Monthly Archives: June 2018

Dee’s Bicycle Trip day #52

I am not sure how successful this blog will be. I may fall asleep any minute while writing this. We are camped at ,”Zim’s Hot Springs, at “New Meadows, Idaho”, they have two pools and in the first pool the water is 104 degrees and in the second it is 95 degrees. I spent an hour in the pool and I am very relaxed and sleepy, so we will see how this blog turns out.

We rode our bicycles 76 miles today, and 2/3’s of those miles we were following the Salmon River up stream all the way to the source. It is a very beautiful river that looks a lot like the deschutes River even with large groups of rafters floating it. As I said we followed the Salmon river upstream so most of our riding was up, though it was a reasonable degree of steepness so it wasn’t a killer.

We have been seeing a number of bicyclists who are doing the TransAmerica, an official, across the U.S. bicycle route that thousands do every year. We have talked to a number of them, which is always fun. There were a couple of “old guys” at our camp site last night who were riding the TA route, and they were very enthusiastic about our route as well.

Tomorrow we are riding 77 miles with lots of hill climbing, so it is going to be a tough day. We will camp next to the Brownlee Reservoir on the Idaho side, and then the next day we will ride to Baker City, Oregon, getting closer!

Well we are close to being finished, and we have not had a single flat tire, that is a first for any bicycle trip I have been on in the past! Several of you have asked how my neck is doing. It is doing quite well, stiff at the end of a day, but not the pain I was having at the start of the trip. My neck muscles are getting in shape and also a friend sent me some muscle liniment that really works well. I am feeling good all over, neck, butt, legs, hands, and arms, all good.

Dee’s Bicycle Trip day #51 and #52

We haven’t had cellular or WiFi for a couple of days now so you have been missing me😀! We left Lolo Hot Springs and bicycled along this river called the Lochsa River all day long yesterday, it was very beautiful. We then camped at “Wilderness Gateway Campground”,which is right next to the river. The sound of the river was loud, but sleeping in my tent 15 feet from it was awesome. I wished that I had thought to get an Idaho fishing license before we got to camp, because it looked like a great trout fishing river, and we saw people fishing in it as we bicycled next to it. Today we left “Wilderness Gateway” and rode along the Lochsa some more for 51 miles, and then Kathy’s bicycle broke, some screws that held the pedal on to the sprocket broke. Tom had gone on ahead with the motorhome, and we had no cell service where we were, so Cliff and Kathy started walking pushing their bikes, and I took off on my bicycle hoping to get cell service pretty soon. I got to the town of Kooskia, and they had no cell service there, but the local tavern had WiFi so I went in there and ordered a cup of coffee and called Tom using WiFi. He answered and I asked him where he was, and he said he was in Kooskia across the street from the Selwig Tavern, so I walked out and waved at him. By the time we got Cliff and Kathy picked up and Kathy’s bicycle fixed the day was shot, so we rode our bicycles for 51 miles and rode in the RV for 25 miles, and now we are in Grangerville, Idaho at the “Bear Den RV Campground”. The 25 miles that we rode in the RV included a very, very big, huge, steep, awful, killer, mountain and as we drove up it in the RV, with the engine in low gear and laboring, I silently prayed, “thank You Jesus for breaking Kathy’s bike.

Dee’s Bicycle Trip day #50

Today we rode from Hamilton, Montana to Lola Hot Springs. It was 65 miles and though it was very cloudy all day and cold, it didn’t rain very much on us. The first 40 miles were on the “Bitterroot Trail”, a paved bicycle trail. I love riding on bicycle trails because you can enjoy the scenery and the ride so much more when you don’t have to be keeping track of traffic. Also, most bike trails are fairly flat so the riding is much more relaxed and casual. When we finished the trail we had a 25 mile ride up toward Lolo Pass. Even though it was uphill the entire 25 miles it was never above 6% grade, and so we handled it pretty good. Overall it was a very nice day of riding.

As the name implies there is a hot spring here so we went and sat in it. It was very hot and felt so good. I sat in it for so long that my legs were rubbery and I thought I was going to have to find someone to help me back to the campsite, but I MADE IT. I sure am hoping that tomorrow is a day without rain.

Dee’s Bicycle Ride day #49a

This is a picture out the window of our RV that we are all sleeping in tonight. You can’t tell very well from the picture, but it is monsooning out. We just read a weather alert that the Bitterroot River has gone above flood stage in Darby which is 6 miles from where we are camped and the river running 20 feet away is the Bitterroot River. Man, I hope this RV floats.

Dee’s Bicycle Trip day #49

we left Wisdom, Montana this morning at 6:30 am all bundled up wearing all the cloths we brought on the trip, with our rain gear over that. It was very cold, felt like freezing temperature, and wet. We bicycled about 72 miles and went over the ” Continental Divide” again. Once we got over that, it was 30 miles of downhill right to camp at “Anglers Roost Campground” outside the town of Hamilton, Montana. When we got to the summit and started down the other side we were inside a cloud and couldn’t see very far at all, wso we did a lot braking, and kept the bikes right at 15 to 20 mph. It was a very, very steep downhill for 8 miles before it leveled out a bit to a comfortable 2 or 3 degree downhill. I am sure the disk brakes on the bike were toasty hot when we got to the bottom. We typically set up 2 tents each night with me in one, Cliff and Kathy in the other and Tom in the RV, but it is such a muddy, rainy mess we are all going to crowd into the motorhome tonight. It should work fine unless Cliff or Tom snore to loud. Tomorrow we go over Lolo Pass and will be staying at Lolo Hot springs campground. There really is a Hot Springs there and they have a hot tub and swimming pool and the pool is 100 degree water! It is pouring rain outside right now as I am writing this but it is supposed to start clearing in the morning, and by the time we get to Lolo Hot Springs tomorrow it should be perfect for camping in a tent and for swimming in a warm swimming pool.

Dee’s Bicycle Trip day #48

I introduced you to Tony awhile back. He can’t speak or hear, and everything he owns is on this bicycle and the little trailer that he pulls behind it. I would guess he has around a hundred pounds on his bicycle and trailer. He just rides around the country, mostly in the South during the Winter, and in the North in the Summer. I don’t know his story, but I have his email and I have connected and I plan on communicating to him regularly in the days ahead.

I have thought about him off and on over the last couple of weeks since we have met, mostly wondering how he got started on his lifestyle, why he lives like that, and what it would be like. If I had zero responsibilities and was free to do what He is doing, I wouldn’t choose to live his lifestyle because there are to many things about it that I wouldn’t like. But there are a few things that are appealing to me, and I think about how to apply to my life in my present situation. A major one is he is not tempted to buy much because he has to carry it around the country on his bike, owning something is not worth the work it takes to take it wherever you go. One of the first words that our kids said when they were little was, “mine”, and they usually said it with passion and volume in order to make their point. “Ownership” of stuff is a natural attraction of our flesh, and I am always buying more, reading the Cabella’s catalog, looking around on eBay, Amazon, and Craig’s List to see if I can find a deal. One Bible teacher I admire wrote, “The more I own, the less Christ owns me”. That is a scary statement considering how hard it is for me to get rid of stuff, and how easy it is to buy more stuff. I am not sure yet how I am going to make it happen, but I am going to work at deliberately simplifying my life, and owning less.

Dee’s Bicycle Trip day #47

Today has been a crazy day! It rained hard all night long, but my tent stayed dry, and I stayed warm. We took off this morning with all of our rain cloths on, and dressed warm because it was about 50 degrees and raining. About 5 minutes after starting it started raining very hard, and the wind starting blowing about 15 to 20 mph, and it was a head wind, and the wind was very cold, VERY COLD! We were about 25 miles into the ride and my feet were so cold I couldn’t feel them, my hands, nose, ears were in similar shape. We had 2 really tall passes to go over and it was snowing at both of them. Tom who was driving the RV to our next camping spot stopped at the top of the second pass and texted to me that it was snowing there and that he was going to sit there for awhile to make sure we were going to be all right. I texted him back and declared I was minutes from death so please come get us, which he thankfully did. We drove to Wisdom, Montana to a campground, and it was still so rainy and cold we decided to check on some motels and see what the price would be, the second one was very reasonable so we are staying in a warm place with beds to sleep on, hurray!! 47 days on this bicycle trip, and this is really our first rain issue, that is a good trip, so I am not complaining about the rain. So, it is now 5:00 pm in Wisdom, Montana, and I am sitting in a recliner writing this blog feeling quite comfortable after a miserable morning, declaring that life is good.

Bicycle Riding Musings

While riding along on my bicycle all day long I do a lot of thinking about my life, the past, the present, and the future. It is one of the reasons I do these trips. There is something about riding, exercising, looking at the sights and the scenery that promotes reflective thinking. I especially think, “what now”, “what next”, I have some more left in me, a lot more, show me Lord.

Getting a lot done with our life that matters, that really matters, ought to be a desire of our heart. Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”John 15:8 says, “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” And John 14:12 says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.”

There are numerous reasons why most don’t ever do much with their life that really matters, none of them evil or sinful just bad habits in managing their life and choices. One of the most prevalent that I witness all the time is choosing to do things that are urgent, things that grab our attention easily, they are comfortable in that they are not hard to do, so there is no fear of failing, they very easily become habitual, and have almost zero power to make something happen that matters. But these activities do take time, in fact, end up taking almost all of our time so there is this constant excuse, “I am to busy”. We unconsciously fill our lives with menial work, and then genuinely feel like we are busy being productive. We do e-mails, text messages, talk on the phone, chit chat, space out, do personal errands, read the mail, check Facebook, watch television, and on the list goes. We are engaged in activity all day long but at the end of the day we have nothing to show for it, at the end of the week, at the end of the month, at the end of the year, at the end of our life, nothing that really mattered.

At some point we need to do some kind of inventory of our lives, an inventory that is brutally honest, and from that self-evaluation there needs to be growing want to change that grows stronger in our heart, a very strong want, not a casual discontent.

What works very effectively to promote reflective thinking besides a 2 month bicycle trip is a 15 minute time of prayer with God everyday, and besides the requests that you make for needs and problems in your life and in the life of those you care for, also spend a little time everyday asking God what He wants you to do with your life now. Psalms 143:10 says, “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” There are about a dozen verses like this in the book of Psalms, look them up and read them each day during your prayer time. The power of prayer, the power of God’s Word, and the small desire to serve God will be honored by God, and you will find yourself having an awesome time investing your life for eternity.

Most people who do any kind of reflective thinking about their life and what they have done that matters go from feeling guilty, then to some form of despair, and then just a quite resignation, “ Oh well, I guess it just wasn’t in the cards for me”. Choose not to be that person.

Dee’s Bicycle Trip day #46

Today we rode 72 miles, leaving Ennis, Montana at 7:00 am, and pulling into the KOA campground in Dillion, Montana at 2:30 pm. We started right out by climbing for 2 hours going up about 2,000 feet. It was nice that it was first thing while we were fresh and it was cooler. The rest of the ride was mostly downhill with some rollers thrown in for fun (note the picture as an exclamation of what a roller is). When I first started doing these bicycle trips in 2011 a hill like we had this morning on a trip profile that I would look at in preparation for the next day would totally psyche me out. I would think about it all night long, have dreams about it, and I was totally exhausted before I ever even attempted to climb it the next day. Now, it really isn’t that much of a big deal. The big hills are hard, but that is what the bicycle trip is about, challenges. I usually have to shift down into my lowest gear and crank along at about 4mph. I take a 1 minute break just about every mile to drink a little bit and rest my body, especially my butt. Sometimes with hills that are greater than 6 % grade I will have to get off and walk, but I enjoy using different muscles, and giving my butt a longer break. But after awhile we are at the summit, and then we get to go down. “Inch by inch, anything is a cinch”.

Dee’s Bicycle Trip day #45a We have had a wonderful 3 days at Yellowstone. We camped in the same campground and rode our bikes to “Old Faithful” and the other sights that there are to see in this place. The entire area is amazing in the uniqueness of geysers, and ponds of boiling water and steam. There is also the awesome beauty of the Tetons, the forests, rivers, lakes, elk, buffalo, and antelope. Yellowstone is a very beautiful and unique place. I wonder if when God created this place, if He didn’t say, “Let’s see what really different thing we can do here”, and then poured out this great creativity. One of the really interesting things to see was Isa Lake at the continental divide. The lake has two steams leaving it, one goes to the East and ends up in the Mississippi River and the other one goes to the West and ends up in the Snake River and then the Colombia. The Lake is only about a half acre in size, and filled by snow melt and dries up in the summer, but it was flowing pretty good while we were there. I spit in each of the little streams leaving it, and I spit in the lake itself. From our campground to “Old Faithful” is 25 miles and there is virtually no shoulder on most of it, and the traffic is close to being end to end, non-stop, cars, motor homes, trucks with trailers, and semi-trucks. The entire 25 miles was a roller-coaster of up hills and downhills, and on the up hills we went from 4 to 6 miles per hour and wobbled around a bit and on the downhills we were going 20 to 25 miles per hour, almost the speed of the traffic at times. People were really very good about passing, and leaving some room and not passing when a vehicle was coming from the other direction. I think they get used to the traffic and sort of dial in an increase of patience. It has been very cold at night, with our water bottles frozen in the morning. I put on all the cloths I have, and two pair of socks, before I climbed into my sleeping bag, and some of it is a bit smelly, but I stay warm. By the way, several of you will periodically correct my grammar or spelling. Please feel comfortable helping me improve in my writing skills, I welcome all the help and advice I can get. Occasionally it is because of typing on a little keyboard on my iPhone screen with fat fingers, but I am sure you can tell the difference.