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Missoula to Hamilton – 50 miles

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6/20/12. Missoula to Hamilton – 50 miles

My day off yesterday was fabulous. Took my time getting up. Then dropped the bike off for maintenance and used the time to catch up on journaling and e-mails. Rode over to REI to pick up a few items. Rested and watched the basketball game.

This morning I met the guys at Adventure Cycling’s national office. AC publishes the maps I am using for the TRANSAMERICA ride, and provides other valuable info. It is traditional to stop by, register and have your photo taken. They have a wall with pictures on it. As I was registering, I noticed that McKinley and Patrice had signed in yesterday. I raced over to the wall and found their picture – they looked well and happy. I am guessing that they arrived in Missoula yesterday afternoon and went directly to AC, rather than wait like we did. I am also guessing they took a rest day today and will be back on the road tomorrow.

Also joining us to resume the ride was Andrew. He was the very first biker I met on day 1 with all the stuff. He had been riding with the guys and at some point his girlfriend picked him up and took him to Baker City, where I think he re-grouped a bit and
planned to re- join the guys in Missoula. Andrew has shed some of the weight off his bike and was dressed like a biker.

After having our pictures made, AC offers you the opportunity to weigh your bike. Mine weighed 80 pounds – I had guessed 75 pounds. Andrew’s bike weighed 111 pounds. We gave him a hard time about that.

We finally headed out for Hamilton, which was an easy 50 mile ride. Much of the ride was on paved bike paths not open to motorized vehicles. That was sweet. We arrived in Hamilton at approx. 3:00 pm. I had contacted a family through “warmshowers.org” to see if they could put us up. Warmshowers is an organization of bikers that offers places for bikers to stay.  This family’s profile indicated that their son had ridden the TRANSAMERICA in 2009 and ever since they had opened their home and yard to bikers who needed a place to stay. They have a huge back yard for tents. Terry, her 2 year old granddaughter Riley, and Molly the dog greeted us with lemonade and cinnamon rolls. We sat on the back porch and talked for a couple of hours about all the bikers who had stayed with Terry and Carl over the years, their son’s trip, our trips, etc.
It was a lot of fun. About 7 pm, Randy and I biked to town to find dinner. We ended up at this really neat little cafe and had grilled chicken salads that were exceptional. After returning to Terry and Carl’s house, we visited a while longer before everyone was ready to turn in.

Tomorrow will not be an especially long ride; however, we will begin riding some passes with high elevations, so it will likely be challenging.

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