Sunday, June 19, 2016

57: It's all downhill to Missoula . . .

That's just what the desk clerk at our hotel in Polson said. "It's all downhill to Missoula."  Well, in actuality - not so much.  You know, a motorist does not feel the incline in a 2 to 3 percent grade. But your legs most certainly do!  Roger and were both feeling tired today, and so what seemed like it should have been a fairly straightforward day just beat us up. For one thing, that "downhill all the way" (which actually turned out to be roughly six miles) came only after a fifteen or twenty mile climb up to the top of the ride. Oh -- THOSE miles! Who ever thinks of THOSE miles?  Plus all the incidental climbing. Oh - THOSE miles! Right.
Is this an "iffy" sky, or a "heck yeah, it's gonna' rain" sky?
Add to this the uncertainty of the weather. We started with open skies, but clearly there was a threat of rain. It was beautiful in the Flathead Valley. The Mission mountain range, with several prominent glaciers, reigns over the valley.

Mission Range
Place names here are shown in the Native American language, which is great. One town, St. Ignatius, was labeled "the basin beside the mountains" - which is quite descriptive and lovely, to boot. But I would like to have a pronunciation guide - the letters must certainly have different sounds that we use for them in English!
Salish or Kootenai language

We finally got over the pass and had stopped for an ice cream, and while we were there the storm finally arrived. It was actually quite nice to be indoors during the rain for once!  We waited it out, and then headed the last 11 miles into Missoula.  The sky still looked pretty grim, but we managed to stay dry until we found shelter in a little motel (near a laundromat, sports bar, and grocery store - perfect!) We'll take a layover day Sunday so that we can visit Adventure Cycling on Monday - the Mecca of cycling tourists.

Check out the street name - that's what it was like!

The day's report:  Polson to Missoula, 71.6 miles/2741 to date.

And here's another street sign that caught my eye:
How we felt all day

1 comment:

  1. The "it's all down hill" comment must have come from a cyclist! Only those who suffer and then forget could come up with a simplistic version of 2400' of elevation gain with a comment like that! Just think once you get home you'll say something like, "riding across the north western states was mostly flat, and I really don't remember but a few sprinkles here and there!" By then I'll be saying something like, "last summer I sprained my ankle and was laid up for a bit," and too bad Roger & Kathy missed my two grand slams in a row at bridge while they were gone!" Keep up the good work and stories!


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