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05/30/2003 Entry: ""

This update being made from: Sheridan, MT

You might want to read Norm's entry below this one first.

In Wisdom we stayed the night in the American Legion Park. Luckily some thoughful person decided to build a screened off picnic shelter at the park so that unprepared bikers who happen through can cook dinner and lounge around without being swarmed by giant mosquitoes. Going to the bathroom was a whole different problem. Most of us headed into town to the bar or store rather than using the questionable looking outhouses. And we did meet a few nice locals. The bartender at Fetty's was really nice and made Jesse, Morgan, and I Shirley Temples. She also gave us ice for the those of us who have tender body parts that they want to last until Boston.

The next morning we stopped at the store on our way out of town to buy bread and some other needed items. It had closed at 6pm the night before and with the technical problems and waiting we had to do at the top of Chief Joseph pass we got there just a bit late. That's one of the problems with small towns, everything shuts down so early. I guess I understand why, but when we're traveling sometimes it does get a little inconvenient.

The first town on the way to Dillon was Jackson and they have some Hot Springs there. They also have a mercantile store which sells huge hand-scooped hard ice cream cones from $1.50. Many of us partook in the ice cream and it was delicious even at 10:30am.

After Jackson we headed towards Big Hole pass, the first of two medium sized climbs for the day. About a mile up there was stoplight for construction on the highway. Unfortunately I had to turn around and go back to Jackson to use the bathroom at the mercantile. Good thing I did, when I pulled up, there were Morgan's gloves sitting on the bench. On the way back I ran into a guy coming the other way. We stopped and I told him about our trip and the juggling and where we were going and give him a card. Turns out he was taking the "scenic route" from Topeka, Kansas to California. I don't think I got his name, so mystery biker, if you read this, leave a comment or sign our guestbook and tell us who you are. It's interesting talking the short conversations we often have with bikers headed the other way. We've seen a lot of them and most involve just talking about where we are going and what to expect down the road for the next few days.

The construction turned out to be a whole large crew of assorted trucks and machines and steamrollers laying new blacktop. Riding by them was kind of stinky, but I really love how steamrollers literally make the ground shake when you go by them.

After the construction I got within visual distance of the rest of the guys. They were talking to some bikers headed the other way. Apparently they were cool according to the other guys. I just got to wave at them as I was starting to the steep part and they were coming down. Then I stopped and had a Snickers bar. Snickers is making a lot of money off of our trip. I think we should get them as a sponsor and then they could give us free candy (just joking mostly, but we do eat a lot of snickers).

The hill wasn't too bad. Something about looking down after you've climbed a big hill just makes it all worth it. I get the same feeling when I'm hiking. Then you get to go down. This was one of the best downhills of the whole trip. We had a bit of a tailwind, so many of us broke 50. I think Mike went the fastest with 55.5. It was pretty crazy. I've never gone that fast in anything that wasn't motorized I don't think. The wind blows by your ears and it's loud and it's just a wonderful feeling. I guess any motorcyclist could tell you that.

We had a few good miles coasting downhill before we started the second climb. Norm and I stopped at a port-a-potty at the intersection of the road we were on and the road leading to Bannack, the first settlement in Montana which is now a ghost town maintained by the Forest Service. There we ran into one of the support vehicles for a group of Boy Scouts from California cycling from Missoula, MT to Jackson Hole, WY. We found out they were also staying in Dillon at the same KOA as the Imagine Tour people we had met the previous night in Wisdom.

The second climb wasn't that hard. I spaced off for what seemed like a few minutes (it's much easier to think about something else than think about how sore your leg muscles are when you're climbing a hill) and then I was at the top joining everyone else already eating peanut butter.

I took off first from the group in search of the bike shop that was supposedly in Dillon. My bike was making a clicking noise. I got down into town and ran into a nice woman named Wendy who told me the bike shop was closed. Dang. But, she knew the wife of the guy who used to run it and was able to call him up and leave a voicemail. I left her a card and our cell phone number and while we were at the Dillon library he called our cell phone and left us a voicemail.

The Dillon library computers were being screwy and wouldn't let us access our site, so I headed out to Joe the bike repair guy's house. After trying a whole bunch of things Joe figured out what was wrong, unfortunately he didn't have the right parts to fix it, but said I would be able to make it into West Yellowstone to a better bike shop without much problem. Yay. Joe was a supercool guy and I enjoyed chatting with him while he was checking out my bike. He also said he couldn't charge me because he couldn't fix the problem, even though he did a whole bunch of other minor maintenance stuff for me.

We stayed the night in Dillon at the Grace United Methodist Church downtown. A great big thanks to the people at that church who gave us a place to sleep inside. And thanks to the fitness center near there who let most of the guys shower for free, although I was left out of that because they were closed by the time I got back from Joe's house.

After dinner, everyone but Seager headed off for the KOA to do a performance. Seager was feeling slightly under the weather (don't worry, he's been drinking tons of OJ and said he felt better this morning) and went to bed early. We performed for a bunch of people (I took a picture) including Georgia, a member of the Imagine tour, who had her birthday that day. Some of the Boy Scouts came over and a few random people at the campsite wandered over also. It was our best peformance yet and the crowd was very good. We even got to do some fire stuff at the end when it was starting to get dark.

This morning we packed up all of our stuff and left the church. In the middle of the night somehow Seager had gotten a flat tire because his rim liner wore out. So we will all be replacing our original rim liners with better stuff so the same thing doesn't happen while we're riding.

We rode all intermixed with some of the boy scouts and their leaders today. We also rode by Beaverhead Rock, a landmark that Lewis and Clark noted in their journals. I thought it was kind of funny that there are mountains and an entire county named after this rock, but it's actually located in Madison county. We pulled into Sheridan around 1 and asked around about a library. Turns out the library was closed from 1-2. How convenient. But Norm and I decided to stay and do the updates because we didn't want to get behind on the pictures and we weren't sure if Virginia City, our endtown, had a library and even if they did whether it would be open on Saturday. So here we are. I'm about to finish captioning all the pictures and then we'll be off to join up with the rest of the group. Virginia City has a couple of vaudeville type shows happening tonight so we may be able to perform before one of them and get a good size audience that way.

That's all for now. Oh, and I just wanted to say hi to all my friends back at my co-op where I live. I miss you guys.

Replies: Leave us a note! (6)

Hey Jesse, Morgan, and crew-
What an amazing adventure! Your mom and dad gave me the website address so I could see pics and read your journal. Amazing! Another friend just spent 10 months in Ecuador having adventures too. I am jealous of all of you but that's what being young is for(although my butt isn't sore like yours probably are). Be safe. Thanks for sharing your trip with those of us back here.

Posted by Layne @ 07/02/2003 07:12 PM CST

Jesse/Morgan and Gang;
Boy you sure are making good time, I thought maybe Morgan might want to stop and talk to all the cute girls in Montana, but maybe they aren't as cute as I remember. The Shrine here in Omaha is really getting excited about your arrival on July 27. I'll stop in an see you then. Keep up the good work and remember the kids are counting on all of you. Have a SAFE 4th, watch out for each other and God's speed to all of you. Barry n Cheri

Posted by Barry and Cheri @ 07/02/2003 05:13 PM CST

Wow! What a trip so far!! Glad to hear that everyone is surviving and drinking LOTS-O-WATER!!! I hope you guys are enjoying the scenary out there it must be beautiful going through so many different types of environments. Sleep well!!

Posted by Libby @ 07/01/2003 11:49 AM CST

Keep on Keepin' on!!!!!

You guys are havin the time of your lives! Take plenty of pictures and I hope to see you in Omaha where I can fix a large banquet of spaghetti, sausage, and lipton iced tea

Posted by Big Game James @ 06/30/2003 01:33 PM CST

Mark, glad to read the accounts of your journey from your companions. Will you make some entries soon?
We spent the weekend in Prescott Valley at Cousin Rhoda's mountain home, 7000 ft. elevation, nice and cool. The weather here for the coming week is all triple digits and no rain, glad you are staying north. Keep pedaling and I am keeping you in my prayers. Aunt Nancy

Posted by Aunt Nancy @ 06/29/2003 10:30 PM CST

Hi Josh! Sounds like you're getting close to WYO. I hope you guys have a rest day scheduled for Jackson Hole; it's a beautiful place. Keep your mountain climbin buddies off Grand Teton, though.

Remember to keep your eyes open for your great-great uncle Tom Moriarty's log cabin along the Wind River.

Aunt Cathy and I are enjoying the accounts of your trip. Your pictures are stunning.

Tommorrow (Sunday) several of us will head to Tom & Liz's to say hello to Mary, who stopped by for the weekend.

Best of luck to all of you.


Posted by Uncle Jerry (Josh's) @ 06/29/2003 02:31 AM CST




May 2003


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