Two new states in two days! We were in Washington for ten days, so it felt pretty great to cross over into Montana just one day after entering Idaho. Along with the state-border crossings, there have been several other signs that we’re making real progress eastwards.
Today we switched time zones from Pacific to Mountain, losing an hour in the process. That means we had one less hour to make it into town today, and it means our typical 6:30 am wake-up tomorrow might be a little tougher than usual.
There has also been a dramatic change in scenery. We’re through the high plains of Wautoga Pass and the rolling grassy fields of Colville, and are now making our way through some iconic Montana terrain. Today we biked through the foothills of the Rockies and we could see snow-covered peaks looming in the distance. We climbed and descended among the pine trees, rode along the beautiful blue waters of Bull Lake, and dropped down alongside the Kootenai River.
Around lunchtime, we stopped at Kootenai Falls and took a quick day-hike down to the water and across a swinging bridge. Big thanks to Steve Rothwell for telling us about this hidden gem!
One more sign of our eastward progress is that, after close to two weeks, I feel like I’m adjusted to the day-to-day routine of the bike trip. My body is used to sleeping on the ground every night and spending long hours in the saddle every day. The daily unpredictability of the trip also feels more normal to me. I am content not knowing how hilly or windy the road ahead will be or where I’ll be pitching my tent when we get to town. I know that we have plenty of hills and headwinds ahead of us, but I’m confident that we can deal with them when the time comes.