Day 4, July 21st

Start: Sand Point, ID

Finish: Thompson Falls, MT

Miles: 86 (100)

Elevation Gain: 2500'


Rimrock Motel

PO Box 1450

Thompson Falls, MT 59873


Click on an image to see a larger view

Another day, another state. Well to be fair, we did cross Idaho at its narrowest part. We're now in Montana in a different time zone. This state will not be crossed in a day, or even two. We'll actually spend the next 4 1/2 days making our way across.

As we left our motel this morning, the weather was  just about perfect. Beautiful blue skies, mid-60's and no wind. Later in the day, we got a bit of a tail wind,

Small delay waiting for railroad construction vehicles to clear the intersection.

but nothing like yesterday.

The scenery was spectacular. I had a hard time not stopping every 500 yards to take another photo. Since many of us had the same idea (re taking photos), I got separated from the other riders and managed to miss the first turn-off at mile 26.7.

My bike computer has been misbehaving since the heavy rain leaving Wenatchee and seems to loose the signal from the wheel speed sensor occasionally. So when I hit the turn-off, my computer only said about 22 miles and I wasn't looking for it. When I got to the Montana border and my computer said 27 miles, I knew I had gone far. Shortly after turning around, I saw the PAC Tour van (Dena was taking a shortcut

Some of the beautiful scenery as seen from our route in Idaho

to Thompson Falls) and found out the turnoff was about five miles back. I think I ended up doing about 14 miles extra, making today an even century.

I've ordered a new cycle computer which will arrive tomorrow evening at our motel, so hopefully this won't happen again.

One of the most interesting and entertaining parts of the day was stopping at the "Bear House". The lady that lives here takes in "stray" wild animals and cares for them. Stray bear cubs are released back into the wild when they're about four years old, but they often come back for visits.

When we rang the doorbell, a lady in a wheelchair

The bear house was on our route sheet as an interesting diversion

answered and said she'd be back in a few minutes. Apparently, she was putting some of the animals in their cages as they normally have free rein in the house. When we were finally let in, we entered a large living room/kitchen area that was filled with various taxidermy including mounted heads and full animals. We had been in the room for a couple minutes when we noticed that the cougar in the corner wasn't stuffed. The photo below shows her - she looks like a huge Garfield.

We then went out back to see the bear cub and several of us hand fed it taffy. Beside the bear cage was a large pen attached to the house with two tigers. The pen included a shallow swimming pool where the female tiger was cooling off. We were told that all the animals like to play together in the pool, and occasionally some of the bears that are released come back to join in the fun.

The male tiger in the photo below posed for us for a while, then turned its back to us and raised its tail. By the time we figured out what was going on, he sprayed his musk through the fence. We were all laughing hysterically, but John got hit a good dose. The two ladies that were riding with him (Judi and Marlene) said he smelled of musk (to put it politely) for the remainder of the ride.

Thanks to Doug for letting me use his toll-free number to upload my site. For another perspective on our tour, visit Doug's website.

More beautiful scenery in Idaho Another Idaho scene - this is a beautiful state And one more

It seems to be hay harvesting season in this area. I could smell the sweet smell of fresh hay on numerous occasions That's me crossing a bridge shortly after entering Montana (for the second time) Our motel for the night is overlooking this river

I saw this sign on my off-course detour, but never felt any mosquitos This is the bear-house lady's living room. Amongst all the taxidermy in the living room, we didn't notice that this one was alive until she moved her head

We all had a chance to feed taffy to the beer. She eats 15000 calories a day The bear-house lady and her daughter (or grand daughter?) along with an animal I have not seen before This male is one if two tigers. When visitors are not around, the tigers share the house with the bear, cougar and other occupants