A few hiccups

The ride into Butte was another tough one.  Temp in the mid 90′s and super hilly with a headwind the last 40 miles.  We were practically crawling.

Fortunately, when we arrived there were tons of leftovers sitting around from a large dinner that the church in Butte had and let us polish off… Its amazing how food can change your whole attitude on life…  I had no energy that night and just sat around the church and read.

The next day I realized at our lunch  stop, about 40 miles out, that I had left my wallet in Butte… typical Matt… I spent all day trying to call the church and finally got a hold of a special woman- Carol Brown, who found my wallet at the church and overnighted it to me in Missoula… not the first time a stranger returned my wallet to me and probably won’t be the last.

The ride into Missoula started off great.  about 18 miles in we stopped to swim in some hot springs that were really not that hot at all, but still sort of cool.  Nice waterfall and huge boulder/cliff to jump into the water.  There was also an awesome cave that you had to swim underwater to get to.  This very small cave was the site of one of the funniest scenes of the trip… I went in first then everyone just started coming in one by one, hitting their heads on the rock everytime.  eventually, it was crowded like a clown car since noone on the outside could hear us telling them to not come with us all running out of oxygen and laughing hysterically… trust me, it was funny.

The rest of the ride was troublesome.  We were riding on I-90, which is always loaded with debris and I nailed a huge stone and 4-5 miles later realized my front fork was completely cracked… We made it to the lunch stop and I was pretty worried I was going to have to get in the van, but I managed to rig it up with some epoxy and duct tape enough to get me into Missoula…

Last night we once again took advantage of the rest day and went out… started at a brewery that had stopped serving 10 minutes earlier, so we got a growler of "Fresh Bong Water", their finest pale ale and took it down the street to a park.  We eventually ended up at a pizza shop for some very dissapointing buffalo wing pizza.  I got reprimanded by the staff for initiating a huge bleu cheese versus ranch debate (bleu cheese is definitely better)… saw some T.O. reality show business on sportscenter at one of the bars and got pretty pumped.

Today I went to six bike shops to try to find a new fork.  None could help me out.  The Cadex is just too outdated.  I was pretty resigned to riding it in its current state- sketchy, duct taped, and super unsafe… Eventually I ended up at the headquarters for Adventure Cycling Association, which is based in Missoula.  I guess its the spot to stop on long bike trips.  I meant 4-5 other guys who were on long journeys like ours.  They also had free ice cream and pop for tired cyclists and took my picture and hung it on the wall with all the other passerby’s from this year, which was pretty cool…

After talking to one of the guys for awhile, he suggested the I take my bike to a welding shop and have the fork welded back together.  Why didnt I think of that?  After spending an hour helping a guy out in a place the reminded me way too much of working at Electric Materials, we got it welded and sanded down… so now I’m back in business

Had some birthday cake tonight to celebrate Matt Harlans birthday then went and saw the new Harry Potter with Zernyu and Adam… tomorrow we’re supposed to be staying near some realy hot springs.

Can’t believe we’re gonna be in Portland in 12 days.

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