Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 59. West Glacier, MT to Kalispell, MT. 30 miles.

So, I didn't make it as far as I had hoped, but meh.....

It took forever to gain motivation and actually head out today. I strolled down to the rafting office to hang with RT and Cal, drink a ton of coffee and shootheshit before I actually left around noon. Off in the distance I could see storm clouds a-brewin' and when I hit an incredibly narrow canyon road the sky opened up. The river was off to my right and a tall rock wall to my right. Rain fell for at least 20 minutes and hail for at least two as I crawled through the skinny roadway to a nearby gas station where I ate a hot pocket (haven't eaten one of those bad-boys since I was in highschool) and drank some coffee and dried off.

It rained off and on all day, or at least the three hours I was actually on the road. As I was cruising down route 2 toward Kalispell, I punctured my puncture-resistant tire on some sharp gravel. And for some reason I couldn't get the tire up to a solid pressure. So I rolled into Kalispell in search of a bike shop and found them to both be closed. The rain and hail blew into town and it just so happened I was outside of a bar so I went in for some dry conditions and brews. As I was leaving the joint a kid outside asked me where I was headed. He said he and some friends had a shop so I could top off the tires but I still wanted to buy a new tire for my next leg which was 175 miles without a bike shop, just in case.

I rode to the 'shop' - which was a dude's garage where bikes are built, and a fellow named Brandon was there to meet me. He stood in cowboy boots, black work jeans, a black t-shirt advertising the bar where I had just had beers and a dirty pbr trucker hat. A red beard covered his face and a bull ring ran through his nose. I filled up the tires when he asked, "you hungry?" Well, naturally! He brought me into his apartment where I met his girlfriend, Mindy, and biscuits and gravy were heating in the oven. We talked about my trip, and I knew I wanted to spend the night in Kalispell so I could pick up a bike tire the next day so I asked if they knew where there were any good spots to stay the night. The two of them looked at eachother for a minute and said "dude, you can stay right here." Perfect, exactly what I was hoping they would say.

I hung out with Brandon and his pals for the eve, supplying the PBR in exchange for a comfy recliner to sleep in. Did I mention that they fed me again after the b+g! These guys were great and also were the founders of the Black Label Bike Club in Kalispell, inspired by one in Big Fork. (If I messed any of that up, my apologies). These guys were in the practice of building high-bikes. And by this, I mean, bikes that consisited of two or three bike frames welded on top of one another to create a mega-tall bike machine. A bike so large that you have to climb up it like a ladder just to get to the seat. Talk about dangerous. Brandon had fallen off one weeks back and cracked his ankle and tore up his shoulder. I guess that's what happens when you're living three bikes high.

Thanks for the lodging and comraderie, dudes. much better than sitting in a motel 6, staring at a squak-box. cheers.

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