One of the brazillion deer we saw.
One of the brazillion rock cuts we pedalled through. They never got old though.
As we were just about to cross the rad trestles leading into Rosalia, Eric noticed that the filling had squished out of Scott's sleeping burrito. See the blue rolled-up pad and the sleeping bag inside it on Eric's bike? That's exactly the way Scott's was supposed to look, but all you can see is the pad.
Scott promptly dropped his trailer and set about the business of backtracking. A sleeping bag would be a tough item to replace in these parts, and an even tougher item to live without. Finding it was mighty important.
Meanwhile, Eric and I rode into Rosalia in search of breakfast. There were two choices: A coffee shop and The Fairlane. The coffee shop looked nice, if you were after coffee and pastries, but we needed something a bit more solid, hearty. The Fairlane looked like maybe the kind of place that could deliver. It's a real different place though.
The proprietor (who we didn't at that moment know was the proprietor) was out front smoking and there wasn't a soul inside. We struck up a light conversation, about the availability of coffee and some breakfast food, and of course about what the hell we were doing in Rosalia and where we were coming from and where we hoped to end up. And "man, those are some crazy tires. Never seen anything like 'em". If I had a quarter for every time someone said something about my tires on this trip, I could buy a motor home and be done with all this cycling nonsense.
The proprietor, as well as he establishment itself, are one-of-a-kind. He's a biker (the Orange County Chopper kind) and the place is totally multi-purpose - everything from cafe in the morning to bar and grill in the afternoon/evening. With a dance floor. And areas with big-screen TV's and sofa's. And parking space for his kickass custom chopper, which he told us he built himself. Everything there happens on Fairlane time and in the Fairlane way. Bottom line though, is that we got exactly what we were after.
While we were eating, a group of 10 or 12 bikers rolled up and the place started to coming to life and the beer started flowing. At 10:30 am. Righteous. More questions about what we were doing and why, and "hey man, check out those tires!" In general, once everyone kind of got their heads around what we were doing, they were full of support and encouragement. Or maybe that was just the beer talking. Whatever it was, it was good.
Meanwhile, after more than a few miles, Scott had tracked down his bag . . . it was right where he'd left it.
|(Photo courtesy Scott)|
|Tunnel power!!! (Photo courtesy Scott)|
No water though, and we were getting pretty parched. Next stop was Pine City. Not even a post office there, just houses. We looked for someone, anyone, out in their yard whom we could ask if we could fill our bottles from their hose. Nobody around. But Pine City also has a grain elevator and the grain elevator has a spigot. We knocked on the door but nobody was home. We hoped it would be okay and then we just let it rip. Did I mention we were
The portion of the trail approaching and passing through the Rock Lake area is hands down the most spectacular portion of the eastern section, scenery-wise. IMHO. I'll just shut up and let you enjoy the next few pictures.
Rock lake is an obvious product of the Missoula Floods, with its sheer basalt walls. The railroad is carved right into the side of one of those and as a result, there are a number of awesome tunnels and trestles. Not the wimpy kind, but the super real deal.
At the outlet of the second tunnel is a rockfall that is hardcore hike-a-bike, no two ways about it. Dump everything off your bike and carry it across and then come back for your bike kind of stuff. So rad.
Scott and Eric, admiring the view from WAY above the lake. Just over the cable guardrail is a tremendous drop . . . I don't know, 100 ft, 200 ft, whatever. Awe inspiring. The trestle itself is unimproved and pretty much just they way they left it. Part of why the eastern portion of the trail, despite its harshness, is so awesome . . . it's totally authentic.
What a cool old signal tower. But rusty and decrepit and a little scary, structurally. What kind of fool would climb up that rickety old ladder just to take a picture.
This kind, apparently.
The landscape had definitely changed over the course of the day.
Or in terms of my previous lame analogy, "Beef. It's what's for dinner."
|Eric, aka "the cow whisperer", in action. One of the many other-worldly human/bovine interactions I witnessed.|
Day 1 Ride Stats
6:34 saddle time
8.0 mph avg
21.6 mph max
71 total trip miles