Hello Mountain Time! One time zone down, three to go.

The climb up and over the summit of Lolo Pass, ID was a steady 13 mile climb. It required effort, but nothing the lightning Felt 25 couldn't handle. The engine on the bike had a harder time pushing through strong headwinds on the long descent into Missoula past randomly placed giant boulders scattered about from the ice dam break of Missoula Lake about eleventy-jillion years ago. This flood of biblical proportions created some of the most unusual formations along the scablands of Washington and throughout Montana. Just thinking about it reminds me that my bladder is about to burst from the gallon of water, tea and Coca-Cola I've consumed.
I meet Hyeong-Joong Park at the top of Lolo pass. He's a young cyclotourist from Korea making his way to Richmond, VA. He calls his journey the Project D-7000 Dream. It's his first time in America and he says, in a very impressed way, that we have "great big hills and big stomachs!" Right on Park! USA #1.
His tour pamphlet of information is impressive. My favorite lines of his life goals include:

"to maker handmade shoes" (sic)

"if there is a time machine, I want to meet someone"

"every year to take a picture with younger brother"

Park reminds me of the young idealistic professionals I worked with at Samsung in Seoul. He's surprised when I tell him that Katy and I have adopted Camille from Korea. He teaches us how to correctly pronunciate "Ji-Hyeon," Camille's Chosongul name.
We arrive late afternoon in Missoula. Katy is the first to notice that there are more people on bicycles than in Bend. Although they have a smaller population, Missoulians are riding every imaginable two and three-wheeled contraption up and down the streets. They even have a bike parking problem on the sidewalks.

The velocipedes are piloted by attractive young women with bright tattoos and men sporting the high and low fashion of the 19th Century. The place is teeming with waxed mustachioed chaps with the stereotypical uninformed well-manicured political opinions one would expect of the tragically hip.

These new bohemians are home grown and transplanted from "Williamsburg," downtown Seattle and H.G. Well's time machine. I suspect they toil as buskers, affinity marketers and "local" chickeneers. I love these young poltroons and this town. So much to see and do and ridicule.
We finish the day having dinner and redesigning the load on the Fargo. I'm dumping some gear and forgoing the big rear panniers for a hobo system of bungee cords and dry stuff sacks. If it works, I'll shed nearly ten pounds and a portion of the wind catcher I had before. Crossing my fingers.

I lose the finest butler one could hope for as Katy heads back to attend to Felix and Camille as school ends. I'm making the transition back to the solo slog by taking a rest day tomorrow followed by a plodding path North to Glacier National Park. Katy us planning on rejoining me with the kids to enjoy Montana and camping. I don't want to get there too fast, lest I blow a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Farewell, ma tete de chou! Thanks for the companionship and for making it "easy" over the weekend. It was a great time. Much love.

Tomorrow, a prolonged observation of Missoula.

To the gentleman inquiring what was meant by my cycle touring calling card:

"Citizen Adventurist" was just what popped in mind when I wanted to give myself a title. It was better than, "Ride Coordinator" or "CEO" for just one guy. It also makes no pretense of special credentials, although "Citizen" did connote very special status in Ancient Rome.


06/11/2013 7:46am

Jon, Please bring Elwood home! I love him!

Doug Novy
06/11/2013 10:04am

"So much to see and do and ridicule"...best line of the trip so far.
Glad you are spending so much of your riding time multitasking with the local history pamphlets. After all, this trip is primarily about keeping us entertained, isn't it?

Jonathan Leahey
06/11/2013 10:32am

He's even better in person, Dad.


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