Author Topic: Bunk House on the Northern Tier in MN  (Read 4136 times)

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Offline Rep

Bunk House on the Northern Tier in MN
« on: June 20, 2011, 08:26:34 am »
My daughter and I stopped here last year as we were passing through.  Don gave us a tour of the place and told us of his plans to add some kitchen equipment and a shower.  He did.  Although we did not spend the night, we rode with a couple that had.
Bicycling, Brewing & Backgammon...What a life.

Offline JHamelman

Re: Bunk House on the Northern Tier in MN
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2011, 10:56:51 am »
Don is a great guy and has put together a lovely set up for traveling cyclists. I wrote a blog piece about him:



Jennifer Hamelman

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline happyriding

Re: Bunk House on the Northern Tier in MN
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 08:52:17 pm »
Hi Rep,

Did you by any chance stop at the Bicycle Hostel in eastern Washington?  I think it was just east of Collville, WA.  The hostel was mentioned in the addendum to the maps in 2010, but I hadn't read the addendum for that section.  

I was riding west on the Northern Tier, and I was trying to reach Colville before nightfall.  The route was following a main highway, which led straight into Colville, but near Colville the ACA route detoured off the highway, taking a circuitous route into Colville.  I was tired and I thought about continuing on the highway's smooth pavement straight into Colville, but I knew that some of the most scenic roads were the detours, so I turned off the highway and followed the ACA route.  In a few minutes, I was rewarded with 2 inches of loose gravel poured on top of a newly paved road, with some deeper piles.  Then the road turned into a hill.  Drat!  After cresting the hill, I descended very slowly in the loose gravel, so I wouldn't wreck. Shortly thereafter, the road turned solid again, and as I was riding along thinking about what I was going to eat for dinner, I saw a mailbox on the left side of the road with a sign under it that read, "Bike Hostel".  What the??!  What's a bike hostel?

I had no food, so I knew I couldn't stay at the bike hostel, but I was curious about what it was, and if I checked it out I figured I could tell any riders heading east that I ran into about the bike hostel.  So I turned my bike down the dirt driveway and pedaled up to the first house I saw.  I knocked on the door, but there was no answer.  I tried the door knob and it was open, so I poked my head inside and called out, "Hello??".  No response.  So I timidly stepped inside the doorway where I saw a piece of paper posted on a wall.  It said something like,  "Welcome to the bike hostel.  You are our guests, so there is no charge.  Just leave the place as clean as you found it.  There are cleaning supplies in the cupboard in the bathroom."

There was a hallway leading from the front door, and on either side of the hallway there were two doors.  The doors had signs on them that said, "Vacant/Occupied" and there was a slider to indicate the status.  I entered one of the doors that said Vacant, and inside there was a room with a bed and a bare mattress.  The bedroom connected to a bathroom shared by two rooms.  The bathroom had a shower that was white and immaculately clean.  Down the hallway, beyond the bedrooms, there was a living room and a deck, and an open kitchen.

No one else was around.  The thought of being able to take a shower in a clean bathroom both right then and in the morning before I hit the road again was too exciting.  I looked through my panniers, and I found two Cliff Bars and a cup of rice.  I decided I could make a meal of that, so I unhitched my panniers, and I carried them into one of the bedrooms.  When I left in the morning, I used the spray cleaner and a new sponge that were set out to wipe down the shower, and then I used some paper towels to wipe down the mirror, sink, and toilet, and when I left the bathroom was just as spotless as when I arrived.  What an awesome setup!

A few nights later, after climbing Loup-Loup Pass I stayed at a place called the Bicycle Barn just west of Winthrop, WA.  I had heard about it beforehand, and I looked for a sign in a driveway on the right (I was riding west).  I found the tiny Bicycle Barn sandwich boards advertising bicycle only camping standing on a driveway.  It cost $8/night and it consisted of a Porta-potti, a great outdoor solar shower, and a patch of lawn with a picnic table behind a beautiful wood barn.  There were also food packets and sodas available for purchase.  The owner said the $8 was to help cover the rental of the outhouse each summer.  I thoroughly enjoyed my night camping at the Bicycle Barn.  Don't miss the Licorice ice cream(or 20 other flavors) at the ice cream shop in Winthrop.

To Don, the Bike Hostel, and the Bicycle Barn, a big thanks!  We tourists really appreciate it!  After seeing the video about Don's barn, I hope to get there some day and meet Don.

« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 09:15:55 pm by happyriding »