Day 78 – Libby, MT to Bonners Ferry, ID – 54 miles
Hard to get going this morning after our ride yesterday. We dawdled a bit before heading out but once we were on the bike, we were fine!
We decided to go off-route today & take US-2 thru Bonners Ferry. This cuts off about 10 miles and we get back on route in Sandpoint tomorrow. A few miles out of Libby, we stopped at the viewpoint for the swinging footbridge over the Kootenai River. (Shawn has had enough thrills with swinging footbridges, so we didn’t go out on it – plus we’re getting enough thrills with the day-to-day ride!). The views of the river, the rapids, the mountains were magnificent! This area of Montana is beautiful!
Before too long, we had about 20 miles in and we rolled into the cute little town of Troy. We stopped at a coffee shop and got a more substantial breakfast. We headed out, knowing we had about 10 miles to go before the Idaho border. We also knew there were a limited number of opportunities for breaks and snacks along the way. Montana had one last “gift” for us, in the form of a 2+ mile climb in the granny gear. It was a winding, curvy road with each view around the corner being more uphill. We stopped once along the way to catch our breath & hydrate and then finally, thankfully, the road started gradually going downhill. We were counting down the Montana US-2 mile markers (remember when we saw them start at 577 -after riding about 70 miles in Montana?) and saw the no. 1 buzz by, we knew we were close, then we saw the glorious, blue “Welcome to Idaho”sign. Now nothing against Montana, we certainly saw some beautiful places, but after being in this state for 17 days, we were overjoyed to say good-bye!
Just as we got to the state line, we saw a bar and thought, much as we wanted to cross the state line, it was time to relax and get a bite to eat. As we pulled up to the place a woman came out and we asked if they were open because the open sign wasn’t lit. She said yes, but they had no power. A storm came thru Tuesday night & took out a lot of trees and knocked out the power for miles. They had a generator going and were making ice to serve cold drinks. So we had pop, peanuts & chips!
We got back on the bike for a 50-yard ride, got off and took our requisite selfie by the sign. As we pulled away, a car pulled into the turn off with a touring bike on a bike rack. We could tell it was someone interested in our trip. It turns out it was Harvey, a Warm Showers host we had emailed for a night in Bonners Ferry. He was unable to host but he apologized for not accommodating us. Even though Harvey didn’t host us, he gave us a great deal of information about our route through the next few towns – a great help to us! As he got into his car, he said “you guys are doing great, you’ll be done in 10 days!” That was huge to hear! We knew we were getting close, but 10 days?? Wow! We knew at that point we would need to study the map and detail out the rest of the trip. (After looking at the details, we may extend it out to 12-14 days, take a rest day, etc.)
We cruised into Bonners Ferry on a huge (6%) 2 mile downhill. The whole time thinking that we may have to come out of this low elevation town in the morning! For now, it was a very fun way to end the day. We struggled a bit finding accommodations for the night, but luckily a Hotel / RV site in town had room for a tent and the showers were great! A real bargain for for 10 bucks!!
We walked down the street to a cafe for a nice dinner, stopped at the grocery store for 2 cans of “pop” (wink wink) and toasted the crossing of another state line! Woo hoo, only one more border to cross!!
– maybe Jim should get some Grecian formula for his lamb chops
– how do they make round bacon?