August 17, 2001

8/17/01 Cedar Creek

37.1 / 6371 miles

Took awhile for me to fall asleep. I kept waiting for some flashlight to shine into my tent and someone yelling "what ya doin here boy?" But the only light I saw were the stars and the only sound the river roaring over the spillway.

It was already warm by the time we got ready to leave camp. I used my filter to fill up my water bottles. The water had an oily aftertaste. Just wonderful! And to top it off, I accidentally left the lid to my water jug (which later filled with road dust because of the missing cap).

Friendly butterfly

We had a few miles on pavement, but the rest of the day was on hard packed gravel on primitive dirt road. Lucky for us our big climb of the day was early. The temperature was still cool enough and the road shaded, so it wasn't a bad ascent at all. The six-mile downhill was so different from any this trip so far. There is something about skirting danger when you're going 30-MPH down a gravel road with switchbacks. Going into a sharp turn is like walking on marbles. But both bike and rider survived.

Push Mike, push!

We stopped once so Mike could pick raspberries. He kept looking into the woods because we found a bear paw print nearby. Not much later, as we rounded a corner, we could see the rump of a small bear as he tries to outrun us. Cool!

By early afternoon, the temperature was surely in the 90's. The difficulty with these Divide Route maps is that we're dealing with a lot of unmarked roads, many not even on the map. We took one turn to what we thought was the campground. Found evidence of some camping near a pond not on the map but decided to keep going.

Our campsite is right on the banks of the Swan River. A few RV's nearby have had their generator on constantly but we're kind of blocking out the noise mentally. A few guys are on the other side for a weekend of fishing (and drinking). Kind of set up camp, then ended up taking a nap.

Takin' a break in camp

This kind of riding is much more demanding. Not only are you using more muscles to control the bike, but you have to be very alert to what's in front of you, be it pot holes or large rocks.