2. Idaho/Montana Bicycling Across The USA

Idaho & Montana, Aug. 20 to Sept. 2

c2c4_idahomontanaOn Day 8 of the ride, we entered Idaho at Old Town, near the junction of State Route 20 and U.S. Route 2. We rode along Old Priest River Road to Round Lake State Park, where we spent the night. Day 9 was a 15-mile ride into Sandpoint on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille, the source of the Pend Oreille River.

Days 10, 11, 12, and 13 were about 70 miles each, and at the end of day 13 we ended up in Glacier National Park. On Day 10 we rode along the Clark Fork River, a major tributary of Lake Pend Oreille, through the towns of Hope and Clark Fork along Route 200. Then we turned north on Route 56 and rode just west of the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, sleeping in a Forest Service campsite that had no power or cell phone coverage – but which did have rain.

On Day 11 we continued north to U.S. Route 2, the major east-west highway up here, and took it eighteen miles to the intersection with Route 37. We turned north there and went along the west shore of Lake Koocanusa, about 40 miles of nothing and quite beautiful. We stayed at another fine Forest Service campground with no electricity or cell phone coverage. On Day 12 we rode 30 miles along the lake shore and then continued north on Route 37 to Eureka, where we spent Saturday night in a city park during rodeo weekend. We all had earplugs.

On Sunday (Day 13) we rode south on U.S. Route 93 to Whitefish and Columbia Falls, then on to a campsite on Lake MacDonald in Glacier National Park. We had a rest day in Glacier on Monday (Day 14), Bill and Catherine left the trip at that point.

Jim, Sara and I drove back to Columbia Falls. Jim and I mounted our bikes and continued south on Route 83 for a long while. We went along the western slope of the Rockies in Montana, which is some of the wildest territory in the lower 48. We passed through Bigfork and Seeley Lake in a two day ride marked by more rain, until we hit Route 200 East. We continued through Ovando and stopped in Lincoln, then headed in a southeasterly direction to Fort Harrison and Helena. Jim’s brother joined us at the Helena airport and rode with us for the next nine days to Cody, Wyoming.

After Helena we took Route 287 adown the east shore of Canyon Ferry Lake to Townsend. Then we crossed the Big Belt Mountains to hit Route 89 south through Ringling and Wilsall. We crossed Interstate 90 at Livingston and continued south on Route 89 to Pray, the site of Chico Hot Springs, where I reunited with my wife Tania. Chico Hot Springs is a short ride north of Yellowstone National Park and the Wyoming border.

By bradedmondson

Writing about social change and how it happens.

4 replies on “Idaho & Montana, Aug. 20 to Sept. 2”

Hey Brad: I was just at Glacier a couple of weeks ago for the first time. Too bad we didn’t connect, that would have been great. We took the shuttle up to Logan Pass and hiked the Highline Trail down to the Loop. If you’ve never been there, it’s worth going up there, even for a bit since the views are spectacular. We also did the hike to Iceberg Lake from the Many Glaciers side of the park. It was a ranger led hike, this guy named Kyle–really great interpreter on the trail, so check that out if you’re over there on that side, not to mention the Two Sisters Cafe outside of Babb.

Safe riding! I’ll be reading along……


On Friday I’m goes west with our friend Donna the easy way, by plane. Or should I say, easy unless you have to change planes in Philadelphia. Then its “abandon all hope” or at least wait a day for your luggage. So as we fly from Detroit to San Francisco, we’ll think of you, Jim, Bill and Sara somewhere below us. Bet you’ll have more fun the way you all are traveling. Tania


As for the maps, you are very welcome.

Electronically tracing them has offered a vicarious venue that I came across by accident, and being included as a virtual rider in a quartet of quadrant crossers is a great honor.

The roads you travel between Anacortes and Yellowstone are roads I’ve never seen, but those end points have been the sites of some very special adventures. Kayaking the San Juan Islands out of Anacortes (2004) and cycling in a July snow storm in Yellowstone (1975) are at the top of the list. These memories sustain us and it is wonderful that you are building so many this summer.

Just training with you earlier this summer added more to my mind.


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