July 4, 2001

7/4/01 Missoula, MT

0 miles

Yesterday was for errands; lots of errands. Bought more groceries, broke down and bought a CD player, was able to exchange my broken watch at REI, got a new chain at the Bike Doctor, and was able to introduce Allen and Maggie to the joys of AYCE Pizza Hut.

After that, we all spent the afternoon at the Adventure Cycling Association headquarters. The ACA, formerly know as BikeCentennial, has been researching and designing cross-country bike routes since 1976, starting with the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail. Almost all of my ride is made up of parts or whole trails, including the TransAm, Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, Pacific Coast Route, Northern Tier, Southern Tier, and Great Rivers Route. They have free ice cream and pop for visiting cyclists, plus internet/phone access. After taking my picture for the rider board, I had a little difficulty convincing the girls in the front office to let me then take their picture.

Heidi, Jodi, Nancy, & Beth at ACA

Spent some time just walking along the downtown streets. What a big difference from Kansas City - lots of young people and bikes everywhere. Had no luck finding "Miles from Nowhere" by Barbara Savage. Almost every cyclist I've met claims this one book inspired them to tour on a bike. The search goes on.

As I was waiting, Greg talked to me about my trip. As far as the ACA knows, I'm the first to attempt the TransAm and Great Divide in a continuous ride. Greg has been taking black and white photos of cyclists for years as a type of record. He was very interested in getting my picture and story added. I hope I can give him some good news in November in a follow-up of my adventure.

Plans to meet with JoLynne from TWU while she was in Montana on vacation fell through. So Allen and Maggie weren't too surprised when I showed up back in their camp. It was nice to spend a little more time with them before we go our separate ways.

Today was more for play. We went downtown for the city's "Out to Lunch" free concert in the park. Lots of younger folks with children everywhere. Then to beat some of the heat, I went to the movies both yesterday and today.

Free concert in the park

"Tomb Raider" was mindless fun. But today's "Artificial Intelligence" was too cerebral, making me think too much. Kind of made me homesick. Got me just down enough to ask Nancy for a little comfort and strength to battle the loneliness.

Missoula, MT

So I was a little reluctant to go to the 4th of July celebrations. But I'm glad I went. The fireworks seemed to go on for hours, all with background music. I think Allen and Maggie were impressed, too. Thank goodness we had a bike lane back. It was after 11 P.M., and traffic was heavy.

4th of July

Plan on an early start to beat this energy-draining heat. Unfortunately, I have my big climb at the end of the day. Hope my camera works, because I dropped it while riding tonight. Seems I have bad luck when I take time off in the bigger towns. Go figure!