Today we all get up early so that we will be on the road as the sun rises painting the valley ahead.
As it crests Saint Mary’s ridge the rays of light will change the tones and colors so that every look and glance to the right, left, and ahead will be a new gorgeous view. There is an excitement in the air which has not been this intense since Bar Harbor.
We are not disappointed…pink hews start the day, rapidly turn to orange, then yellow, and light brown, and the entrance to a fairy world is lit aglow.
For the next three hours I climb 12 miles stopping so many times to take pictures I use up the battery on the camera and have to turn to my phone.
Once at the top I rest
and then head down past a family of mountain goats careful not to exceed 25 mph, the posted speed limit.
The terrain changes and I am now in the Pacific Northwest Rainforest, the far Eastern Edge. Waterfalls from snowmelt always to my right along the cliff side.
I stop at the bottom of the descent, 11 miles down, and take a short nap on the banks of a stream.
Tonight I do not stay in camp but am picked up by Family and taken 100 miles south to St. Ignatius for a 2 day stay. The rest of the group will ride on 30 miles more tomorrow for their rest day in Whitefish just to the West.
Fran and Rick decide to travel along the East side on Flathead Lake, the largest body of fresh water west of the Mississippi River.
The banks teem with cherry orchards now being harvested by hand. We stop at one where I consume a half pound by the stand.
Now long afterwards at a local restaurant I order bison from the menu and am finally full for the day.
Tonight I sleep outside on a wonderful cot with a cool mountain breeze coming down from the ridges just to the East. The Mission Mountains turn pink as the sun fades in the West and I am out for the count for a needed nights rest.