DAY 57   JULY 23   62.2 MILES

Marriage is a wonderful invention; but, then again, so is a bicycle repair kit.                                                                                  Bill Connoly

A thunderstorm passed through Whitefish early this morning.  The rain had stopped but the ground and roads were quite wet when I started out at 7 am.  By 8:30, the sun had dried most of the roads and, after that, it was another beautiful Montana day.  One of the benefits of staying in a hotel is that there is not a wet tent to pack after a rain storm.

After the rest day, everyone's batteries were charged; in their computers, their cell phones and their bodies.  That made today's 62 mile ride to Eureka unusually easy.  We were surprised that we had climbed 1,860 feet over the course of the day.  However, we also descended 2,200 feet which did not hurt at all.    

As we rode into town, I declared "Eureka" which means "I have found it!"  It was first exclaimed by Archimedes when he discovered the amount of other metals added to the gold in the king's crown.  However, I was happy to find the town without missing any turns or taking wrong ones.  

Montana is known for its Big Sky.  It does not appear that the sky here is any larger than in other states but today it was at least as big as the others.  Its reflection in the lakes turns them a deep blue.  Contrast that with the vivid greens of the Fir and Larch with some wildflowers for good measure and the colors of the forest are quite striking.  One of the benefits of riding from east to west is that the early morning sun is not in our eyes and we can fully appreciate the colors of nature along the route. 

The town of Eureka is located only 9 miles from the Canadian border.  Initially, logging was the major industry and later, it became known as the Christmas Tree Capitol of the World.  Native Indians once grew a particular strain of tobacco here and many landmarks in the area were dubbed with the tobacco name.  Logging is still prevalent but tourism has replaced the other industries.  There has been no tobacco grown since the Indian days but it is difficult to rid the landmarks of the tobacco name.   

There are more showers forecast for this evening so, once again, I am in a hotel.  I feel bad for my teammates in the camp but I do not think it would help them in any way if I would join them.  

Tip:  Focus your eyes 20 to 30 feet ahead, depending on your speed, to provide sufficient time to make smooth corrections when you see obstacles in your path.