TRIP 2017

Update #13 - June 19th
Troy, MT
Mission Trip 5,195.99 miles (8,313.58 km)
Year Total : 3,244.76 miles (5,191.62 km)

I've started my ride across Montana. When I crossed the Montana state line, I crossed back into the Mountain Time Zone. In 179.12 miles (286.59 km), I will be at the top of Marias Pass (5290 feet above sea level) in the middle of the Rocky Mountains in Glacier National Park in Montana. My turning point and end of this trip leg is Bemidji, Minnesota 1,122.42 miles (1,795.87 km) away where I will be turning Southeast for the ride along the Mississippi River to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.

June 12, 2017 : Coulee City, WA to Davenport, WA : 61.67 miles (98.67 km)
Trip Total: 4,998.80 miles (7,998.08 km)
Year Total: 3,047.57 miles (4,876.11 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night at the First Presbyterian Church. I camped out in the Sr high youth room upstairs. There were better couches with cloth coverings and they were a bit longer than the sofa that was in the hall. I took about a three hour nap before I started to update my ministry website. I worked on some stuff that needed more intensive updating.

Around 6:20 pm, I walked to a restaurant a couple of blocks away where the youth of the church were putting on a fundraising meal for the upcoming mission trip to Haiti in August. They served Haitian food and it was a little spicy. Before leaving the restaurant, I had a conversation with Rev Breese. He has been at the church for ten years and has been in the ministry almost twenty years.

I went to bed around 10:30 pm and I slept till around 5:00 am. I left the church around 6:40 am. It was already warm in the 60s. Once I got out in the open away from the church, there was a tailwind to push me along. I was able to ride the grade up to the plateau without stopping. This was a several mile ride.

Because of the tailwind, I got the first 20 miles in by 10:20 am. By noon, I had ridden 27 miles. About a mile and a half out of wilbur, I met up with a guy on a loaded touring bike. The guy was from the Netherlands and he had started in Denver and was on his way to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and then he was going to continue on to Anchorage, Alaska. Two years ago, he had started from the Southern most city in South America and had ridden most of South America. Last year, he had cycled from some place in South America to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. We just talked for a couple of minutes and then we parted company.

I was at the Western edge of Wilbur by 12:30 pm. I stopped to watch a deer walk across the street into a campground on the North side of the road. I stopped at a gas station for a short break.

The afternoon ride went okay. The tailwind kept on pushing me along. On the Eastern edge of the small town of Creston, I stopped to check out a roadside chapel. It was pretty nice for a small church chapel. I signed the guest book. A mile or two down the highway, I watched something low to the ground go across the highway. It was too far away to see it closely but it could have either been a badger or a woodchuck.

I got into Davenport around 6:20 pm. I stopped at a gas station for a short break. The owner was from India. He had a large display case that showed off a lot of glass pipes that could be used to smoke pot and other illegal drugs. I haven't seen any pot shops since leaving the Monroe and sultan areas.

There was some activity at the First Presbyterian Church. A lady was moving out this drum set from the church and a couple of other pieces of furniture. I found out that the parsonage was next door. Rev Lance Ziegler welcomed me. He was actually an interim minister and has been at the church for about 18 months. I got permission to camp out in the fellowship hall downstairs. After talking with the pastor in his office, I got invited to have supper with him and his family. I was really surprised when Rev Ziegler told his older son to get the family's mission box out of a cupboard before he had to go to the church for the a meeting. The money that was in the mission box was given to me as a love offering from the family. I really needed the money because I've got to replace the front tire either in Spokane or Couer d'Alene.

My goals for tomorrow is to get into Spokane, stop at a bike shop to get a new front tire, maybe stop at the Spokane Review to get interviewed, and get on the Centenniel Bike Trail and head East to Idaho. I'll probably camp out along the Centenniel Trail in the Eastern part of Spokane Valley.

June 13, 2017 : Davenport, WA to Otis Orchards (along the Centenniel Trail), WA : 54.73 miles (87.57 km)
Trip Total: 5,053.53 miles (8,085.65 km)
Year Total: 3,102.30 miles (4,963.68 km)

I had an okay night at the First Presbyterian Church. I camped out in the fellowship hall downstairs. I did have a little problem with falling asleep because I had a slightly sunburnt lower lip and my right knee hurt a little bit. I got maybe 4.5 hrs of sleep.

It was around 6:30 am when I headed out from the church. Once I got away from town, there was a still cold wind that did push me along. I had to stop and put on my jacket.

The ride to Airway Heights went okay. I got about 28 miles in by noon. I stopped at an Arby's for some lunch and I stopped at a Walmart to do some shopping. From Airway Heights it was a little tricky getting on Sunset Highway that would take me into Spokane. The pavement on Sunset Highway was a little rough and it was a little tricky coasting down the steep hill.

In Browne's Addition, I was able to find the apartment building that I had lived in between 1989 and 1992. The building looked a little run down. I took a couple of pictures.

In the downtown area, I found a good bike shop "The Bike Hub". I got a good deal on a 20 inch tire and I even got a discount and a pair of tire irons for free. It took a while getting the old tire off and the new tire put on. I had bought the tire in North Venice, Florida on Nov 17, 2016.

I stopped at the Spokane Review. I talked with one of the city editors but he didn't have a reporter available to come downstairs to talk to me. There were a couple of big trials going on.

I didn't really recognize the downtown area. There was a lot of building construction and there was a lot of road construction. Riverside Park was under a lot of new development. I did stop and find the Bloomsday Runner Statues and take some pictures of them. Because of the new construction going on in the park, I wasn't able to get close to the falls to see if any marmots still lived in the rocks next to them.

It was a little tricky getting onto the Cenntennial Bike Trail. The ride along the trail was okay. There were a lot of cyclists on it. There was a guy on a trike but he didn't want to stop and talk.

There wasn't much open land along the trail. It was a little tricky finding a spot where I could camp out and not be seen. I found a spot that was away from the trail and hidden by some large boulders and trees.

June 14, 2017 : Otis Orchards (along the Centenniel Trail), WA to Hayden, ID : 27.31 miles (43.70 km)
Trip Total: 5,080.84 miles (8,123.94 km)
Year Total: 3,129.61 miles (5,007.38 km)

I wished that I could have found a more level place to pitch my tent but beggars can't be choosers. I didn't realize that there was a slight slope that went downhill until I got inside and put my sleeping bag on top of the air mattress. I kept on sliding off the mattress. I could have moved one of my rear panniers (the one with my clothes in it) and used it as a foot rest but I didn't think about it. It was a long night of waking up, getting out of the sleeping bag, moving it, and getting back into it. I probably moved the sleeping bag a dozen times during the night. I slipped the sleeping bag off the mattress and stayed put for the rest of the night.

Even with using my sleep mask, the early morning sun got me up before 5 am. I took my time getting packed up but I wanted to get out of the woods and back on the bike path before people started to go passed. I was back on the bike path around 6:30 am.

The ride to the ID state line went okay. Along the way, I saw something quite interesting. A large owl was being chased by two small birds. This was the first time that I had seen an owl during the day.

There wasn't a state sign to take a picture of with Alice. There was a plaque at the state line that was put in place during the WA state Centennial yearin 1989. There was a state sign but it was on I-90 about a tenth of a mile to the West and I couldn't get to it.

Around 10:30 am, I was in Post Falls and I stopped at a Taco Bell for a working breakfast/brunch. I needed to charge up my electronics and I stayed there for a little over an hour. From the Taco Bell, it was a little tricky getting back on the North Idaho Centennial Bike Trail. Once back on the bike path, there were a lot of up and down hills with grades between 6 and 8 percent next to the interstate.

I stopped at the rest stop next to the weigh station on the interstate for a break. There were about two dozen people at several picnic tables with a lot of bikes around them. They looked to be in their upper 60s or older. A lot of them had some kind of large name tag. The people didn't look sort of friendly. I had parked myself across from them at one of the tables on the west side of the rest area. A couple of people started to come over to talk to me but they sort of got close and then turned around. After about a half hour, they all got on their bicycles and they started going West towards Washington state.

I made contact with the worship pastor at a Baptist Church in Hayden, ID. My friend Johnnie in Hattiesburg had contacted him. I got permission to spend the night in the church. From where I was, I would have about a seven mile ride to the church.

A couple of minutes after the group of cyclists had left, an older couple on a tandem stopped at the rest area. I went over to talk to them for a while. The guy was going to be 61 in December. I thought that he was a lot older than that. Before I left, his wife caught up with me and gave me two Cliff Bars that they had left over.

I took my time getting over to the Baptist Church. I got there around 3:00 pm. I didn't have that long of a wait before my contact arrived at the church. I was given the chance to stay over tomorrow. My body needs a day of rest off the road on it's birthday and I need to work on all of the photos that I've not been able to label and put into folders.

June 17, 2017 : Hayden, ID to Sandpoint, ID : 45.77 miles (73.23 km)
Trip Total: 5,126.61 miles (8,202.58 km)
Year Total: 3,175.38 miles (5,080.61 km)

I had a better night than last night. I didn't have any leg pains and my lower lip was a lot better than last night. The medicated lip balm helped a lot. I woke up around 5 am.

I left the church around 6:30 am. It was a little cool so I wore my long sleeve t-shirt. I cycled East about a mile and then I got on US 95. I got the first 10 miles in by a little after 10 am.

I stopped at a gas station in Cochalalla for a short break. Before I left, this lady stopped to slip me a small GH. By noon, I had gotten a little over 28 miles in. I stopped alongside the road for a short lunch break. Right before I was going to pack up my stuff, this couple on a tandem pulling a trailor zipped by me. They yelled out that they were heading to New Jersey. I'm thinking that they were going to head North to Sandpoint and then turn Eastwards towards Missoula, Montana.

The afternoon ride went okay. I was thinking about getting 40 miles in and then trying to find some place to camp out. Around 5 miles out of Sandpoint, I got on a bike trail that took me into Sandpoint. There wasn't any open land.

I got into Sandpoint around 4 pm. A couple of days ago, I got an email from my friend Dennis in New York telling me to send him a bill for something special for me birthday. It looked like it might rain. I called up my friend Dennis to see if he could get me a motel room for my birthday. Dennis arranged for a room at a local motel.

June 18, 2017 : Sandpoint, ID to Bonners Ferry, ID : 35.77 miles (57.23 km)
Trip Total: 5,162.38 miles (8,259.81 km)
Year Total: 3,211.15 miles (5,137.84 km)

I had an okay night at the motel. The room was pretty good. I got maybe 6 hrs of sleep. Since there was a restaurant in the complex, there wasn't a breakfast provided.

I left the motel a little after 8 am. I rode over to the First United Methodist Church. I got there about fifteen minutes before the service. The pastor was out with some kind of health issues so there was an elderly pastor taking over for a couple of weeks. I got to talk to the elderly pastor before the service. During the beginning of the service, I got introduced and was able to share with the congregation. After the service, one of the gentlemen in the congregation slipped me a GH. The lay leader and none of the elders weren't there so there was nobody who I could talk to about a place where I could spend the night.

I rode over to the First Presbyterian Church. I got there about fifteen minutes into the service. The pastor was in the congregation asking if anybody had any prayer needs. I was able to share what I'm doing. The sermon was mostly about the pastor getting ready to go to Europe for three months on what was being called a sabbatical. After the service, nobody really talked to me. The pastor turned out to be a goat. He told me that there was really nothing that he could do to help me out with a place to stay. There was no way that I could stay in the church for the night. What was so ironic about the situation was that there was a motel right across the street. There was going to be some kind of lunch in the fellowship hall but I passed on it. It was a send-off luncheon for the pastor.

On the way out of town, I stopped at a Jacks for some lunch and a Safeway to get a few things. I followed a bike path for a couple of miles before I got on US 2 going North. The ride North went okay because there was a tailwind to push me along. For a good portion of the ride, the terraign was pretty flat and the highway followed a railroad.

About ten miles out of Bonners Ferry, there was a hill to climb. On the other side, there was a couple mile downhill coast into a valley. I got into Bonners Ferry around 5:30 pm. I rode passed a couple of churches but there wasn't going to be an evening service. There was another downhill coast into the downtown area. I rode around the downtown area and there were no churches.

I stopped at the Boundary County Sheriff department. One of the department's chaplains was contacted. After about a twenty minute wait, one of the chaplains showed up with his pick-up truck. I was taken to a motel a couple of miles North of Bonners Ferry in Threemile Corner. The motel is near the intersection where I'm going to be turning East towards Montana. I'm about 16 miles from the MT state line. When I cross into Montana, I'll be gaining back an hour since I'll be crossing into the Mountain Time Zone.

June 19, 2017 : Bonners Ferry, ID to Troy, MT : 33.61 miles (53.68 km)
Trip Total: 5,195.99 miles (8,313.58 km)
Year Total: 3,244.76 miles (5,191.62 km)

I had a really good night at the motel. The room was very good. The motel was one of the best ones that I've stayed at. I went to sleep around 10 pm and I slept till around 5 am. There was a good hot breakfast. I ate it in the lobby.

I left the motel a little after 8 am. From the motel, it was about a mile ride North to where I turned East towards Montana. In Moyie Springs, I stopped at a grocery store for a break. There was free wifi. The ride from the grocery store to the state line went okay. Along the way, I almost got hit by a deer because it zipped out of the woods in front of me and ran across the highway. In a couple more miles, there were two more deer that took their time walking across the highway.

I crossed into Montana around 12:15 pm. When I crossed into Montana, I crossed into the Mountain Time Zone so I lost an hour of daylight. I stopped at a bar for a break. I found a spot in some shade for about a half hour break.

The ride in Montana was really good because the roadway had been recently repaved. During the first four miles into Montana, three deer went across the highway in front of me.

About ten miles out of Troy, there was about a three mile coast of 6 percent. I took my time going down the cliff. After about a mile down the highway, I had to carefully get through a three mile section of road construction where they were installing new guardrails. I had to wait almost a half hour before I got the green light to go through the construction zone. I took my time because I had to wait several times for the convoy of vehicles going past with a pilot vehicle leading them. Near the end of the construction zone, there was a hill to ride up.

I got into Troy around 4:20 pm. I saw a temperature sign and it showed that it was eighty-five. I caught the lady Methodist minister as she was leaving her church for the day. She wasn't that friendly. She told me that she didn't live in town and there would be no way for her to come back to the church tomorrow morning to check on it and lock it up if I spent the night there. She suggested that I stop at the police station a block away. I talked with an officer there. He suggested that I stop at the Community Baptist Church near the Northern edge of town because they were a lot of vehicles there.

I rode over to the church. This was the week for vacation Bible school and they were having some free event with food at the park where the town museum was in. I had passed the park about a half mile down the road. I was told that the pastor would be there around 5 pm. The people that were setting up for the event weren't that friendly towards me. The pastor didn't show up till around 5:35 pm. He told me that if I go back to the police station and talk to the dispatcher who was in a different office there might be a possibility of getting a voucher for a room at one of the local motels. The motel was a couple of blocks away from the police station on the main road through town (US 2).

After getting Alice situated, I walked back to the park to see what the free food was. They were giving out baked potatoes with different fixings and salad. I didn't stay long because the speakers were pretty loud. On the way back to the motel, I stopped at a local grocery store for a few things for tomorrow's breakfast.

I'm thinking about just doing a short ride to Libby tomorrow. The temperature is supposed to be hot again. Libby was going to be the goal for today's ride but I hadn't expected on the road construction zone.

The next update will be posted between June 27th and July 03rd.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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