Before, during, and hopefully after account of a Great Divide Route journey in the summer of 2010.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 8: Baynes Lake to Eureka, MT

Ride time: 3:25
Average:  10.6 mph
Distance: 36.5 mi

We awoke to a very wet, dewy morning, but clear skies.  We biked out of the park and through the town of Baynes Lake.  We hopped onto Hwy 93 and had a whopping 8% grade down over the Elk River,  and of course, and equally vicious climb up the other side.  I actually enjoy those climbs, as long as they're not happening more than once a day.

We stopped at some podunk convenience store, whose owner had way too many signs posted (no garbage please, no dogs, hold handle down to flush, no loitering, etc.) for a snack before crossing.  We biked another 8 miles to the border at Roosville and had a vastly different crossing experience than we did a week ago--it took about 45 seconds for the 3 of us to cross.
Back to the U.S.A.

As we were heading into the town of Eureka, we met up with a bunch of other bikers doing the Northern Tier Route.  We got directions from a Eurekan on how to get to the post office and also gain access to the campground.  Nate and I had a bounce box waiting for us at the post office (a box that we shipped from Milwaukee to Eureka that had lots of resupply items in it: travel toothpaste, floss, Q-tips, vitamins, lotion, McCoy's book, spare tires, tools, etc.).  I was surprised at how excited I was to pick up the box of goodies, and I was also quite pleased with our nation's post office. :)  We also sent a 3 pound 6 ounce box of stuff home that we didn't need of books, clothes, and other things.

Next stop: finding the mysterious Eureka campground.  Turns out that we had to go to City Hall to pay $5 to camp, plus a $5 deposit for the key to the bathroom so that we could shower.  Upon our arrival, a farmer's market was being set up, so Nate and I bought some lemonade from 4-year old Hank, a gluten-free scone from a bakery, and Nate got a donut from an Amish family.  The photographer from the Tobacco Valley News was at the farmer's market and took our pictures, so be sure to check their site to see if we made it into their publication!

The day's events continue... we showered and then went to dinner at Jax Cafe in search of a good salad--veggies have been hard to come by on this trip.  Before we ordered, some old lady missed a step, fell, and smacked her head on the floor.  The ambulance came about 20 minutes later (must have been out on another call?).  We then stayed up quite late talking and laughing with Wes from California and Martin from Prague, Czech Republic, both of who were riding the Northern Tier.
Enjoying some laughs at Eureka City Park: Nate, Martin, and Wes

Future GDR riders: I would suggest laying over in Eureka, unlike the way that McCoy suggests in the book.  First of all, the town itself is pretty cool, and the camping experience in the town park is not to be missed.  Secondly, the ride to Tuchuck campground is difficult, and shaving off 10 miles (Roosville to Eureka) is quite helpful.

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