Day 5, July 22nd

Start: Thompson Falls, MT

Finish: Missoula, MT

Miles: 136

Elevation Gain: 3520'


Campus Inn

744 E. Broadway

Missoula, MT 59802


Click on an image to see a larger view

Today wasn't as consistently beautiful as the past two days, but I think some of the roads top the list as the nicest and prettiest cycling roads we've been on this trip. This is the first Northern Transcontinental that has taken this particular route and thanks to crew-member Steve for picking out an awesome route.

We followed this river out of Thomson Falls

We got our first taste of riding on the freeway (Rt 90) shoulder today since there were a few places that there were no other options. The shoulders are very wide, so we felt fairly safe, but they are covered with debris (truck tire remnants, sand, glass, etc.) and there were a number of flats.

Anne Marie and I riding one of the prettiest roads of the tour so far.

I spent most of the day riding with Anne Marie who hales from my hometown. We met for the first time when I saw her name on the list of participants for this tour and sent her an email. Another rider from our area, Karl, took the photo of us above.

Today was a long day in the saddle. Although it was relatively flat, we had strong headwinds for the last 50 miles, and the temperature soared into the mid-90s by afternoon. We didn't finish the ride until close to 5:00PM. It's supposed to be a little cooler tomorrow, and hopefully we won't have the same headwinds.

I'm still feeling good, although like most of the riders here my knees are a little achy, my muscles are a bit sore and my posterior is starting to feel the effects of over 600 miles in the saddle in the past five days. At the rider meeting on the first day, Susan Notorangelo (one of our hosts) said that if you get to Missoula and still feel ok, then you'll probably do just fine for the rest of the tour. This is usually the turning point when riders start to feel more comfortable and stronger day by day. So far, I'm really enjoying myself (except for the last half of day 2), so I'm optimistic that the rest of the trip will go well.

If you're reading my journal as I go along, I love to receive emails.

Another early morning view along the road That's me along one of the farm roads we traveled today This is the view from just up the road from where the photo of Anne Marie and I riding was taken

Riders in our group approach a railroad crossing on one of today's rural roads There are wildflowers in bloom almost everywhere. Another beautiful view