Trip Route

We will be following the Northern Tier route. To follow our day by day progress click on the trip progress link to the right. On that page is also a link to our cell phone tracking data so you can see exactly where we are.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Girls are in Gackle

We have made it to Gackle, ND where we are staying at the Honey Hub biker hostel. Yesterday we had a long day biking the nearly 100 miles from Glen Ullin to Hazelton. The winds were not with us and picked up as the day went on which made the miles a little harder. We bumped into our friends traveling in the larger group again which was very nice. They stopped in Bismarck but we only took a pit stop for lunch and kept on going to Hazelton. Although the trip was pretty the rolling hills and unfavorable winds drained us and we were very tired when we arrived in town. Since there was a thunderstorm alert, we hunckered under the pavilion at the city park. We managed not get to wet and set out today for Gackle.
On the way out of the campground we encountered some serious mud on a road undergoing repaving. I got sucked in and took a digger. Luckily I was fine but mine and Mom's bike were covered in mud. So we spent the next half hour hosing me and the bikes off with a gas station hose. Then we battle rain and winds into Napolean where we grabbed lunch. After Napolean the winds were more in our favor and we cruised along until some serious sidewinds slowed us down. Then they shifted once again and pushed us right into Gackle. We settled in at the Honey Hub Hostel and grabbed some pizza and milkshakes. We are off to bed early in hopes that tomorrow will be a long and productive day.
Thanks to all the lovely poems (Grandma S and Todd) and all the other comments people have written. We appreciate all of your support. Please also remember that we are raising money for Mass Vest a Dog and to visit our go fund me page (see link on side bar). Every little bit helps and we appreciate any donation whatever the amount. If you have already donated, thanks again- you rock! 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

North Dakota

We are finally in North Dakota! We had two very tough days of headwinds and intermittent rain that definitely tested our spirits. We made it to Wilbeax the first day after deciding to push in after a late lunch in Glendive. While in a Glendive we met Michael who is riding east to west and also uses Track my tour. He found our blog and had been on the lookout for us. Yesterday we fought fierce headwinds and crossed into North Dakota! We ate lunch and took shelter in the touristy but cute Medora, home of the cowboy hall of fame as some thunderstorms and heavy rain passed by. We then tested our mental and physical strength by pushing on against the wind to Lake Patterson Rec area near Dickinson where we camped. We did get some pretty neat views of the painted canyons light up by distant lightening on the way. Other than that though it was hilly and draining. Once we got to the campground we met a large group of friends that have been touring a day or so ahead of us for forever. They were very nice and I hope we bump into them again along the way. 
Toady we decided to take it easy after the hard days we have been having. So, after a late breakfast we took our time with the fifty or so miles to Glen Ullin. The sun was out and the wind was still against us but milder and we just enjoyed it. Along the way we stopped for lunch in the cute little town of Hebron. Tonight we met some nice ladies at the pub which is the lone dining establishment in town. We are spending the night in a lovely B&B (The Red Rock Inn) to continue with the theme of the day: pampering ourselves. There are limited towns until we get to Fargo so we are going to have some long days ahead of us. Thus, we are going to get up early tomorrow and as we lost an hour today (we crossed into time zone) I better get to bed.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Still in Montana

Yup, we're still in Montana. We have made considerable progress, however, even though the terrain has been less flat and the tailwinds less strong. Yesterday we battled killer mosquitoes that somehow managed to bite us while we riding. We ended up in an RV park attached to a hotel. While we were basically in a parking lot, we did get to us the hotel pool an hot tub which was a definite plus.
Today we were in a bit of a predicament because we are in the middle of no where and our options were to go 51 miles and end up in a sketchy town or push for 110. We ended up pushing on to Circle. It was a much harder 110 than we had done previously. Hot, humid, and rolling hills. Wendy described it as "up some and down some and up some and down some" which is pretty accurate. We were definitely tired when we rolled into Circle and found the one motel and pizza place in town. Now we are still tired but clean and full so no complaints. It is crazy that today was our 20th day on the road. It really is going by fast- guess we must be having fun!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Flat with a Tailwind

Hello there! We've gone over 200 miles in 2 days thanks to the flat terriern and a steady tailwind. We have seen many types of grass and a lot of Angus. I think that Wendy can finally identify an Angus, although she did excitedly mistake a muscular Angus stud for a buffalo. We also saw some antelope and perplexingly a decent amount of seagulls. 
Last night we pedaled almost 100 miles to Hingham, a small town of dirt roads, where we camped out at the town park. We had some much deserved beer and nachos at Spencer's Bar where we met and chatted with the owner, Spencer of course, who also has done some touring.
Today we felt good and after an ice cream break in the afternoon made the push to Dodston. We ended up traveling over 110 miles and were plenty tired when we arrived at the B&B whose lawn we are camping on. Now we are showered, have eaten, our PB sandwiches and are about ready to pass out early. As long as the tailwinds and sunshine keep up we will have another long day tomorrow.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Weather Delay (and no service) in Glacier- Now in Cut Bank

On our "day off" in a Glacier we actually took advantage of a break in a stretch of a bad weather forecast to climb as far we were allowed up the Going to the Sun highway. The road was actually opened to cyclists for a great deal longer than for motorists. It was fantastic to have the road to ourselves and enjoy the views in peace. We then treated ourselves to the fire and dinner at the Lake McDonald Lodge. We were able to make it back to our tent before the rain set in.
The next morning we woke up to the forecasted torrential downpour. We pedaled the 10 miles to West Glacier where we made a hostess frown as we came into her  breakfast joint looking like drowned puppies. After some grub, we stoically faced the rain with all intentions of making it the 50 miles to East Glacier. When we had traveled about 20 miles past West Glacier, however, we were soaked through again and the temperature had dropped to 30 degrees and it. started. snowing. It took all of of will to keep pedaling for a few more miles to an Inn outside of Essex. 
We ended up staying 2 nights at the Inn as the next day (yesterday) was more of the snowy/raining same and the road we had to take was too busy and had too narrow a shoulder for is to feel safe. Also with the weather, we would probably only make it to West Glacier, about 35 miles down the road. So we decided to just have a long day today when the forecast finally looked better.
This morning we left bright and early in a steady cold drizzle to climb Marias pass and cross the continental divide. The pass was easy compared to some of the others we have faced but we were cold by the time we descended into East Glacier. So we found a laundromat and dried our gear while we had lunch. Feeling warm and refreshed and finally enjoying no precipitation we sped down into the plains of Montana. We made good time despite a flat (me again- been having crummy luck) and arrived in Cut Bank at a decent hour after an 83 mile day. Tomorrow when we leave Cut Bank  we will have completed our second map! Very exciting. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Arrived In West Glacier

We have had some very productive days and camped at beautiful and secluded campgrounds that unfortunately had no service. Tonight, however, we are in West Glacier Montana where we splurged on our first motel stay of the trip and so with an outlet to power up and wifi I can finally post an update. 
We were able to pass through Idaho and make it to Montana all in one day. Idaho was gorgeous and we enjoyed a sundae in a cute town called Hope. We decided to push on and beat a storm to a campground right over the border in Montana after a long day.
The weather held during the next day so we pushed pass Libby to a quiet campground on Lake Koocanusa. As there was a bar on site, we made good on the drinks we had accumulated (we made it a rule that we earned a drink for each 500 miles, each state we made it to, and each new map- so we had 4 from the previous day). We slept with well after that and slept in a little to let the rain lighten the next morning. We the biked along Lake Koocanusa to Eureka. There we had some great breakfast for lunch and milkshakes. Feeling refueled we followed our map through these beautiful rural roads to a campground past Fortine. It felt great to be off the highway and the beaten path. It is really amazing to have our route to follow that takes us on roads we would never find if we were to devise our own path.
Today it was raining hard when we set out- unfortunately back on the highway. But the clouds broke and by the time we hit Whitefish it was only drizzling. We stopped to replace our chains and grab some lunch. We planned to have a short day and only travel 10 miles further to Columbia Falls, but the hostel we planned on staying in was closed. Since it was no longer raining we decided to push about 20 miles on to West Glacier. Well, we got about 4 miles before angry clouds rolled in and the skies opened up on us. Luckily it only lasted about 45 minutes, and we were able to enjoy the back roads (including some miles of dirt roads) to West Glacier. The clouds dissipated enough for us to oogle the incredible view as we arrived in town. Now, as I said earlier, we are weathering some more bad weather from our motel room. At this point it feels like we are living in the lap of luxery!
Tomorrow we will travel the 11 miles to the Lake  McDonald Campground in the park and rest/explore the remainder of the day.
Before I sign off, I just wanted to thank everyone for all the encouraging comments. On my phone I can't respond in an efficient manner to them individually, but we are receiving them and appreciate the kind words and assorted poems.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Last Night In Washington

Today was another perfect day for riding. After a restful night at the Bacon Bike Hostel we headed out and over Tiger Pass which was, despite it's name, rather tame compared to the previous passes. We did enjoy the descent which was filled with hairpin turns and pretty views. After the steep descent, we bought some more food in Ione and contained to ride a gentle downhill to Usk where we grabbed some dinner. Feeling refreshed and wanting to take advantage of the lovely weather, we rode farther than planned to just outside of Newport, Washington for a total of 87 miles pedaled today. I We are very close to Idaho and as the route only passes through 67 miles of it we might make it to Montana. Tomorrow we will also finish our first map and reach 500 miles on our total. All of these milestones of course require a celebratory drink as per our touring rules. Since all three are happening on the same day we better find a good bar where we end up tomorrow night. 



Week One Under Our Belts

It is hard to believe that we have already been riding for a week! The last few days have been filled with great weather and challenging yet beautiful mountain passes.
We went over the Loup Loup pass on our way from Twisp to Tonasket. It was amazing to feel the weather change once we were over the pass. It got pretty darn hot as the day went on and we were very thankful for the use of hostess Ivetta's cool house.
Our trip to from Tonasket to Republic was not that long bit after climbing up Wauconda Pass we decided it was best to rest before attempting Sherman Pass which begins right after Republic. So we wondered around the mining town of Republic and had some milkshakes before heading to Hostess Diane's house. There we enjoyed a lovely homecooked meal and glass of wine on her back porch enjoying the warm weather and gorgeous view.
Today we left Republic early and climbed Sherman Pass under a welcomed cloud cover. It was quite chilly on the descent and it even drizzled enough for us to put on the rain gear. I managed to get a flat (boo). We ate a late lunch  in Kettle Falls after enjoying the views of the Columbia River on the way into town. Then we pushed on to Colville where we got our chains checked and ate a massive amount of pizza. With full bellies we slugged up 3 miles to the Bacon Bike  Hostel. Owner/host Barry stopped down to see us and after some conversation left us for some welcomed rest. Anyways, that's all for now. Tomorrow we hope to get right to the Washington border. Then onward to Idaho!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Chilling in Twisp

Yesterday was grueling. We went sixty some miles up two passes (Rainy and Washington). It definitely will take some getting used to climbing with all the weight on our bikes. Fortunately, the day was gorgeous and the views were spectacular. The mountains are so much sharper than our familiar ancient Appalachian. After finally making it to Washington, the second pass, we were rewarded with 15 miles of exhilarating downhill into Mazama. We stayed in Mazama with warm shower hosts Jason and Valerie who have an amazing property and generously allowed us the use of their porch and fed us a delicious dinner. 

Today, we decided to take it easy and just meander 20 miles or so to Twisp before conquering the remaining passes. On the way we stopped in Winthrop, a town preserved in it's old Western Glory. After some window shopping and ice cream, we continued to Twisp where restocked on groceries, did some laundry, and set up camp in the backyard of another Warm Showers host, Scott. Now that we are nice and rested we have two days of mountain passes ahead of us. I'm not sure what the cellular service will be like so don't threat if my next update isn't for a few days.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Spectacular Second Day

Today we were blessed with a gorgeous day full of beautiful views, sunny skies, and a refreshing breeze. We both settled right into our second day of riding. After meeting Glenn (www.crazyguyonabike/oldmanonabike) we were encouraged to continue past our original destination of Marblemount and continued an additional 14 miles to Newhalem. The campground is very nice and we have it all to ourselves. Honestly, since it seems like it could be out of the Twin Peaks set, I am spooked. Not enough though to interfere with enjoying this fantastic site. Thanks for checking in!- Casey

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Day One Completed

This morning we caught a bus to Anacortes where we collected our bikes. After the oglibatiry dipping of our tires in the pacific and lunch we finally started pedaling. This afternoon was a beautiful 30 miles of mostly rural farmland to Sedro-Woolley, WA. It felt great to finally get on our bikes and start moving. Hopefully we will establish a rthymn these  next few days and everything will begin to flow naturally. We are still a bit tired from the time change, so I'll keep this short so we can finish settling in and get some rest.

We've Arrived in Seattle

After a long day of plane travel yesterday, Mom and I are on a shuttle to take us to Anacortes where we will be reunited with our bikes! Yesterday our neighbors Brenda and Preston surprised us with a send off banner. We were also met at the airport by Mass Vest-A-Dog volunteers. We are excited and nervous to begin this journey. Check back soon for pictures of the ceremonial tire dipping in the Pacific!