Link to a video of my rafting trip!!! And some pictures that Chris took. Thanks Chris!
I was pretty excited about today. No more rain, and Cindy would be picking my up after work so I could stay another night at their house since there is a-whole-a-lot-of -nothing between Deer Lodge and Butte.
I started at 7, so it was nice and cool out. It was suppose to get up to 83 today and this weekend is a nasty heat wave... Luckily I'm from Arizona! So 90 isn't too bad. Better than 114 like it is going to be at home on Sunday, when I am suppose to be crossing the Continental Divide.
Not a lot happened today. Walked on the frontage road all day, and talked with my family a bit. I stopped in Warm Springs at a restaurant called Uncle Bucks, and got a soda, and a breaded pork chop sandwich with french fries. Buck must have over heard talking to the waitress about my Walk, and told her to give me my lunch on the house. Yay! Super nice of him, and super delicious food. I left much more refreshed and walked another 10 miles or so until Cindy came and got me.
The rest of the evening was alright. I got a lot of work done on the computer, but my stomach was not doing so well. When I got that sandwich today I didn't really know what to expect. I think eating EVERYTHING they put on my plate was probably not a good idea and I didn't have any dinner... Luckily I was getting sick and hopefully it would stay that way through the rest of the night.
I finally had to say good bye to Zephanie and her family and move on to my next goal, Butte, MT.
Today I was walking to Deer Lodge where I would meet Cindy and Gary, my next hosts. They are the folks that know Alan, the guy on the bike I met yesterday.
I had BMW again, and wasn't really moving too fast. I knew I had a marathon to walk today (26.2 miles) and still try and bet the storms. I've been lucky the past few days by literally just beating the rain every time Zeph picked me up.
Today turned into a bit of a rough day, but it started off well. I meet another cross-country biker, Nick, and we chatted for a minute, and I stayed on the frontage road for about 6 miles so that was nice and quite. But most of the day I was on the freeway, and the rain from the last few days brought out the moths... in droves!!!! I know someone in-particular who probably would have died today if she was with me... You know who you are :) They drove me crazy, they were EVERYWHERE, I couldn't even open my mouth because they could fly in. There were also a lot of mosquitoes, and all kinds of bugs, it was awful. By the afternoon the clouds had really started to build and the rain came in. I was totally fine with that because the bugs were gone.
I meet a friend of some families I stayed with back in Washington. He brought me some snacks and cold drinks and a donation, thanks Chris! That was really nice, made my day for sure. Not long after that, Gary found me, and picked up BMW, and took it back to the house. I jumped on the frontage road from there, and walked to last 7 miles to the house. It rained off and on, and everyone stopped to ask me if I wanted a ride, so that was nice.
I got into town at 6 and Cindy came and got me. We had meatloaf with potatoes and salad and corn for dinner. Then she was nice enough to take me out and see some of the sights of Deer Lodge; the old prison that looks like a castle, and a one-room school house and the oldest working-ranch in Montana. We stopped at one of her favorite bars and got a beer, then headed home and off to bed I went.
Today was suppose to be another short day of 17 miles, but as Zeph and I were driving out to drop me off, we realized that since she was going to pick me up for one more night, I could continue for another couple of miles. Perfect, because tomorrow was suppose to be a 32 mile day........
If I did 23 miles today then I would only have 27 miles tomorrow. Still a lot, but not a 12 hour walking day. The only concern was the rain. The weather said it would start up around 2 again, so I set off trying to get as far as I could as fast as I could.
A few miles in, I meet a man named Alan who is riding his bike from Seattle to Mile City. He walked with me for a few miles and we talked about my Walk and his ride, and I mentioned my problem I am having in Butte with no contact to help me get over the pass. Sunday is suppose to be pretty damn hot, and I don't want to try and push my cart up and over the continental divide on a hot day. Alan said he knew someone who owns a house in Butte, but lives in Bozeman. He said he would call her and see where she was and see if she could help. Before he left, he gave a great donation! and we exchanged info while a man in a car stopped to let us know we were taking up THE ENTIRE ROAD... Right, I didn't know 2 people could take up an entire highway??? Anyway, we said thanks, and we all parted ways.
I was almost done with my day when I got a call by a woman named Cindy who was the sister of the woman in Bozeman that Alan knew. She lives in Deer Lodge which just so happens to be the town I am walking to tomorrow night. She was calling to see how she could help me get my cart over the pass!! I was pretty happy, I told her I was walking into Deer Lodge and she also offered my a bed for tomorrow night. SUPER excited now.
Zeph came at 4 to pick me up and brought me a sandwich, string cheese, peanuts and a drink. She's so awesome! Tonight is my last night with them and I'm so sad to have to say goodbye. It's definitely not getting any easier.
Today was quick day. Another 17 miles, and I was trying to beat the rain. Unfortunately I had to stay on the freeway all day because there was little to no frontage road to walk on. But what beautiful scenery! The entire day was through a tight pass and it followed the river all day.
Nothing too exciting happened. It cracks me up the number of people who I am pretty sure are starting to recognize me. It seems like every other semi-truck that goes by honk and wave now, and garbage trucks, and the odd car or motorcycle.
I finished my day in 6 hours again so I was done by 2. Which is perfect because the moment Zeph came to get me, it started to rain. We went to her Mom's work to say hi, and drop off the dog for a little while and we went and got some lunch and stopped at a bakery and I got a lemon poppy seed muffin for breakfast tomorrow.
The night went by fast, and before I knew it, it was 10 and definitely time for bed. Still had to decide if what I was going to be doing for the next 4 days going into Butte.... Ugh.
Zephanie and I set off around 8 AM this morning and walked for 17 miles to Clinton, in 6 hours.
We only had to walk 1 1/2 miles on the freeway, and the rest of it we walked on frontage road. We passed a ton of runners, and learned that the Missoula marathon was going the same day.
At one point we both had to use the bathroom, so I mentioned the fire station, and we stopped to ring the bell. Of course they let us in and I talked the guys for a while and learned that one of them knows a child in the BOC program, so I am going to stop by in the morning and give him one of my shoes to give to the kid he knows. Other than that, we hardly stopped at all. If we hadn't stopped to talk the firemen, we could have finished in closer to 5 1/2 hours.
Zephanie kept me moving. Usually I stop to take pictures, or stop to snack or whatever, but she keep on moving! It was great because we were done by 2. I'm hoping to do the same tomorrow, since bad weather is suppose to move in in the afternoon, with a lot of rain, hail and lighting... We'll see what happens... When we got home, we ordered a pizza and chilled out for the night.
I grouped these together because the 21st was just me working on trying to get EVERYTHING done that I needed to get done in the last week. So nothing really exciting to talk about. In fact, it wasn't at all relaxing, and rather stressful, so I decided to take Saturday the 22nd off too. To actually have a real day off.
Saturday was good. Slept for 11 hours, and woke up with the family and went to Saturday farmers market. Had a yummy blueberry scone and walked around for quite awhile. Luckily I got to ride a bike into town so I didn't have to walk too many today.
We all had lunch at a local old-fashioned diner, and and then walked around some shops until 2 PM or so, and headed home. I got a lot of blogging done! Yay! and Roxanne made a delicious Asian dinner. Zephanie decided that she was going to walk with me tomorrow! So that really made my day, and we spent some time getting her pack together. It would be a 17 mile day, but I thought she could handle it just fine considering she races mountain bikes professionally.
My walk into Missoula! Finally!
I woke up and said goodbye to Mike and Annette, two wonderful hosts who made me feel right at home. Even if their dog never really did get used to me...
I walked 9 days and 182 miles straight to get to Missoula, so needless to say, I was pretty happy when I got here. The day was rather uneventful (completely uneventful, didn't talk to anyone). Stayed on the frontage road for all it, and had great weather all the way up until I got to the point where Zephanie was going to pick me up, it started to rain the moment I got there. Which was fine because I just went inside the restaurant until she got there.
I LOVE Zephanie and her family! Zeph and I hit it off pretty well, and her Mom, Rozane and her Mom's boyfriend, Rocky, are so sweet. They welcomed me into their home for as long as I needed. They live in a cute little house tucked into the hills of Missoula, and I am staying in Rocky's daughter's room, so Spongebob Squarepants bed sheets for me! haha
Rain, rain, rain go away.
Well, it rained allllllllllllllllll day today. But it wasn't hot, and it wasn't too cold and it was a light rain. I was on the freeway for awhile until I saw some construction and crossed over to ask if I could walk on that side of the freeway since they had it closed down and not a lot of work trucks were passing through. The guys were all really nice and said sure, so I continued down the road with little to no traffic. I only hit trucks when I came up the where they are ripping out the asphalt.
I stopped to eat some lunch under a tree, and continued until the construction ended, about 10 miles down the road. My goal for the day was 25 miles, but that was cut short by the lighting that got wayyyyyy to close for comfort. So much so, that the first lighting I saw, my body automatically made me side down on the little walking path I found, and I called Mike to come and get me. I only ended up doing maybe 20 miles.
FOX news also got a hold of me and came to Mike and Annette's house to do an interview and that went on for about an hour. Nancy I believe her name was? Anyway, she was super sweet, really nice girl and I had a good time doing the interview with her.
For dinner Annette made pork chops, green beans, pickled beats (YUM) and mashed potatoes with German chocolate cake for dessert. Super good, and was totally ready for bed after we watched my interview on TV.
What an awesome day!!
It started off great when the camp hosts invited me in for breakfast and we sat and talked until after 8, which was an hour later than when I wanted to start. It was already hot out but I only had a 17 mile day.
I only got 8 miles in and I was getting off the freeway back onto old high way 10 an a truck stopped and a girl stuck her head out and asked me what I was doing. I told them about my walk, and looked back and saw their rafts. I said how jealous I was and the girl turned back into the truck, and then turned back to me and asked if I wanted to come! They had an extra spot. I thought about it, because I am behind where I want to be, and I really need to catch up. But then I reminded myself why I am out here, and I said yes!
We loaded up BMW and a guy, and girl sat in the back with me while we drove down to the river. They were all super cool, and the girl driving was working that day taking a man and his kids down the river and the other girl was photographer, and the guy had the day off, and was just going to raft by himself.
What a great day, we rafted down the Clark Fork river in the Alberton Gorge. We hit some class 3 rapids and I loved every second of it. Saw another Bald Eagle and and stopped at Fish Creek for lunch. When we were done, they took me back to where they picked me up and I walked for another hour until Mike came and picked me up, my next host for the next two nights. What a crazy day! Half of awesome rafting for free!!! Thank you guys!
Mike and him wife Annette are ranch folk that live on 10 acres and have a grumpy dog that doesn't care for strangers. They are great! They still check to see what is on TV by looking in the newspaper. I didn't even know they did that any more! hahaha. Annette is a great cook, we had spaghetti for dinner with some garlic bread and cake for dessert.
I went to bed pretty early, I knew tomorrow would be a long day in the rain.