Leaving Missoula and entering Idaho

Leaving Missoula and entering Idaho

I was really looking forward to seeing Missoula but am glad that I decided to stay for a night in Arlee. It was a real treat to meet Jennifer and Micah, two really nice people who live on a farm.  They had another guest at their house and they invited a friend to share a delicious pizza that Jenn made with cheese that she made from her goats’ milk. Awesome.  And we had apple pie, with home made frozen goat yogurt.  Delicious. Yeah, I know, I talk about food again… I also very much enjoy the conversation and it was, once again, hard to leave.

Jenn’s chicken

But before I left, I had a great morning, chatting with Micah over a cup of coffee and later watching Jenn milk her goats. I loved it, so peaceful.  If I didn’t like to travel, I think I would want to live on a farm!

Jenn milking the goats
The kids

It was definitely not warm when I left, and somehow my legs felt very heavy, I thought maybe I had eaten too much for breakfast.  But after an hour, I was really wondering what was wrong with me when I realized that the road was almost unnoticeably going up since I left Arlee. When I finally reached the top, it was a nice ride into Missoula, where I had a fourth flat tire. It was time to change my tires…

Farmer’s market in Missoula

I stopped at the Adventure Cycling Association, which was my main reason to go to Missoula: I always joked (kinda seriously) that I was going to Missoula to get the free ice cream that the ACA promise to all tour cyclists who stop at their office. The staff was super nice and welcoming. Even if they see hundreds of cyclists every year, they really listen to your story and make you feel special. They offered the ice cream I had been dreaming about for months… I even had two, and another one the next day. They offered more but I started worrying that my membership fees would increase…

The adventure Cycling Association office, with all kinds of bikes on the wall, each with a story…

They showed me around and I was very impressed by the number of staff members: 42, I think.  They also have an amazing library of books about bike touring. I chatted with a few employees, looked at some maps and finally rode to Bruce’s place, another Warmshowers host.

All books about biking and bike touring! I spent a long time browsing.

But it was not the typical Warmshowers place!  Bruce welcomes hundreds of cyclists every year.  His house is big and always open to bike tourers.  I wasn’t sure that I would like the place, but it was actually incredibly well kept, clean and organized, friendly, relaxed, and thoroughly enjoyable. A perfect place to take a few days off.

Bruce’s house
The cyclists’ guide, that answers all the questions in a humorous way
Fun facts about Bruce’s place
The living room, where you can just roll your bike in!

Right away as I walked in, I was teased by Mark, another cyclist with whom I got along immediately. Mark is doing his ride for the Project Hero, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Veterans and First Responders affected by PTSD, TBI and injury. We walked, biked, ate and chatted together for hours. He also helped me decide which ice cream shop was the best in Missoula.  Sweet Peaks won over Big Dipper.

Mark and I, as we were both getting ready to leave

I also had coffee in a beautiful little café, Le Petit Outre, with Chris, a guy that I had met in a campground in Alaska in June. It was nice to see him again. We are both hoping to get our first book published in the near future…

Missoula was so much fun that I actually ended up staying an extra day. And I could easily have stayed longer. There was a book festival happening, lots of other cafés to explore, Nice people to spend time with and more ice cream to sample. But again, winter is coming and I need to head south…

So this morning, after another stop at Le Petit Outre to get an almond croissant for the road, I rode to Lolo with my new narrower tires (it felt a lot easier!!!). Beautiful ride, first on a bike path and then on a windy (as in twisty), quiet road, soon to be a windy and windy road… Idaho greeted me with a very stiff headwind that forced me to pedal downhill. But I finally arrived at Lochsa Lodge, where cyclists can camp for free as long as they eat our meals in the café. I liked that concept, as I’d rather pay for food then a piece of grass to pitch my tent on.

Beautiful bike path on the way to Lolo
Following the Lewis and Clark Trail

And it was a great evening, with two other cyclists who are going the same way I am going, at least until Bend, Oregon, where they live. Guess what we talked about?

Yes, mostly about food…

Will, Rosemary and I, ready to attack our burgers. I even ordered fries instead of salad. Unheard of!

13 thoughts on “Leaving Missoula and entering Idaho

  1. Salut Catherine. Je dégustes tes récits avec bonheur… Bien content de constater que tu es rendue dans le monde habité et que tu apprécies, voir déguster, à tous les niveaux les occasions que se présentent : les gens, les paysages, la bouffe, etc. Tu es dans la bonne direction pour trouver un peu de chaleur. À la prochaine xx

  2. Hi Cat, sounds like your trip is amazing so far!! Continued adventures, clear skies, tail winds and lots of downhill! Cheers and happiness from a beautiful golden fall in the Yukon!

    1. Thanks Carol, beautiful colours here too! And some good climbs usually follow or precede downhills:). But it’a all enjoyable.

  3. 14 septembre 2019
    Allo Catherine
    Si je comprends bien, tu suis une piste avec Laf qui, lui, flaire pour toi les sentiers de vélo et les réparateurs de crevaisons; alors que toi, tu flaires les boutiques de crème glacée et les cyclistes amateurs de sentiers de vélo. Vous faites un très bon team, quoi! Ce me semble un trajet plus sécuritaire que les autoroutes, et pour toi et pour Laf; d’autant plus que le monde qu’on rencontre sur les sentiers en question a plus de chances d’être cool que celui des autoroutes étasuniennes.
    Quand tu pointes vers le Sud à chaque jour, ça me rappelle le professeur Tournesol avec son pendule dans Tintin, alors qu’il disait “à l’Ouest, toujours plus à l’Ouest”. Chacun sa quête ou sa recherche, n’est-ce pas??? Et tant qu’on est dans cette démarche, on démontre sa vitalité. Ce que je vois chez toi depuis le début de cette “quest”.
    Avec des bisous
    Fernand

  4. Go Cat go! So fun to follow your adventure since you stayed with us in Bigfork. It’s amazing how many wonderful people you meet as you pedal along.

  5. Chère Cat,
    quel plaisir de voir tes photos et de constater que tu poursuis ton rêve! Le Sud t’attend, bonne route (avec encore plein de haltes sympathiques comme celles-là, je te le souhaite!)!!!
    bises
    Christa

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