Congratulations. Great feeling, isn't it? In ’99 I rode from Seattle to my front door in Philadelphia via Bar Harbor, ME.
I took a brief look at your journal because we started a 9-day loop out of Missoula about 10 days behind you.
You sure had some weather to contend with. When we finished, Julie at ACA told us we had hit the first stretch of good weather all year. In fact, the day we landed in Missoula, Hamilton got an inch of rain. Missoula only got a few passing showers. For the rest of the trip, it was warm and sunny except for the penultimate day when we got hit with a few sprinkles after the day's ride.
The owner of Travellers Rest in Darby tried to upsell us on a cabin for $60. Did she not tell you that, starting in '09, the place has allowed tent camping? Anyway, I am glad you were able to bargain her down. We cooked that night but had good pie and ice cream at Sandy's Silver Spoon. Also had breakfast there the next morning.
There was still snow at the rest area at Lost Trail Pass, although not as much as when you were up there.
You were brave to stay at the park in Wisdom. I stayed there around the same time you did in back in '00, but it was calm and not that cold. Even before we got into town this year we were attacked by mosquitoes. That little rise about 5 miles outside of town slowed us to a point where they could get at us. At one point my girlfriend had at least a dozen of them on her rump. She first opted to wait for me outside the grocery store while I shopped, but the bugs were too much so she came inside. We got a room that night. That left the park shelter free for the group of three that pulled into town riding east to west.
The Jackson Hot Springs people were great. Despite passing through town during breakfast hours, the kitchen was nice enough to make us two huge sandwiches to go, which we ate atop Big Hole Pass. Isn’t the view stunning? I loved being able to see the road we had just come up.
We also spent the night (July 4th) at the Bike Camp in Twin Bridges, although we got there a roundabout way by going over the Pioneer Mountains to Wise River, Divide and Melrose. We met the man who takes care of the place. It’s difficult to imagine that some of the town fathers are still not behind the idea. The mosquitoes were also horrible there. We had to watch the sporadic fireworks display from inside the shelter.
At Twin Bridges, we had to turn north towards Butte in order to get back to Missoula. I wish we could have continued on the TA.
Definitely time to start planning your next adventure.