Well, the day started off rainy and cold yet again! We were happy to have had a warm dry place to stay last night. We ate our usual breakfast of oatmeal (with the last of the yummy granola from Karen!). While April was making breakfast, she found something interesting on our oatmeal packets....
After breakfast, we packed up our stuff, went to say good-bye to Chuck, and hit the road.
We started out in a light drizzle and headed for Columbia Falls, MT. Our goal was to make it to Kallispell to get some long needed supplies like some more fuel for our stove, a new charger for our video camera, a couple of safety vests, and a new speedometer for me (mine had been acting up a bit). Kallispell is the closest city to Glacier Park that is on our route and has any major stores.
One of the biggest things we needed was a new charger for our video camera. We've always had a difficult time charging it, and while we were with April's grandpa, he had the same type of charger. We gave his a try and viola! The camera charged faster and on the first try...one of the frustrating things about being on the road is that we really can't take it up with Kodak right now, so we just have to buy a new one.
The other important thing we needed to get was some high visibility safety vests. We've wanted to get some for a while, but we couldn't find one that had reflective strips, just hunter orange vests. We decided to get them for now.
This was definitely one of our most expensive stops. In addition to the charger, speedometer, and vests, we got some warm socks, a spare fuel canister for our stove (they're still really hard to find!), new handlebar bags (ours we're working very well), a small lantern for camping, and some more baby-wipes! Wow! And we still need to get all kinds of stuff, like a screen repair kit for our tent, some new helmet mirrors (ours went with our melted helmets), warm ear covers for under our helmets, and some bike maintenance parts. It all adds up so fast! We're a little further through our budget than we were hoping to be at this point, but still doing ok.
Of course, things always take longer than we expect. We spent several hours running our errands in the little shopping center. We felt like big spenders and would've fit right in except for the fact that we were in spandex bike clothes and helmets. By the time we had finally spent our money, gotten our goods and were ready to get on the road again, I was pretty antsy to go.
We hadn't been on the road again for more than a few minutes when I heard the tinkle of metal on the roadway and April dinging her bell signaling to stop. I looked back and saw April stopped a couple hundred feet back up the road. Everything looked fine.
So, I went back up the shoulder to see what had happened. The shoulder was nice and wide, but the road was fairly busy and we were glad to have our high-vis vests!
It turns out April had a screw loose. Well, actually one of the bolts came loose and her right rear pannier came partially detached! Yikes! Thankfully nothing bad happened and I had spares of everything and nothing had been damaged, so a few minutes later we were on the road again with everything securely fastened.
The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful, but difficult. Because we had spent so much time in Kallispell, we had most of our mileage to do still. We weren't sure we could still make it to Yellow Bay State Park. There was a park in Big Fork, about 10 miles closer, but we had seen that campground on our way through the first time and weren't too excited about it.
We stopped to rest for a bit and have a snack at a little gas station about 10 miles away from Big Fork and discovered the most amazing gas station snack ever!! Cin-a-babies. They are pretty much a cup of warm, soft, chewy, cinnamon rolls covered in frosting. Delicious!! I hope we come across them again :-)
Anyway, while we were snacking a slight tail wind kicked up. We got back on the road and the slight tail wind turned into a pretty decent one. In no time at all we covered the ground to Big Fork. We were just deciding whether we wanted to push for Yellow Bay or not when we met another cyclist: George Provost.
George was riding the Great Divide trail, which is a mountain bike trail that follows the Continental Divide, and had started in Anchorage, Alaska! Wow, what a trip! After chatting for a bit we decided to continue on to Yellow Bay and George decided to stay in Big Fork.
The trip to Yellow Bay was beautiful! It's gotten to the point where we don't even know if it's worth taking more pictures or not...there are only so many post card pictures we can take ;-)
We can tell it's getting late in the season because we were the only ones there and even the camp host had left for the year. As we prepared our dinner, a park ranger named Brian came around to collect our registration papers and fees.
April was telling him our story and found out he's a big Dave Ramsey fan too and had worked through a bunch of debt as well following the steps in the Total Money Makeover. Because of he and his wife's efforts to be debt free, they had some cool new opportunities that they were able to take advantage of including taking a big pay cut to run a Christian youth camp while allowing his wife to be a stay at home mom! Very cool!
For dinner we had a special treat: gnocchi in vodka sauce. Our friend, Sarah, really likes vodka sauce and recommended we try it sometime. It was delicious, especially with the gnocchi. And thanks to our new little lantern, it didn't matter that it was dark by the time we were done eating and ready to clean up!
Well, that's about it. Time to clean up and go to bed. Sweet dreams...