camp and sleeping on the ground and breaking down camp but she was skeptical. Not any more.
I’m about ready to sign off and pack the computer back up. But before I do I’ll mention todays weather. Haven’t seen a cloud all day. The temperature is about 80. Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to put down just a few more words at the end of this short but beautiful day. No doubt I will be hearing quite a bit of what transpired during Transformers 2.

It is now about 8:00 in the evening and we are sitting in a pizza joint next door to where our tent is situated. Lewis is totally occupied with his new transformer action figure that was puchased at Walmart just after leaving the theatre. This was a promise fulfilled that has made his transformer day complete. Donna is in the restroom taking her “bath” and I’ll be going next. If you haven’t guessed, we’ve no shower tonite and also no bathrooms. The RV park that we were going to stay at is next door and yet it isn’t. It has been closed down. No one home. Nada.

After leaving the theatre we stopped first at Safeway and bought $30 worth of groceries. This is quite a bit to spend when you are traveling by bicycle. In fact, I believe it may just be a record for me. A 6 pack of Chicken Ramen Noodles, a couple boxes of Chicken Rice-a-Roni, a half dozen donuts, a half dozen bagels, a package of Oreos, a couple cans of tuna, 2 pounds each of green grapes and Washington Cherries, a package of Cherry Pop Tarts, a box of Quaker Granola bars, a pound of potato salad, and finally a 1 pound bag of sliced ham from the deli. We should be set for the next 2 days!

Our late lunch of ham and bagel sandwiches was conducted right in front of Safeway on a table that they put our their for people to use. So we did! The sandwiches were consumed along with the potato salad. Large doses of cherries and grapes followed. Four pounds of fresh fruit is a lot to haul around even if you’re not traveling by bike.

After our late lunch (after 4:00) we headed over to Walmart to make a couple purchases that can only be done at a Walmart. Besides the previously mentioned action figure, we purchased a replacement pair of casual shoes for Donna to go with her evening gown that has the pretty rose tiarra! Donna found some Birkenstocks at the St Vincent DePaul second hand store in Eugene and felt she had scored a win with this purchase. Unfortunately one of the clogs was split from the bottom of the sole and this was not obvious upon our first inspection. It was only after wearing them a few times that she realized that stones and grit and sticks and stuff somehow kept making their way into her shoes. So we didn’t score on that particular purchase but some of the other second hand clothing has become part of our primary wardrobe. I digress. Sorry. She bought some cheap water shoes at Walmart and I got some mosquito repellent.

It’s now 5:00 and we are still in Missoula. We have a short ride of 25 miles to get to Stevensville, so we get to it. This was a difficult ride for Lewis as he kept thinking about that action figure in his mother’s handlebar bag that was just begging to be manipulated into some other creature. He must have asked to stop every 15 minutes. The ride took almost 3 hours as we had to struggle with a headwind. Finally pulled into the RV park only to find it deserted as previously mentioned. I inquired about the RV park at the Pizza joint and they were the ones to break the news. They didn’t see any reason why we couldn’t stay there as no other options were available. We are now back in our tent after finishing a pepperoni pizza. The waitress was kind enough to let us throw the remaindeer of our pound of ham onto the freshly baked pizza, Man that was a good pizza! Tomorrow morning its Safeway Donuts followed by a visit to the post office, then we hit the road hoping to rack up another 60 plus mile day. Good night!

1 comment:

  1. I feel terrible that I didn't act more surprised about your choice of camping spots in Stephensville--since I doubted that place was still there. I might have guided you toward the Bass Creek campground--three miles north of Stevi.

    Anyway, I'm the woman who spoke with you outside the theatre. Friend of Julie's.

    Best of luck on your climb up Lost Trail today. Patty McIntire, Saint Ignatius, MT