Black and white day.
Day 58. Garrison MT. | End: Missoula MT. | Mileage 3363.8
In a campground so full, I find myself alone in the lounge.
The last few days have been great! So fortunate to have met kind people back-to-back, filling our days with joy. As we arrived in Garrison yesterday, we ran into a bunch of people we kind of met earlier that day. Sitting in a bar chomping down a half pound burger, we had a slight conversation with some guys. Just the normal small talk one would engage in while sitting next to strangers. After they all had their fill and took off, we did the same.
The ride leading up to lunch was full of great site seeing. Grass so green and trees that would dwarf any back home. The road snaked its way along the high hills, dancing with the small river until we met the valley. Tons of fishermen filled the waters, making me jealous as they engage in the art of fly-fishing. Something I have been itching to do since Yellowstone. We ran into a group of cyclists on their way to NY. After exchanging a few words and congratulating each other we sped into Garrison just ahead.
The rest of the evening was spent with our new lunch friends, as they happened to be camping in the same campground. Being invited for some burgers and a few beers, we had a blast hanging out with the fireworks they set off. Little Natalie was so nice as to make us lunch, handing us a sack of food and her own gummy bear candies. We made a promise, one that we shall call her once we are in Alaska.
The night was one I swear only lasted thirty minutes. Exhausted from the day prior, I packed and waited for Dirk. This morning just so happened to be the day when the water spills its banks. Both Dirk and I got into it. Annoyed, pissed and angry at each other, weeks of tension snapped in seconds. The rest of the day was spent cooling off. A common yet healthy vent between two people whom been side by side for 58 days straight on the road. The day took a turn and with it the tension as Dirk got a flat. Forgetting what just happened and remembering that it is just the two of us, we repaired the flat and made mends. Just as we were about to get the tire back on the bike, we had a surprising visited from Connie and Les. As they were going home to Townsend from Missoula, they saw us on the side of the road and made a u turn. It was good having friendly faces after a morning like that. I think they helped us both out of the negative mood we were in. We moved west and they returned east after hugs and goodbyes.
As if our luck ran out, we soon met up with our first mountain storm. Like hitting a wall, the wind brought us to our knees. The grasses became airborne, hitting my face and covering my glasses with dust. As the trees bent backwards and my hearing nonexistent, I tried as hard as I can to remain in control of my bike. Looking back to find Dirk, I knew we both had to press through. Stopping just to fish out the raincoats, the rain moved at us like a freight train. The coldest rain ye, but we managed to get out safe.
Missoula just over the hill, we made the last miles and sat down for some long awaited food. 2000+ calories later and a full belly, KOA was the next stop. Fully booked was words that we didn’t want to hear, echoing in my head as we made our way back to the bikes. While making the walk of shame we were invited by kind woman to set up camp with her and her kids. She overheard our dilemma and was more than happy to help out.
Maybe it was that lucky penny I picked up the other day or just the fact that there are still nice people in the world. Whatever the case, I wouldn’t be sleeping comfortable tonight without the lending hand of a stranger.