Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 30, 6/7/10 - St. Regis to Hot Springs, MT

Just the Basics: 51 miles, about 1900 feet of climbing. It was a pretty challenging day, partially due to all the climbing, partially because - for about the 1st time on this trip, we didn't sleep too well last night - especially Becky - and partially because there was quite a bit of rain, at several different times of the day, including a thunderstorm that had us planning to shelter off the road if necessary - turned out not to be.

Tomorrow: We will continue on MT 28 to US 93, probably to Lakeside - a distance of about 50 miles with about 1500 feet of climbing.

Today's Photos: (1) Intersection of MT 200 and MT 28 and the first indication that we're approaching Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park - nice view of the countryside - and you can see the Espresso place where we stopped off to the right! (2) A typical view along the road - we were constantly surrounded by hills and distant mountains.

For Those Who Want More:
Hot Springs, MT: We are staying at the Alameda Hot Springs Resort, an echo of yesteryear when folks came here to bathe and take cures. The showers use the hot springs water - everything smells a bit like sulfur, but your skin feels very nice after you bathe in it.

For $75 we have a kitchen, a bedroom, a cozy living room and front and back porch space, all decorated like something from the 1930-55 era. The male half of the managerial couple had seen us riding earlier in the day and was full of amazement at our riding - and he thought we'd only ridden from a nearby town. His wife, Miss Tracy (they're from Louisiana) offered spinach from their garden for our dinner if we decided to cook in - not too possible, since the town's only grocery closes at 6 and we got in around 6:30.

There is evidence of lots of recent effort to promote the town as a tourist destination - one clever idea has small bright red signs with white letters all along the road for perhaps 5 miles before you get to town - reminiscent of Burma Shave ads, if you remember those - promoting businesses and other delights of the town. It's a pretty small place - there are supposed to be 4 restaurants in town but we only found 1 actually open. We enjoyed a veggie pizza and Cold Smoke on draft - a new favorite dark MT beer we just discovered.

The Whistle Stop Cafe, Paradise, MT: We stopped for lunch at the Whistle Stop Cafe in Paradise, MT - like so many small towns, once a railroad stop. The cafe has only been open a couple of years and has really good food - a newspaper story posted by our table told of a couple who drive 100 miles from ID every Sunday just to eat breakfast there, and another couple from Edmonton who regularly drive down for the cinnamon rolls! Each spring they post US and world maps on the wall and encourage folks to write their names and hometown on signal dots and post them on the map! We did.

Conversations Along the Way:

(1) We came to a place where a lot of rocks had fallen on the road and stopped to take them off, just as a US Forest Service truck pulled up for the same purpose. It was driven by a Forest Service volunteer and we worked together to clear the area, chatting as we did so. Turns out he had strong Tri-Cities connections. Somehow, we got to discussing immigration policy, English-Only legislation, the drug wars in Mexico - quite a conversation. We didn't agree on all points but it was respectful and interesting - what an amazing world!

(2) We stopped for coffee at an Espresso stand at the junction of MT Highways 200 and 28. The proprietress was really interested in our ride and told all the other customers who came while we still there all about it. One of them gave us advice on where we could - and couldn't - get water. We also learned that in these parts, if you don't want milk or sugar in your hot or iced coffee, you need to say so!


  1. If you were in Japan your hot springs would include a nice hot bath in that smelly water outside in a Japanese garden. Please come to Japan and do a cycling tour here. You can enjoy onsens (hot spring spas), beautiful mountains, and delicious Japanese cuisine.

  2. Great information from Michael!! George and I are going to be cycling in the Island of Hokkaido, Japan starting July 16 for 12 days. We'll look forward to the onsens.
    Loving your wrting and pictures - lots of great road memories come flooding back to me. Jane

  3. An Email from Cousin Steve: Just read the Sunday & Monday updates to your blog. Occasionally I don't get to it every day, but most times I do as I really enjoy all the little bits about your interactions with the people and places that you meet on your travels.

    The reason for this note is that I really didn't appreciate the load you are "dragging down the road" (or UP IT as your blog clearly has been indicating) until I saw the Monday Picture of Becky & Bike. Becky, it looks like bike, with panniers (sp?) and various bags and packs and bundles, weighs more than you do! 45 - 50 miles a day and 1000 to 2000 feet of elevation change - Simply Amazing!!!

    I guess by now, both of you can just kick in the locked, metal restroom door of a closed down gas station whenever you need to make use if the facilities!!!

    Keep a pedalin'! Steve