After having survived the 4th of July celebration and the night of stealth camping in one of the parks of Missoula, that turned out so stormy that big trees were coming down hard to the ground around my tent. I had to evacuate at 3.30 in the morning and seek out a motelroom in town for needed shelter. What the hard winds that night also did, was to blow out the heat that had been lingering in area a while and installed a very different climate of temperatures in the way more comfortable and bike friendly area of 80s Fahrenheit or 20s Celcius.
And wouldn’t you know who rolled into town today??!! The Prostate Brothers! They had caught up with me (much thanks to the generous help of Amtrak:-) It was a joy to see them again and to share some stories from the three weeks we have been apart. Some things change every now and then, some things are in constant state of change, while other things are somewhat constant, as is Roar’s affinity for fine wines. I had spotted this excellent place called Liquid Planet, downtown Missoula, so I thought I would surprise my good friend by bringing him here. He picked up a bottle of 8 yr old Shiraz from Washington state to share with us as to honor our reunion. According to Roar this very grape fares particulary well in this region. Roar knows his stuff when it comes to wine, and even myself and Per could agree as to the excellence of this bottle. Thanx Roar!
The city of Missoula is also home to the Adventure Cycling Association, ACA, http://www.adventurecycling.org
This is an amazing community of people, almost 40 of them, mostly unique weirdoes that all share a big love for adventures on bicycles. They have carefully developed maps for a host of routes for rides all over the United States. Greg to the right in the picture below is one of the founders from 25 yrs ago and he is still very much involved. With a mind for details and archives it was amazing to witness how quickly he was able to assess just how many Norwegians had paid them a visit over the years, a meager 5 in total, and a good 8 years since the last one did.
Below are some photos from within their office, which started out in an old church, before they added more space to accommodate their growth of activities and employees. A dream come through to work in such an amazing organization, surrounded by likeminded smiling bikers. They photograph all the riders that come by and they hang the photos up on a wall in the entrance. Now this held riders from this year and a few from the last year. While there people were dropping by constantly, some on foot and some on bikes, like this adventurous gent by the name of Joe. Joe is from Phoenix, Arizona and had been out for about three weeks along the Great Divide route. This stuff is not for the faint of hart, as it is mostly a mountainbike route, that takes you along the Continental Divide from the border to Canada to the border to Mexico. This routes has some serious mountainclimbing and it is most remote with little access to services along the way. To add to the adventure, the route also takes you through some of the most bear dense area in the US, where sightings of Grizzly and Blackbear is very common. I bow to Joe for venturing out on his own on this fantastic experience.
Today as all other days means finding food, and today’s choice Taco del Sol. This place is highly merited for their burritos.
I was impresses by their “hunting trophies”. I am not a vegan, but I still never quite understood how some people can cut another being’s head off and put it on the wall in their home for their own pride and amusement. Missoula has a thriving bike scene, with bikelanes everywhere, bikeshops and lockup stations everywhere on the streets. A true joyous place to visit and highly recommended as a place to visit.
It has also been a joy to meet my friends again. Today we were able to discuss the best ways of moving out on the finishing stretch of our adventure. We have about 880 km to go now, so we are definately seeing the tailene of this long and remarkable journey.
We will part again tomorrow, as I need to fly out from Seattle on July 15th. My buddies have another good week or so at their disposal.