DAY 75

May 28, 1999

I woke up with a little left knee pain again but not too bad.  A dream was just fading as I opened my eyes, the rain had began pouring down and I was too tired to move, I couldn't get up to put my rainfly on sending the rain into my tent.  It was a relief to look up and see that it wasn't really raining and it was only a dream.  The morning was cold and cloudy as I waited for the sun to come out and dry off my tent.  I walked over to my bike and got an oatmeal raisin powerbar for breakfast and then went into the outhouse to wash up with the "Wet Ones" I had with me.  After washing my clothes in the very cold water, I decided NOT to wash my hair in there.  Instead I set up my camelback on the handlebars of my bike and sat on the ground to wash my hair.  Now I was clean and was on the road by 10 am.

I stopped at a convenient store about 1/2 mile from the campground and purchased 2 PowerAde's, a sesame bagel and a SOBE Zen Blend tea.  Hey you think I'll bike my way to Zen by drinkin' this stuff :)  I filled my water bottles halfway with the PowerAde and then had the guy behind the counter fill them the rest of the way with water as well as the PowerAde bottles.  Of course I advised him not to look inside the water bottles because of the stuff growing there :)  So now I have 4 bottles that are diluted 50/50 with water.  I stood at the counter talking while I ate my bagel and drank my tea.  The guy had many stories of the years he spent living on Kodiak Island.  He also informed me that Logan Pass is not open and may not be open for awhile since this has been a worse snow than the one they had 3 years ago.

I continued riding north on 83, and yes still have incredible scenery that I've been discussing already.  How many different words are there to keep describing all of this :)  There will be photos posted soon enough if they are not here when you read this :)  When I reached 209 I headed west and had a slight wind blowing to the west.  I then turned north on 35 to the junction of 82.  As I rode west on 82 the wind was now a crosswind blowing off the lake that was just to the south of me as I rode west.  From the junction of 93 I rode about 2 miles and found the building for Counter Assault Bear Repellent I've been carrying with me strapped to my bike.  At this point I had traveled 29.26 miles and averaged 14.0 mph

I met Bob White the Sales Representative, Anne Carter the Office Manager, Jennifer the Administrative Assistant, "Sales Guru and Shipping God" as Anne put it.  They were all very funny and enjoyed adding humor :)  Dan Higgins took me into the back to see how the stuff is made.  That's were I met Jeff and Shane "The guys that make the shit happen" as they put it.  It was really cool to actually see the process from start to finish.  From the 35 lb containers of pure Oleresin Capsicum to the finished bottle containing 1.73%.  I guess the pure stuff is so "hot" it'll burn your skin.  The most interesting part is the lack of automated machinery instead they do most of it by hand, even putting each label on by hand.  I was given a lot of information to dispel the myths and rumors I've heard over and over.  I mailed the info I got to be scanned and will be added to this site to help inform others.  You can also check them out at www.counterassault.com .  They were all very funny and and friendly, and they even gave me 2 extra cans to help me on my journey.

After leaving there I rode north into Kalispell and found the 1st Ave. Camera that D. had told me about.  I was only looking to get a new mode select switch to replace the faulty one on my camera.  But I've been interested in teleconverters for a long time and also some new filters.  So Scott, the owner, showed me what he had and made me a deal I couldn't pass up, $190 worth of stuff for $160.  I justified the cost since this is a journey I may never make again in my life and I really want to make the most of this experience.  But he seemed to be a little bit like a used car saleman type in a way.

While I was waiting to get my film developed, I rode to the MacKenzie River Pizza Co, like the one I went to in Missoula. 

Back at 1st Ave. Camera, Heidi had finished developing my photos and we looked at them together.  She also showed me some other filters I was interested in but decided not to get any more.  Scott had given me a business card and it had their website on it:  www.1camera.com

I rode into Whitefish, found the hostel and went inside to register.  Glenn showed me around and explained how everything worked around here.  Where the showers were and laundry etc... 

Outside on the sidewalk I met a girl as I was photographing the hostel and she was interested in my camera.  She was about 18 or 19 and just went on to say about how she is looking for a camera to pursue her interests in photography.  I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to share what I know and what others have taken the time to teach me on this journey of mine.  But she didn't seem a bit interested in hearing a word I said and just wanted to talk about her pursuits.  I was trying to be nice but she seemed very into herself and really didn't care to know a thing about this or any camera.  She was very cold and soon turned away towards her other young friends that were out there smoking with her.  Later when I ran into her upstairs I had my photos handy as I was sorting through them, I made another attempt to share what little bit of knowledge I do have.  I asked if she wanted to see some of the photos I have and she said no as she went into a section of the hostel that had been sectioned off by a makeshift wall of bed mats.  This was an area were several kids hung out in the 18 - 20 age range.

I went downstairs for the evening music in the cafe' and had Jeremy make me a flafel wrap.  The Mountain Girl Revival was up first singing acoustic songs with a folkish sound to it.  Then it was Frank ??, don't remember his last name.  He was pretty good and is coming out with a CD soon.  One line I remember in a song was something about how it's not about the finish but the searching along the way.  When the mailing list got passed around, I read the previous entry and the guy put a comment on it that said:

If God is love and ...
   Love is blind and ...
       Ray Charles is blind
Then... Ray Charles is GOD!

That was funny, the guy beside me that wrote it was Patrick, and avid rock climber from California and recently moved here to be a guide.  We talked a bit and laughed about the entry he wrote.  After the music was finished playing I talked to Frank the musician that was playing, he informed me that his CD will be posted on the Hay Stack Records web site at: www.haystackrecords.com .  He talked about how he had planned a bicycle trip down the coast of California but had never done it, but hopes to in the future.  I didn't feel like we connected at all,even though we had similar interests.  He didn't talk to me long and quickly broke off the conversation to talk to some other people he knew.  You know some people I can really connect with and others... it is weird but I just feel like I'm talking to them but not much feeling behind my words as they spill out of my mouth.  I remember meeting another musician in Dallas that worked at REI.  His name was Steve and I could've hung out for a long time just talking to him, and I feel he was the same way.  He told me about his climb to the top of Mt. McKinley with his guitar and how he played it on the summit.  We had the sense of adventure in common but there are things that go beyond common interests.  It's just a feeling you get just being around another person, not sure how to describe it but some people I feel repelled from and others I feel drawn to.  The cafe' was filled with a mix of people and some of them just seemed to be too much into themselves.

Back in the room I met Matt, we talked for a long time.  He is here on a summer intern and will finish college next year with a degree in Outdoor Recreation.

Today - 53.60 miles
Total - 3845  miles
Avg. Speed - 13.0mph

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