Saturday, June 30, 2007

Kicking Butte!


Hey everyone out there in internet land, we made it to Butte, Montana last night after our longest ride yet (51 miles!). We met up with a cyclist two nights ago that is heading to Banff going South to North along the same trek. He told us that the ride we did yesterday was by far the most technical section he had come across yet. That made us feel relieved as we didn't get too beat up and the bikes are still in one piece. It was definetley the hardest morning yet with lots of hikabiking around boulders and scree that littered extreme up and downhills. We also crossed the Divide again yesterday (Thats 4 in the US and 1 in Canada so far) before our cruise into Butte.

And speaking of, I am not sure when we will be able to post again. The next library seems to be in Rawlins, Wyoming which is about 200 miles from where we are now. We made the decision not to go to Jackson Hole, Wyoming so please do not send anything there. Instead we are going to travel into the Tetons and Yellowstone a little more and save a little more money.

We really appreciate all the comments from everyone and please continue to do so! Its awesome to feel the love from all the way back East. Hope everyone is doing well and we will look forward to posting again once we cross the Great Basin!

-The Crew

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Big Yaak Thank You!

I wanted to post a very special thank you to John & Mary Loney for allowing Jen & I to stay at their cabin while Jen was recovering (at least to a point). We greatly appreciate the hospitality and generosity that they extended to us. They welcomed us into there cabin and community, as well as pick us up from the bus stop, having never met us before. We also would like to thank Ron & Jane Kelly (neighbors of John & Mary), who invited us into their home for dinner and proceeded to give us a ride to Whitefish, MT to meet up with our friends, 3 hours away. So what was a tragedy in the beginning, turned into a chance at meeting new friends in a place we had never heard of or seen on a map, Yaak, MT. We will be sure to pass along the same generosity to others. Thank You, John, Mary, Ron & Jane!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

She's back!!!

Just wanted to update everyone on the going on's since Whitefish. As Stacia put in the comments, Jen and Doug rejoined us on the morning on the 19th at Glacier Cyclery in Whitefish!! Jen is just an extraordinary person for wanting to head out again, let alone 11 days after she crashed!!! She is doing great and has succeeded in climbing 3 divide crossings in the past week!! That is well over 20 miles of climbing and rough gravel roads. We are very excited to have her and Doug back!

This evening we pulled into Helena. We haven't had a day since Whitefish that hasn't been beautiful (Thanks everyone for praying for sun!) and we have made a good amount of progress. We stay at Lincoln a couple of nights again but didn't get a chance to find where Ted Kaczynski's cabin was, but we did see a few that sure looked like the pictures in our minds. And the past two days we have conquered 3 divide crossings, all with at least 3 miles of climbing!!

Well tonight we will rest up before heading to Butte in the next couple of days. We only have about 150 miles or so before we hit Idaho and we are all excited to see what's next. We want to thank everyone for their support and love as it is what fuels us when the map reads "virtual wall". If you feel the need to send something, we are going through Snickers at an alarming rate but just a postcard or card of well wishes and encouragement are more then enough (Plus the trailers already weigh in the ballpark of 50-60lbs so paper and candy work well :)

-The Crew (together again!!!)

Monday, June 18, 2007

An unexpected adventure

Just arrived here in Whitefish at about 6pm local time and wanted to give everyone a quick update. Well definetley a very interesting update from us .

Jen and Doug dropped us off in Eureka on Saturday and immediately it started raining. It didn't stop until this morning but we had some adventures along the way. We comtemplated spending the night just outside of Eureka at a campground since it was pouring and we didn't think it would be smart to continue. We waited it out for about an hour and it slowed up to the point that we could continue. The sun came out breifly as we crossed the Whitefish Divide at about 5300'. From there we descended down to Tuchuck Campground, around a 34 mile day. The next morning we awoke to a deluge and sat in the Origami until about 12. We emerged to pump some water out of the creek behind us and as we got back, an ATV pulled up. The gentleman said we looked like "two frozen birds" (it was 48 degrees out and pouring) and asked us if we would like to come back to his place to warm up. We decided that would be a good idea since everything from socks to sleeping bags were drenched and we were quite cold. We rode about 10 miles down the road to his cabin and were able to sit by the fire for a bit. He made us coffee and grilled cheese and said that the place that we were planning on staying the night, Red Meadow Lake, has fresh snowfall from the previous night. He told us of a little spot called Polebridge that was about 6 miles off our route and about 17 miles down the road. He said they had an inexpensive hostel that would be more then willing to take us in and let our stuff dry for the night. We figured this would be a good idea as our stuff would not dry in the snow!

Polebridge turned out to be one of the coolest places on the trip so far. They have the hostel as well as a saloon and mechantile (country store). We pulled up to the hostel and walked in soaking wet. We were met by Oliver, the excellent manager, and Jodi. We asked if they had a spot for us and they told us we could have the upstairs to ourseleves to let stuff dry out. Oliver also mentioned a homemade hot tub out front that he had just fired up. We hosed off all our gear and quickly jumped into the tub for about a half hour or so. It was great to finally feel warm again. Then we got our things laid out and walked down to the merchantile to get some spaghetti sauce for dinner. As soon as we walked in the smell of fresh bread and cookies met us full on. It turns out they have a full bakery with some of the best cookies I have ever tasted. They also made sandwiches which we picked up this morning (also amazing). We went back to the hostel to start making dinner and as soon as we walked in the kitchen, Jodi offered us some hot cocoa and Baileys to warm us up. Man we must have looked cold!! Jodi is working up in Glacier and living in the hostel so she had some fun stories to tell and about how amazing the park is. We made dinner and then decided we should hit up the saloon. It is a one room log cabin with 4 taps of nice cold beer. We grabbed a seat and ordered up a Mason jar full of beer. After about an hour some folks from Indiana came over to chat with us. Turns out they were staying at the hostel as well and we quickly made friends with them. We went outside to enjoy a breath of fresh air and when we returned, there were musical instruments everywhere. Someone was playing piano while a few acoustic guitarist strummed along and there was even a hand drummer keeping beat. They jammed out for a little bit and then the drummer turned to Nat and said "I heard you play, would you mind?". Well for those that don't know Nat, he played in a band for a couple of years as the hand drummer and has been talking about how he wished he could have brought a drum along. He jumped at the chance to play and played 3-4 songs with the rest of the musicians there and then handed the drum back with a smile.

In case there is any question, we would recommend Polebridge to anyone riding the trail or even passing through Montana in a heartbeat!!!

It was definetley an experience that neither of us will forget and I hope to have pictures up soon of our little adventure! I am not sure the next time I will be able to write will be but pray for some more nice weather for us as we leave Whitefish and head south!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Back in the US, Back is in the US, Back in the...

Hey everyone! Thanks for all the support we have been getting from Jen. Nat and I rode into Eureka, MT yesterday and to our surprise, Jen and Doug were there waiting for us! Seth's in laws, Mary and John have been very courteous and have put them up in Yaak, MT for a while well Jen heals! Huge thank you to the Loney's and to Seth!
The riding has been good. I got out and went mountain biking in Fernie a little. It was pretty cool stuff with lots of climbing. It seems like everyone there had really nice bikes and was definitely a mountain bike mecca in BC! We will have to return some day to explore around!

Two nights ago, Nat and I extended our ride a little longer so that we could have a shorter ride into the USA (in case we got stopped at customs). Well we ended up missing a turn for the campground and we found a beautiful beach to stay on! It was on the banks of Lake Koocanusa and was absolutely beautiful. Although the mountains seem to be getting a little smaller, the scenery is remaining spectacular!! Here is a picture of the campsite, and a little rain storm that rolled in around 10:30pm (notice how light it still is)

Well I think that is it for now. We are going to spend another night with Jen and Doug and then its on to Whitefish for our next adventure. Hopefully we will have some pictures of Glacier National Park when we get there!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

On our way!

Definitely tough to hear the news about Jen. It took us completely by surprise as we were hoping she would check out fine and be rejoining us soon. Well Nat and I are trying to make the best of it and continuing on. We really hope to see Jen and Doug again in the near future.

Nat and I have made it to Sparwood, British Columbia and will leave later today for Fernie, BC. We are still a couple of days out from getting to the US but we hope that we will be there by Thursday. The weather has been less then stellar with a lot of rain and cold weather but we are pushing on and making some great time.

Yesterday we traveled from Elkford, BC to Sparwood. It was about a 45 mile journey with a few ups and downs. It was a pretty nice day and didn't rain too much. We got a great burger at the beginning of the day at Daybreak Cafe in Elkford and made for some good energy to push through. In Sparwood we got a real treat. We got to see the "World's Largest Truck"!! It was a site to behold! (Notice Nat trying to climb one of the tires!)

Two days ago, Nat and I made the first divide crossing going from Alberta to British Columbia on Elks Pass. It was a nasty climb but the downhill after made it well worth it. It was quite a contrast going from Alberta to BC as it seemed that logging and mining are quite popular in BC. Still quite beautiful though.

Our grizzly count is up to 3 so far (no close encounters) and moose is sitting tight at 2. We hope to see some more wildlife when we get down to Montana!

I think that is it for now. Thanks for checking in on us and please continue to do so!

-Keith and Nat

Monday, June 11, 2007


Well 50 miles in to our trip on a loose stone backroad and Jen took a tumble. Unfortunately she ended up sustaining a concussion and a broken collar bone. We were able to flag down a Bremmer Construction truck to transport myself and jen to the hospital in nearby Canmore. A very special thank you to the three guys in the truck. Jen is doing fine, except for being extremely upset and disappointed. Our plan is to go to Whitefish, Montana via a Greyhound bus, which will take 2 days. At that point John and Mary, Seth Moores in-laws will allow us to stay at their place as long as we need to. Seth is a friend and coworker from EMS. Again a very special ''thank you'' to Seth and John and Mary, who absolutely sound delightful on the phone and very accomodating. Thank you to Matt, another EMS employee, for your efforts as well as my cousin Ryan who also offered accomodations. Thank you to everyone for their support, Jen and hope to rejoin Nat and Keith in Jackson, WY around July 4. Keep your fingers crossed and keep us in your thoughts for Jen to have a quick recovery. We are both equally anxious to get back out there.

Keith and Nat keep on ridin and take lots of pics!!


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

We made it!

Well it was a hectic day yesterday but we made it into Banff around 5pm local time and I have to say, it is one of the most beautiful places on earth! We are surrounded by mountains and even though it hasn't stopped raining yet, it will!
Here is us standing near just one of the many picturesque peaks around us (all snow covered but temps here in town are very mild). I believe it is called Tunnel Mountain but there are so many that I have no idea.

We have already met a few interesting folks who have been very helpful in helping us get around. Today we are going to assemble the bikes and get supplies in town for our departure tomorrow. It looks like it will be a beautiful day for starting out with highs around 17 (hah its Celsius so it should be pretty nice)!

The hostel we stayed at last night was nice but they messed us the booking of our room last night so we ventured around yesterday trying to find something else. We found an awesome little lodge with a suite that fit our price range. That means we will have a kitchen, fireplace, hot tub and a couple of rooms at our disposal before we start the 60+ days of camping! Should be nice and relaxing.

I think that is it for now. Everyone else is still sleeping (8:30a local time) but just wanted to let everyone back home know that we are safe and we are anxious to start tomorrow! Thanks for all the support guys and we will see you in the Fall!