Some inspirational quotes from readers after my difficult time a few days ago...
"Here's to roads that are smooth, your cadence strong, and your spirits high. Big hugs to you in big sky country."
"May the road rise up to meet you and the wind be at your back."
"Take care and enjoy your inner strength as surprises come your way."
"You continue to be an inspiration with your ride, your beautiful blog and even more beautiful life's lessons you are sharing with us all! Be safe, keep embracing what comes, and let the tears of all kinds flow... much love."
After being dropped off at my motel by Margie and Mike in Twin Bridges and reuniting with my new tires, I dried out my clothes in the warmth and sun (yes, the weather was different 93 miles away from snow!) showered, walked into town to grab dinner and went to bed early. Woke up after a good night's rest to a happy mood, (goodbye feelings of defeat. For now, at least!) put on a new tire, packed up and got on the road. Great day riding in sunshine from Twin Bridges MT, through Virginia City, up the hill and down the hill into Ennis. So excited to ride again without the fear of my tire disintegrating. Got ice cream in Ennis (Montana Moose Moss... the BEST flavor in the world). While eating my ice cream I met a guy who said to me, "Rhode Island? That's a really small target... don't miss it!" I got a chuckle out of that one.
I stayed at a campground after small Cameron Montana. I was the only one there and it was remote, but boy was it gorgeous!
I woke up the next day (yesterday), packed up and rode about 50 miles to Island Park Idaho. The headwinds were awful and 50 miles felt like 100+. I had some choice words for the wind and at one point, I was so upset with the wind... that I stopped, took a deep breathe, took out my iPad, put on some music and danced. Literally, danced for like 3 minutes all by myself in the middle of nowhere. I have some video... but unsure I'll post ;) It made me giggle and giggle and then I was ready to hop back on my bike and continue my ride of pedaling uphill at 4-5mph and downhill pedaling to stay at 9mph! I got to Island Park ID (20 miles or so from West Yellowstone), stopped at the little store, purchased a bottle of wine and champagne, threw it in my handlebar bag (erased photo by mistake), and showed up at the CA Crew's home! IThese are the wonderful folks that have been amazing to me. They rented two large homes in Island Park and they had family drive and fly in to join them. About 25 people. And, I was invited. As Terri said, 'You've been adopted, remember?' They also invited Natalie, Jordan and Israel to stay, 3 TransAm cyclists from TN who have been a day or two ahead of me. I arrived, and after a whiskey and Coke, jumped into the hot tub, took a shower, did laundry and sat around hearing hilarious stories from this amazing family. Catherine and George from Scotland were there and they cooked an amazing meal for about 25-30 of us. We even had carrot cake and ice cream for dessert! I'm telling you... it's been a nice break from camping in remote campgrounds. And, I'm not stinky anymore. I even shaved! ;)
Woke up to cranberry scones, bacon and french toast. Blogging and waiting for sun to come out! Natalie, Israel and Jordan (no joke on the names!) are sticking around another day to hot tub and relax. I'm going to hop on my bike, saying farewell to the CA crew since from here, they are taking a northern route to Maine and I'm headed into West Yellowstone and beyond. We'll see how far I get today!