Part 5: Miles 4000-5000
Friday August 29, 2014
As soon as I started getting down about Eastern Washington I started really to enjoy it. Felt like I was suddenly in Nebraska.
Good day of sight seeing and traveling, seeing parts of the country I usually would not visit. I am a big fan of rustic architecture, and am always admiring homes along the way. Out here there seems to be a higher percentage of abandoned buildings. Possible old homestead structures? Ran into this gem.
Push through and arrive back in Sandpoint. I had a really strong urge to climb, it has been awhile, so I checked out the local bouldering gym. First time I have climbed indoors. I had quite a bit of fun, it felt good on my body to go through the motions. Went to the brewery and met a random 60 year old grey beard who will be working at Natural Bridges for the winter. He said I should stop by on my trip home and run the San Juan River in his canoe. Sounds sketchy. I’m definitely going to try and make this happen. Back at Nana’s and I am back home once again.
Saturday August 30, 2014
Time to get to work. I put off a lot of the work around here when I was through last month. All day spent felling trees, cutting, splitting. Have to get Nana loaded up for the winter.
|Startin on the wood.|
Sunday August 31, 2014
Knock out Nana’s list. Odd jobs in the garden, around. More tree felling and splitting.
Monday September 1, 2014
More and more firewood. Clean up the front couple of acres. Giant slash and burn piles. Left a nice pile for Uncle Joe and Aunt Skye when they arrive in a couple weeks. Supposedly with chipper in tow. Head into Sandpoint and the bouldering gym again. Another fun time.
Cousins Andrea and Gavin and kids visit from Coeur d’Alene. I like that family.
Tuesday September 2, 2014
I have to be in Bozeman by Thursday morning. Its further than I previously imagined so I decided to get a head start. Morning spent cleaning up the messes I’ve made around the property. I do a quick trip to Gib’s to pay him a final visit of the year. Given the closed gate and left behind dog, I suspect Gib to be out hunting. He got picked for a Bighorn this year, an opportunity he wouldn’t miss. I realize in all my time here, visiting and working previous years, I really have no photos of the place. I do a quick tour of the place.
Every time I leave, I hope to soon be back.
Back to Nana’s, load Frank and head southeast towards Montana.. Make it to Plains, Mt and camp somewhere.
Wednesday September 3, 2014
Apparently Autumn decided to arrive today. A nice Fall chill in the air while standing around. Freezing on Frank. Ride all day.
By far the most miles in one day I have ever done on a bike. I needed to get here though. Arrival in Bozeman. I soak at Bozeman Hot Springs to de-thaw. Camp in Hyalite Canyon which is one of the best ice climbing areas in the world. Not on September 3rd though. Still cold. 300 miles!!
Thursday September 4, 2014
Pick up Megan at the Bozeman airport. She is visiting for the weekend. Climb at Bear Canyon. We head towards Livingston for the evening and head further south looking for forest access and camping. We take a wrong turn and meet Don or ‘Spud’ as he is affectionately known. Born and raised in the area, he is one of the few locals still left. I can’t imagine the change he has seen to the area over the last 60 years. He offers us his empty cabin for the weekend and we are only but inclined to accept.
|Cabin on the creek.|
|The front porch.|
|Taking a break from Frank.|
Turns out Uncle Spud likes to drink Budweiser. We all get good and drunk, eat burgers, throw knives, and call it a night. Or maybe an early morning…
Friday September 5, 2014
We sleep in predictably late and I feel predictably crummy. Spud has three mares, only one youthful enough to be more than a lawn trimmer. Megan takes to them, and I see that our days will most likely be spent here, mingling with the mares, rather than climbing. We head to town, resupply and explore Livingston a little better.
|Frank in a fantasy.|
Return to Spud’s and we split wood, trying to return a favor.
|Uncle Spud and I hashing out the finer points of mauls.|
|Megan gettin pissed.|
That evening we make our way down to Chico Hot Springs and soak for a couple hours. Not really my style, neither were the ones at Bozeman, but still good on the body. COLD ride back to Spud’s. He greets us with Alaskan salmon, potatoes and green beans in gravy. I sleep hard.
Saturday September 6, 2014
I run up to the trail head near Spud’s place. Head into the Abaroska-Beartooth Wilderness. Up the big mountain. Good run, 2.5 hours of steep climbing and descent. Feels good to get back on it. Back at Spud’s we have a bear visitor that Chet the dog sends up a tree.
I must say, having experienced both, that I much prefer the bear in the tree, and me on the ground versus the opposite scenario.
We pack up, Megan says goodbye to her mares, we give our thanks to Spud and promise to return. About a week ago I booked a hotel in Livingston for Saturday night, not knowing we would meet Uncle Spud. We decide to use it.