Day 42: St. Mary, MT to Whitefish, MT (75.1 miles)

With 10 days to go until we reach Seattle, we have raised $8,080 of our $10,000 goal.

To beat the traffic, we got up at 4am and got on the road by 5am, just as the sky was starting to light up. The first few miles up the Going to the Sun Road were a bit confusing; they weren’t steep and we even saw some downhill. Maybe it was trying to lure us into a false sense of security. In any case, it eventually did get steeper and we spent two hours climbing the pass.

Whatever tiredness we had in our legs from climbing was quickly ignored as soon as we started to get some elevation. The snow capped mountain peaks surrounded us and the valley lay to our sides over the edge of the road as the rising sun cast rays over it all. It was a breathtaking and awesome sight in the fullest sense. We will let the pictures do most of the talking.

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The ride back down, white knuckles clamping our handlebars and brakes as we sped down the windy switchbacks, was just as beautiful. We slowed as we hit the valley floor and this sapphire blue river.

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The rest of the day was spent riding out of Glacier National Park towards Whitefish. As we got lower in elevation it began to heat up again, and we spent the later part of our day slogging through the heat and a headwind (we kind of missed climbing up the mountain at that point). We hit Whitefish and found ourselves with actual options for bike shops (we hadn’t seen this many bike shops in 1,500 miles at least). This was fortunate because we all had a few things to tend to, whether it be mechanical issues or gear related.

After the bike shops, we ride to our hosts, Rita and Chas’, house. Rita and Chas are the most experienced Warm Showers hosts we have encountered; we were their 99th guests. After getting to know each other a bit, we all plopped down on the couch to watch the US Women’s National Soccer Team play in the World Cup semi final against Germany. We had a lot of fun watching the game and were glad that our hosts included us in the event; it made us feel home, a feeling we don’t get much moving to a new place every night.

Shortly after the game we headed to bed. We want to thank Rita and Chas for being great hosts (not only to us but to an astounding number of people). We really appreciate their hospitality.

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