Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Stitch in Time Saves 15 Miles

Going from Trego to Libby Montana, we were unsure of which road to take. On the state map, a dirt road was shown which would cut off many miles of the northern or southern routes available. However, we were unable to figure out what road this unlabeled dirt road was. A construction worker told us to take the road we were on and two lefts which would lead us to Libby, assuring us this was the best way. However, when we got to the fork, it said, highway 37 (the road to Libby)was 41 miles away. So this was the long route. I stopped the mailman in his brown truck who we had been playing catch up and pass all day as he kept pulling over to deliver his mail. He told us the right fork in the road would lead to highway 37 but that it wasn't an easy road. The road was fraught with a steep downhill grade and lots of sharp rocks to puncture our tires as well as bears. "If you have trouble out there, you'll go for miles without seeing anyone else." he cautioned. But he agreed it was the quickest way and was kind enough to give me his forest service map to guide along the way.

Well, he was right, this road was 17 miles of action, what Ira refers to as adventure cycling. I don't know if you can read the sign in the pic above, but it says "not maintained for public use". The road was pretty hairy at times and I had to ride my brakes for about 10 miles straight of downhill. Now, normally I love the downhill, but on gravel road, it gets pretty easy to loose control of the bike. The road skirted a pretty deep ravine to the left, so caution was the key.

Luckily no bears were spotted on this stretch of the road, however, Ira and I each saw one separately from each other at other sections. Ira was up ahead of me and apparently one lopped after him for about 50 yards freaking the crap out of him. The one I saw crossing the road, stared at me and then started walking toward me, so as I was coming up a hill at that point, I just turned and rode down the hill, waited for a while and then turned and climbed the hill again. He was gone, to my relief. Ira and I were happy to meet back up unscathed from our separate bear encounters.

Here are some pics of the Kootenai river which we rode along today. Very pretty.

1 comment:

Rose said...

I enjoyed reading your article in the HHR and also the incredible pics/stories on your blog! What a wonderful adventure! Take Care!