Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day 10 Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Missoula, Montana to Missoula, Montana
Miles Traveled Today: 160.0
Total Miles: 3183.1

Sometimes it is coincidence. Other times it is just way too eerily similar. For those of you following us and waiting with baited breath for our next report, check this out.

If you recall, we had bike trouble when we were near Great Falls. Chief Joseph and his Nez Perce tribe surrendered to the U.S. army just north of Great Falls, and Lewis and Clark were stuck in Great Falls for a month trying to portage around all those obstacles. Coincidence?

Today our goal was to ride over Lolo Pass, just west of Missoula and Lolo (aka Traveler's Rest). We did make it to the pass and checked out the visitor center.

When Lewis and Clark tried to work there way over the pass, they were stranded in the middle of winter and nearly starved to death. Chief Joseph, in his 1700 miles trek, also went through Lolo Pass, which is also called the Nez Perce Trail today, as he tried in vain to escape the pursuing army. His people were starving too. Guess what happened to us?

First we were delayed because of DeAnn's tire. Luckily Five Valley Honda, and the owner Lloyde Eckley, got us in right away, changed the tire, and we were on the road by 11:00. Just 12-13 miles over the pass, in the middle of nowhere, Ginny's bike breaks down. This time it could be terminal. We tried to fix it, but to no avail. We tried to call for help. No phone service. We waved down a couple of construction workers. No help. There we were. Stranded in the same place as Lewis and Clark, and prospects didn't look too good.

We finally decided that two of us would stay put, and the other two would ride back to a lodge we had seen and try to phone for help from there. We were able to contact the Harley shop in Missoula, and they forwarded us to a towing service, who finally reached us about 3:30. Then we had to come back to Missoula to see if the bike can be saved.

Lewis and Clark had to eat all their horses and whatever else they could find to survive. We might have a "lame" horse, or Hog if you will, that may need to be put out of its misery as well. Lewis and Clark lost one of the Corps of Discovery on their expedition. We may be losing one of ours, albeit a mechanical one.

So now what? Well, we have some options. One, hopefully she can be saved, and saved quickly so we can move on. Two, we ride "two-up" on one bike out to the coast and back to Missoula if there will be a long delay fixing her. Three, there is no hope, in which we may need to backtrack to Great Falls and look at another "horse" to replace this one. In any case, here we are, stranded for the time being, in a place known in history as a place where things go wrong. Coincidence? Eerie, isn't it?

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