Damaris’ July 26 Blog Entry ~ SnR Tour of Discovery along #acaLewisClark route and #acaPacCoast while visiting #NatlParkService Parks
I‘m sad to say that we’ve arrived in Astoria and the SnR Tour of Discovery along the Lewis and Clark Trail is over. The Lewis and Clark Trail was amazing! We saw everything from bison and bald eagles to wild burros and elk. I thought I had already known everything about their trip from taking the Civil Ware and American West courses in high school but I was terribly mistaken. I learned a great deal more from not only the random historic sites on the roadsides but the interactive museums, as well.
Biking the trail was hard so I can imagine how hard it was for the Lewis and Clark corps to do it on foot while carrying all of their materials. This trail also made me appreciate history a lot more because learning all that I have I would be one clueless American.
Damaris – July 15, First Day Back Cycling the #acaLewisClark Tour of Discovery. Goodbye #NatlParkService for now
Today was our first day back biking after taking a few days off to hike, visit museums and go to phenomenal National Parks. We only had a 75 mile day ride so I was pretty happy. It felt so great to finally get back on the bike again and even though I didn’t wear biking shorts I still had a blast.
Unfortunately, our ride had a few negative curves. When we were 14 miles away from our camping destination of Whitehall, MT we decided to bike 7 of it and wait out an approaching mean thunderstorm at a gas station. We arrived at the gas station and about 5 minutes later a man arrived saying that hew owns half the county, including the store, and that he doesn’t like “our kind” on his property. So, we had to leave or get the cops called on us. I was in awe to see people like that still existed and even more confused when I remembered we weren’t even in the south. We did have to leave, or chose to leave without putting up too much of a discussion and ended up biking the 8 miles in the storm.
Even though that little event occurred I kept my head up, biked the rest of the way and enjoyed an amazing dinner.
What I noticed last night was that not only are we on a schedule (although, not yet keeping to it as perfectly as we would like) so is the wind. We rise begin cycling and almost like clockwork the wind begins picking up during the 8am hour and continues on until somewhere in the 9pm hour (there roundabouts); seriously! It’s done it for the last 4 days that I’ve noticed. Hopefully, it won’t prove me wrong tomorrow.
So, after a beautiful sunset last night there was a storm coming thru the campsite at Northpointe Recreation Center but it wasn’t the type we normally experience out east. It was a dry lightning storm. We battened down the tents and listened as the wind rustled and whipped everything in its path. When asked what they thought about the storm the girls answered “what storm?” Seems they slept right thru it. It must be great to not have a care in the world.
The morning’s ride began with an uphill out of the park. It was a fitting warm up; just enough of an incline to wake you up and not have you mind it so much. Being DFL Leader (DF2L) I now have a DFLL in-training with Itza, my co-pilot. Suepinda was able to join us today and we all rode DFL with dragonflies buzzing about us like dolphins to a ship. We had a combine truck pass us and we did something different in moving onto the other side of the road since he was taking up much of the shoulder and road at the same time. I think he appreciated that, as did we.
With the wind in our faces the three of us caught up with Kate and rode beside her for a number of miles. Itza and I started a game to break up the monotony by racing downhill as fast as we can while I call out the current speed. We were impressed with our best time of the morning with 37 mph; an improvement from yesterday’s robbery of 24.9 mph. But eventually we found another hill where we were able to get up to 40 mph. Suepinda and Kate got up to 37 mph. Their best time to date! We didn’t tell them that 40 was faster than 37, but I think they knew.
Me being a lover of grande vistas I took lots of pictures but realized they meant nothing without the context of a cyclist in the picture. Oh well. But South Dakota, I would say, is home to the rolling hillsides. Miles and miles of rolling hills. What a site. I can’t wait until I see mountains in the background or grande vista. Working on my Spanish this summer: learned to say “Hola, vaca negra, hola, vaca kaffe”
To remind us that we are in the very deepest of the country we only witnessed a few oncoming vehicles and almost NONE coming up behind us for miles. Wow. That’s why I’m DF2L. Because in the country, to quoting one of my favorite movies, “no one can hear you scream”. As we rode on eventually more vehicles past us and two of them were trucks carrying hogs. Dripping, oozing, leaking a foul substance that clung to the road like a paint. And being up wind we began to travel what we now call the “Trail of Stench”! The wretchedness lasted consistently for almost two miles as we could not get away from the headwinds which faithfully brought to us every molecule of that strange substance.
At the campsite tonight the youth cyclists played “Ninja”. A game where they get two moves, defensive and offensive to either block or hit the other opponent’s hand. That’s all I can explain but it looks fun.
Tomorrow we plan to continue with the tailwinds and make good time to Fort Thompson.
Cycled 76 miles today, passed dead frog lane, rode on flat straight endless roads, and got chased by ducks. Also got to see cute little muskrats 🙂 Now camping at Lewis & Clark Heritage City Park in SOUTH DAKOTA! (Lewis & Clark ACTUALLY camped here!!!!!!)
Oh and still not tired.
Can’t wait for tomorrow!