After three days of rest and relaxation in the Perry RV, today it was time to hit the road again. We packed our panniers full of our (finally) dry clothes and some delicious homemade cookies and granola! (I think I ate about a two dozen of those cookies over the last three days...they're soooooo good!)
We decided to eat breakfast at the Two Medicine Grill on our way out. It was ok, but neither of us were impressed with the food or the prices. But as it turns out, it was very cool that we stopped there for breakfast anyway...
April had stepped into the grocery store next door for supplies, and I was paying for our food when someone said, "You must be the bikers?" followed by the usual introductions and questions about our trip and destination, but this time the couple, Mike and Carol, were especially interested because they had done a nine month tour on Specialized bicycles almost 25 years ago in 1986.
Their tour started in Washington and stayed north, even through parts of Canada, and ended in Maine...but then it didn't end. They went down the coast for a ways, spent some time in Hawaii (but didn't cycle there), headed for Fiji, then Australia and finally ended (for real) in New Zealand!! How cool is that?! Brace yourself Mom and Dad, you never know what's coming next ;-)
After talking with Mike and Carol for a bit longer, we went back to pay for our groceries (April had come back to see what was taking so long) and head out. By this time, it was much later than we had intended to leave, but that seems to be the trend. And it usually works out in the end.
The weather had, while we were eating, taken a turn for the worse. It seems we were destined to pick up where we had left off: a cold, rainy, gray day. As we donned our bright yellow rain gear, more than one person commented that it was supposed to rain all day and that we were sure to be soggy by days end.
And they were, unfortunately, right. The ride from East Glacier to West Glacier was cold and wet, but at least it was mostly down hill. We made good time with only a small stop in the middle at The Half-Way Motel & Restaurant for warm food and drinks, and despite not leaving East Glacier until around 11:30 am we made it the 55 miles to West Glacier before 5:00. Our shoes, socks, and gloves, which had dried so nicely the past few days were once again soaked.
We ate some yogurt and granola (yum!) for a late afternoon snack and took off our rain pants since the rain had stopped and the full rain suit is really hot. We tried find a campground in Columbia Falls, but after failing to get ahold of any that April called, we decided Columbia Falls might be a bit far (17 more miles) to make it before dark anyway given the heavy cloud cover.
So we decided to just wing it. We knew there was lots of camping along our route and we knew were just 9 miles from the next town, Coram. As we approached Coram, it started to rain again. I wanted to just push on and deal with wet pants tomorrow, but April wanted to stop and put her rain pants back on.
About this time we were coming up to the Glacier General Store and RV Park. They had a porch, so we pulled in to suit up. While April pulled her stuff out, a guy came out and invited us to use the porch to hang out for a bit if we wanted while it rained. The guy introduced himself as Chuck and April asked him if there was a tent camping spot up the road.
He thought for a bit and then asked us if we wanted to use his side yard. We looked at each other, looked at the gray clouds, looked at our mileage, and decided sure, this would be a great place, only a few miles short of Coram.
Before long, Chuck came back and offered us use of the porch on one of his rental cabins and the use of the bathroom in shop. As we talked a bit more, we found out that Chuck is a wildlife photographer and that this is one of his galleries. He just acquired it a little over a year ago and had been busy fixing the place up and remodeling the upstairs so he could stay there. Be sure to check out his online gallery, he has some amazing photos!
As we prepared to set up our tent, he told us to hang on just a second, and then he offered us use of the upstairs he had been working on (since he is living in his RV until it's done) complete with bathroom and shower! Sweet!! The upstairs is pretty much empty at the moment, but it looks awesome and we can only imagine how great it will be when it's done.
So here we are, once again amazed at the generosity of people and the provision that God has for us, from meeting to Mike and Carol at breakfast, to meeting Chuck and getting better shelter and accommodations than we had hoped for or planned on!
We made a quick video interview with Chuck so you all could meet him. He's quite an interesting guy!
Hope you're all warm and dry. Thanks for reading...g'night.