October 7, 2011

Well, here we are. Back on the computer much sooner than we’d hoped.

We made it to Chester, MT last night, and spent the night in a pavilion in the city park.  This enabled us to spread our tents out to dry, as we’d had to pack them wet the night before. We woke to a steady drizzle and what looked to be a breeze from the west.  After slowly packing up (and me lubing my chain to get rid of the squeak that’s been hounding me the last week or so), we got out on the road at 11:30.  We struggled against a strong wind and driving rain, which, together with the steady climb, limited us to about 7 mph average.  We reached Lothair, 13 miles away, cold and wet, and realized we had no chance of making it to Shelby, the next town worth mentioning, before dark.  We were forced to make the unpleasant decision to turn back for Chester.  The downhill and the wind that was now at our back shot us back in no time, so now we have the rest of the day to idle in Chester.  We came to the local library to escape the cold, and to ponder our future.  While we would very much like to ride through Glacier National Park, and while we abhor (some more than others)  the idea of skipping portions of the trip, we may opt to take a train for some of the remaining miles to Seattle.  The moist boys have some thinking ahead of them…

In other news, we met our first fellow travelers in the last couple days: first was Colin Skinner, a cross-country walker from Britain, who is walking for Hospice Care (http://www.freewebs.com/drskinnersite/).  Next we met Brent, who is biking from Ely, MN to his home in Olympia, WA. We first met in Malta when he biked up as we were finishing lunch, then again the next day in Havre.  If the timing works out, we hope to see him again in Washington and possibly in Baja as well.

Another milestone crossed a couple days ago: 1000 miles of the trip have been completed.  The trip doesn’t seem so long any more.

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12 Responses to October 7, 2011

  1. MomLady says:

    Darling, i think of you put your text that you will have a link to that very impressive web site. Hope you guys are all safe and warm.

  2. Alexa says:

    My mother has expressed a lot of anxiety on the subject of biking through the mountains, and will be happy to hear you’re considering a train.

    I started spending the night in the Hennepin County Government Plaza tonight, as I’ve been helping OccupyMN organize the protest in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. I feel like I must be experiencing something like y’all are, sleeping outside, only less like a cross-country adventurer and more like a homeless person.

    We miss you guys. Stay warm.

  3. Susan White says:

    Hail! Brave Cyclists! Well, you knew it would be hard to cross the Continental Divide this time o’ year. Know that you want to stretch your boundaries… just make a decision based on your collective good sense, OK? Ride well and dry today! Love and Good Wishes to all of you Hearty Souls. from Coop’s Mom.

  4. Mary Johnson says:

    Wow! I am proud of you. What a life-changing experience. I think being wet must be worse than being cold. Don’t feel like you are letting yourselves down if you hop on a train.

    You will remember this adventure for the rest of your lives.

    Proud AND worrying – Mom Johnson

  5. Joshlyn G says:

    Just read your stories out loud at brunch with Emma, Sarah, Kelly, and Calla. We are all very impressed with your trip. Even though your last post sounded a bit discouraging, we know you guys will push through it. We all have good days and bad days. Great job boy, keep it up!

  6. Sarah Allen says:

    Coop…..buddy. Watch and learn. Hope all is well….be safe!

    Love, S, C R & C

  7. Charles Geach says:

    Hi, darling. I thought I had put something here but can’t find it.
    What’s the massive u-turn on October 11th: hope you’re all all right
    What are you going to do about bike parts in Patagonia?

  8. Mary T Johnson says:

    Wow! You will be legends in your families. It sounds like each adventure could be a book. How exciting. Stay safe and try to stay dry. Meet everyone you can, there are lots of interesting people out there. Love you! (Tom’s mom)

  9. MomLady says:

    Hello–has anyone heard from any of the guys? Are they enjoying Glacier or having bike/weather problems? Are they all right??? At such moments I wish they had NOT chosen the name DONNER PARTY!!!

    • mary t johnson says:

      Tom posted a great picture on his Facebook shortly after midnight this morning. It is a great picture of all four of the guys at the Continental Divide. I can send it to you if I get your e-mail address.

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