Northern Tier USA 2017

User: ncle2809
Dates: 4 Jun 2017 - 20 Jul 2017
Duration: 1 month, 2 weeks

Starting from Seattle in mid-June 2017, I'll be aiming to ride the Adventure Cycling Association's Northern Tier bicycle route with two other riders, Jim and John. We'll be self-supported, riding touring bicycles with pannier bags. My wife, Kate, will be joining us in early September to finish the ride with us.

Jim's riding to raise money for Parkinson's disease research as a tribute to his late father.

Thursday 20 Jul 2017 20:32

This is the sign on the motel where we are staying

Posted: July 21, 2017, 2:32 a.m.

Thursday 20 Jul 2017 20:09

A couple of images from Circle

Posted: July 21, 2017, 2:09 a.m.

Thursday 20 Jul 2017 16:03

To quote Robin Williams today was 'hot damn hot'. A hard day at the office- about 52 miles and 300 hills in some of the hottest conditions I've cycled in. Hot dry wind which seemed to be dehydrating us by the minute. Bum was giving me grief today as well which didn't help. The hills were rolling - up then down and straight back up again and then repeat! Wind was either cross or head wind. But....we got got to our destination of Circle.

Posted: July 20, 2017, 10:03 p.m.

Thursday 20 Jul 2017 11:35

Lunch stop on a hot day - the only shade for 30 miles

Posted: July 20, 2017, 5:35 p.m.

Wednesday 19 Jul 2017 22:06

Arrived in Wolf Point after a fairly long hot day travelling around 85 miles through sparsely farmed country and an Indian reservation (Fort Peck). Wind was in our favour. Temp close to 100 again.

Staying in a motel partly because we'd heard lots of warnings about the town. After seeing if tonight I think it was a good move. Just Hac to go to the supermarket after dark and there were a lot of disheveled people out and about plus a lot more police than I'd seen before.

Posted: July 20, 2017, 4:06 a.m.

Wednesday 19 Jul 2017 10:36

And then the dinosaurs moved into the bar......

Posted: July 19, 2017, 4:36 p.m.

Wednesday 19 Jul 2017 9:40

'Bike angels' stopped us in the form of 2 guys investigating the route for an tour they are organising next year. One guys works in a Manhattan bike shop in Soho. They stuffed our pockets and bags full of Clif bars and Pringles!

Posted: July 19, 2017, 3:40 p.m.

Wednesday 19 Jul 2017 8:18

Israeli bikers doing the Northern Tier from east to west

Posted: July 19, 2017, 2:18 p.m.

Tuesday 18 Jul 2017 20:06

Sitting in a bar - let's paint the picture...

Sitting at the bar are three guys wearing 10 gallon cowboy hats, starched white shirts, blue jeans and cowboy boots. Music is predominantly country but out of the blue comes Divinyl's 'I touch myself'.

Constructing a veggie meal was an effort / toasted cheese sandwich, baked spud and a green salad which didn't fill me up so waiting on fries.

It gets better - a man and two boys walk in - Hutterites (pacifists who in this area travel around selling great produce)- selling potatoes and peas!

Posted: July 19, 2017, 2:06 a.m.

Tuesday 18 Jul 2017 18:29

Our campsite for the night in the very small town of Hinsdale. If has five churches, a magic cafe where I had the best thick shake, a gun shop and a bar. The campsite is a town park with a war memorial. Tough day today - only did 40 miles - hopefully better winds tomorrow.

Posted: July 19, 2017, 12:29 a.m.

Tuesday 18 Jul 2017 13:23

Our lunch stop at Saco after 25 miles in about 4 hours due to a strong headwind. Country has been open grasslands with very small numbers of cattle. Intend calling it a day soon in Hinsdale and hope for better winds tomorrow.

One of the du things has been the long trains carrying containers or coal that goes past close to the road. We wave at them down they often toot the horn which we love.

Posted: July 18, 2017, 7:23 p.m.

Monday 17 Jul 2017 21:10

Another faded glory...

Posted: July 18, 2017, 3:10 a.m.

Monday 17 Jul 2017 21:04

Just finished a great pizza and had a great conversation with a young American kid and his black lab! They are travelling around the country hitchhiking. While we were talking a ute started spraying for mossies in front of us.

Posted: July 18, 2017, 3:04 a.m.

Monday 17 Jul 2017 19:57

One of the features I love is the classic old neon signs - this one is at our motel

Posted: July 18, 2017, 1:57 a.m.

Monday 17 Jul 2017 19:39

Just arrived in Malta! Around 89 miles through a wide range of terrain ranging from farming country like you might see in VICTORIA through to something more like the Yorkshire dales.

We didn't have any supportive winds today, in fact we had a light head wing of cross wind at times.

Posted: July 18, 2017, 1:39 a.m.

Monday 17 Jul 2017 13:02

Classic barn

Posted: July 17, 2017, 7:02 p.m.

Monday 17 Jul 2017 12:58

One of the features of this trip is how many businesses have closed

Posted: July 17, 2017, 6:58 p.m.

Sunday 16 Jul 2017 21:24

All day today we rode near a railway line which comes into Havre. We saw massive locomotives towing huge numbers of bogeys as well as one passenger train. This photo shows a maintenance area near our motel

Posted: July 17, 2017, 3:24 a.m.

Sunday 16 Jul 2017 20:03

Amazing....we are now sitting in Havre waiting on our Mexican food after riding 127 miles (204 km). About 8 hours actual riding in amazing conditions- strong tailwind.

Posted: July 17, 2017, 2:03 a.m.

Sunday 16 Jul 2017 13:17

Chester for lunch after a sometimes very fast ride and sometimes slower when the wind dropped for a while. We've done 66 miles and my bum confirms it! The trip was a bit like the road through the Mallee - railway line parallel to the road and lots of farming activities. We met the guy from Yorkshire and his US mate. They are on fast road bikes and carrying no gear with the support of the van we saw yesterday. They are doing at least 100 miles a day.

Posted: July 16, 2017, 7:17 p.m.

Sunday 16 Jul 2017 8:22

On the road - flying along

Posted: July 16, 2017, 2:22 p.m.

Saturday 15 Jul 2017 15:14

Arrived in Cut Bank about 315 after leaving camp around 7am. Another scorcher but this time we had wind - headwinds, crosswinds and finally (and joyously) tailwinds! We pushed through to the border town - Del Bonita. It consists of a general store and possibly one other somewhat dubious store. The general store pictured was a gem. A place stuck in time. We walked in and nearly tripped over the oxygen tube to the owner's dad who was sitting in the window. Nice guy running it kept providing drinks and food until we were done. I drank a litre of coke and a huge chocolate bar. Desperately needed both. We went outside and checked the temp - 97 at around 11.

Crossed the border with no major hassles other than a few more questions.

Scenery changed during the ride from distant views of the Rockies as we rode through farming country - either flat or more commonly, rolling hills. Photos follow. Some of the highlights - loads of prairie dogs poking their heads out of holes in the road; no trees in sight; canola crops against the black sky as we headed to our destination; dodging a massive thunderstorm; rolling hills and a strong tailwind for the last 7 miles. Not sure where we're staying yet but we've decided not to have a rest day and push on tomorrow.

Distance today 73 miles and 2532 feet gain.

Posted: July 15, 2017, 9:14 p.m.

Saturday 15 Jul 2017 11:30

More scenery

Posted: July 15, 2017, 5:30 p.m.

Saturday 15 Jul 2017 10:00

Some of the prairie scenery

Posted: July 15, 2017, 4 p.m.

Friday 14 Jul 2017 10:52

Arrived in Cardston around 1 after nice ride through open country. Here's a view of the Rockies as we rode away from them. Ps My ankle is much better and 'go bombers!'

Posted: July 14, 2017, 4:52 p.m.

Friday 14 Jul 2017 8:03

Note to Ross: here's breakfast!

Posted: July 14, 2017, 2:03 p.m.

Thursday 13 Jul 2017 20:54

Having breakfast in an early opener before the short but mean haul out of Waterton and then what should be a short day to Cardston. Photo us from last night looking out over the lake. Feels like town is in an amphitheater surrounded by mountains. Campground was full of prairie dogs which look like squirrels but act like meerkats. They dig mean holes which I kept avoiding. Ankle feels much better.

Posted: July 14, 2017, 2:54 a.m.

Thursday 13 Jul 2017 14:28

Rode into Watertown Lakes via tough hills and the meanest bike track I've seen. Scenery worth the pain..,,

Posted: July 13, 2017, 8:28 p.m.

Thursday 13 Jul 2017 11:39

Crossed over into Canada - was a little worried I might have got it wrong and did need an ESTA but the customs guy was more interested in my Brooks saddle. Then had a funny moment at the Alberta sign where some Chinese tourists wanted photos with us and hung a flag off my bike!

Posted: July 13, 2017, 5:39 p.m.

Thursday 13 Jul 2017 10:16

Day started with a heavy dew - wet tents! Found the two socks and headband I lost last night! Then managed to twist my ankle when I stepped out of the porta potti in the campsite straight into a hole. Luckily between John and Jim it's like an episode of 'Breaking Bad' so Jim gave me a swag of anti-inflammatory tablets and off we went. I thought it'd be a tough day and I was right. Stunning scenery as we rode by Chief Mountain.

Posted: July 13, 2017, 4:16 p.m.

Wednesday 12 Jul 2017 18:52

Staying at Chewing Blackbones Campground run by a Native American tribe. Tomorrow we cross into Canada!

Posted: July 13, 2017, 12:52 a.m.

Wednesday 12 Jul 2017 9:49

Wow....what a day! Today was the best day so far - we woke again at 430 and were riding at 530 to beat some of the tourist traffic heading up the 'Going to the sun' road to Logan Pass. We decided to split up thinking it would be safer for cars to pass us if we were on our own. I set off last and early on the road was OK but as we started climbing the road became narrower and narrower with our shoulder. The cars started coming up much earlier than we anticipated but were pretty good at avoiding me as I climbed up at 3mph! Road variety in slope but was very steep at times. The views were exhilarating as you'll see in the images. Lots of people made positive comments as they passed me and not one had a negative word. At one stage I though I was getting near the Pass when I looked up and saw the road seeming miles above me. The final push was fantastic as lots of people who had driven up congratulated me and urged me on until I hit the Pass. About 4 hours climbing. What a buzz! At 6664 feet it is the highest Pass we've climbed.

Posted: July 12, 2017, 3:49 p.m.

Wednesday 12 Jul 2017 9:32

Posted: July 12, 2017, 3:32 p.m.

Wednesday 12 Jul 2017 8:54

Posted: July 12, 2017, 2:54 p.m.

Wednesday 12 Jul 2017 8:13

Posted: July 12, 2017, 2:13 p.m.

Wednesday 12 Jul 2017 8:09

Posted: July 12, 2017, 2:09 p.m.

Wednesday 12 Jul 2017 7:46

Posted: July 12, 2017, 1:46 p.m.

Tuesday 11 Jul 2017 15:26

Lake McDonald Lodge and the famous red shuttles

Posted: July 11, 2017, 9:26 p.m.

Tuesday 11 Jul 2017 12:27

Arrived at Avalanche Campground inside the Glacier National Park at 11 after getting up at 430am. It felt like a race to get here on two fronts - first, part of the Going to the Sun Road is closed to bikes after 11 and secondly, the campground fills up fast. 46 miles and 2600 feet climbing. Even in overcast conditions the mountains are spectacular. The campground is a bit up the mountain so tomorrow we have 16 miles to climb to get to Logan Pass - our last major Pass. Took a shuttle bus back down the mountain to Lake McDonald for lunch. Torrential rain whilst we were in a restaurant but it then cleared up fairly quickly. Loads of tourists in and around the 1930s LM lodge.

All pretty tired after this morning which was very taxing because of the need to push so hard. We're all nodding off at any opportunity- in odds off waiting for the shuttle down to LM and John woke me up to get on the bus and I jumped up so fast I left my hat on the bench. It's one of my late fathers cricket hats so I was a bit sad thinking I might have lost it but when we returned a few hours later there it was..waiting for me.

Campsite basic but nice - definitely need to use the bear boxes to store food overnight.

Posted: July 11, 2017, 6:27 p.m.

Monday 10 Jul 2017 9:12

Downtown Whitefish

Posted: July 10, 2017, 3:12 p.m.

Monday 10 Jul 2017 9:08

Farewell to Brenden as he heads to Seattle

Posted: July 10, 2017, 3:08 p.m.

Sunday 9 Jul 2017 19:50

Team Fox plus Brenden

Posted: July 10, 2017, 1:50 a.m.

Sunday 9 Jul 2017 18:27

Arrived in Whitefish around 1 and met up with Jim and Brenden from Boston. Brenden is cycling the Northern Tier from East to West. Jim had secured a great warm showers host. Sort of like Airbnb but free for cyclists. Problem was the hosts had gone away for weekend so we could camp in back yard but no toilets of showers. After three hot days without showers John and I decided on the hostel. We'll move to Jim's site tomorrow arvo. Lots of washing, shave and shower later we are now in local brewery! Major League Baseball is on the TV - world is good! Met lots of cyclists today. Some weekend warriors, some on USA/Canada trips and one brit on a big north/south trip.

Posted: July 10, 2017, 12:27 a.m.

Sunday 9 Jul 2017 11:58

Started seeing impressive entrances to farming properties

Posted: July 9, 2017, 5:58 p.m.

Sunday 9 Jul 2017 11:20

Stunning farming country on way into Whitefish

Posted: July 9, 2017, 5:20 p.m.

Sunday 9 Jul 2017 8:06's either an osprey chick of a bald eagle chick or .....

Posted: July 9, 2017, 2:06 p.m.

Sunday 9 Jul 2017 7:14

Packing up - this is where we spent the afternoon yesterday. Camp next door. They shut the building over night so we had to use the ports potty on the 8th tee this morning. One of the more scenic spots for a crap..... cold overnight and heavy dew this morning so wet tents to carry

Posted: July 9, 2017, 1:14 p.m.

Saturday 8 Jul 2017 17:59

Ok....feeling satisfied now. Two beers, packet of chips, veggie burger and chips and this desert!

Posted: July 8, 2017, 11:59 p.m.

Saturday 8 Jul 2017 15:04

Arrived in Fortine around 130 - temp had risen dramatically so we headed to only shop which is a golf course club house. They also had a basic campground and the lure of staying here in an air con bar was too much. We'll put the tents up later when in cools down.No showers again....wet wipes come in handy!

Enjoying a cold beer at the moment!

Posted: July 8, 2017, 9:04 p.m.

Saturday 8 Jul 2017 11:01

Arrived at Eureka - lunch at a Mexican restaurant before we do the last 20 miles to campsite

Posted: July 8, 2017, 5:01 p.m.

Saturday 8 Jul 2017 8:42

Rock climbers

Posted: July 8, 2017, 2:42 p.m.

Saturday 8 Jul 2017 7:59

On way to Eureka from Rocky Gorge Campground- left about 0710. No visits from the camp beat

Posted: July 8, 2017, 1:59 p.m.

Friday 7 Jul 2017 9:38

View from near Libby Dam

Posted: July 7, 2017, 3:38 p.m.

Friday 7 Jul 2017 9:36

Map of area

Posted: July 7, 2017, 3:36 p.m.

Friday 7 Jul 2017 9:27

On the road around 720. Nice ride to get to Libby Dam in cool conditions. Then started climbing but the grades very generally good and beautiful scenery - Lake Koocanusa - helped. Arrived at Rocky Gorge Campground after around 42 miles and xx feet of climbing. Stunning view of the lake from our site. No showers here but we had a swim in the lake to cool off which was great because temp was probably over 100 again. Had a snooze under a tree which was great, Surprisingly there isn't much time for that sort of thing. Saw a bald eagle swoop down and grab a fish which was great. Had a brief sunshower late in the day. Photo is of Libby Dam.

Posted: July 7, 2017, 3:27 p.m.

Thursday 6 Jul 2017 16:03

Arrived at Libby around 2 in 98 degrees. Headed for Maccas to cool off. Great ride today (52 miles and 3462 feet of climbing) through stunning scenery. Camping on a town campground again. Place doesn't have showers but as often happens the local laundrette offers showers. All a bit weird but it works. Town is full of eagle sculptures and is tremendously spear out, also had lots of casinos - not sure what they are / police machines perhaps. May head to one for cooling ale later after we cook dinner. Heading off early tomorrow morning.

Posted: July 6, 2017, 10:03 p.m.

Thursday 6 Jul 2017 11:37

Kootenai Falls - lunch stop

Posted: July 6, 2017, 5:37 p.m.

Thursday 6 Jul 2017 8:58

More scenery from this morning

Posted: July 6, 2017, 2:58 p.m.

Wednesday 5 Jul 2017 15:40

Arrived at tonight's stop just after the turn off for the start of the trek through the Rockies around 3ish. 46 miles 2363 feet elevation. Pretty comfortable and scenic ride. Saddle sores much improved but had my first spill of the trip- luckily at zero speed. Foot and then wheel slipped as I was taking off and bike's weight just took me down. No major damage - just some skin and lost pride! Staying in a cute little cabin in pretty RV park. Got very excited at the only shop for miles selling pizza so we ordered a great veggie one and in horror realised they sell 'take & bake' ie you're meant to cook it yourself. John asked the park hosts if they'd cook it for us and tony amazement they did and it was great. We spoke with Jim who had ridden around 170 miles in the last 2 days to get to Eureka where Meg will pick him up and go back to Whitefish for 2 days. He said the hills have been very tough. As a result I re-thought our plan to get to Glacier National Park. I just know we can't ride the distances that Jim can in these hills and heat. New plan is for us to get to Libby tomorrow night (6th) (51miles), ride to an unnamed Campground the next day (7th) (47 miles); ride to a Campground after Striker the next day (8th) (50 miles); ride to Whitefish the next day (9th) (31 miles) and have a rest day the next day on the tenth before heading to Avalanche Campground in Glacier NP on the 11th. Jim's on a very different schedule which will see him back in Eureka during Friday 7th and probably cycling to Whitefish. Starting to think Jim might get his days to explore Glacier NP before we get there. I think we'll end up 2 days behind my projected itinerary but I don't think that's a problem unless it continues to blow out.

Posted: July 5, 2017, 10:40 p.m.

Wednesday 5 Jul 2017 13:45

Big sky country indeed!

Posted: July 5, 2017, 7:45 p.m.

Wednesday 5 Jul 2017 12:37

Left Idaho and entered Montana - 'big sky country' where we'll be for a while because of its size. Moved into 'mountain time' putting our watches forward an hour. Already the countryside has changed - big hills and probably foothills of the Rockies, thick forests and beautiful rivers and lakes.

Posted: July 5, 2017, 6:37 p.m.

Wednesday 5 Jul 2017 11:11

Hmmm? A huge number of old trucks in a huge rock quarry.

Posted: July 5, 2017, 6:11 p.m.

Wednesday 5 Jul 2017 10:41

Just leaving Clark Fork after stuffing my face with carrot cake

Posted: July 5, 2017, 5:41 p.m.

Tuesday 4 Jul 2017 10:49

4th July

Posted: July 4, 2017, 5:49 p.m.

Tuesday 4 Jul 2017 10:46

4h July

Posted: July 4, 2017, 5:46 p.m.

Tuesday 4 Jul 2017 10:42

Even the local brewery gets involved!

Posted: July 4, 2017, 5:42 p.m.

Tuesday 4 Jul 2017 10:13

Happy 4th July! Woke up early to help Jim get an early start on his sprint to see Meg in Whitefish. We continued to snooze after he left which was great. Got up eventually and joined the expectant crowd along Main Street for the parade. I wasn't disappointed. Real community feel to it with every group you could think off plus lots of small businesses celebrating their role. Here's a few of the photos.....

Did planning for next week - John and I will aim to do in 4 days what Jim will do in 3 stopping after Heron, in Libby and Eureka along the way.

Posted: July 4, 2017, 5:13 p.m.

Monday 3 Jul 2017 16:49

Every day brings new challenges and so many things happen it's hard to keep up.

We left the crappy overpriced Campground about 0630 and had breakfast at the nearby Macca's. Love the hot cakes! Good fast ride early; bit too fast because we missed our turn off and did about 14 extra miles including hills as a result. My bum was giving me heaps at this stage; quite difficult to sit on the saddle. We turned back and eventually found the right road which took us along a beautiful road along the lake. At some stage when I'd spent all my petrol tickets I stopped for a break and realised my saddle was loose and also had turned off centre. This probably explained why the ride had been so hard. I've got a couple of saddle sores which I've been managing with John's sage advice but the saddle changed did me in. It was much better after I tightened it up. I started taking antibiotics last night as one of the sores seemed to be infected. Good morning to those eating breakfast.

We closed in on Sandpoint and rode along a bike track for 6 miles including a bike bridge which was cool. I took previous photo from the bridge.

We're staying in a bit pricey but great motel with multiple rooms and a small kitchen - luxury.

I had a quick shower and then we dropped our bikes off at a great bike shop. I was keen to find out what a metal sound was - turned out to be my bell reverberating! The other guys had a few issues - in both cases they needed new tyres. I bought a burrito sized tube of bike butter for my butt.

Bike sorted I went in search of a fix for my saddle sores at an urgent care clinic. Turns out our diagnosis and starting antibiotics was a good decision. Hopefully it'll clear up in a few days. In other news I take blood pressure meds and was light headed on a rest day in Republic and checked blood pressure at chemist and it had dropped to 104/64. I reduced my meds a little and today it was even lower. I'll keep getting it checked but the doctor suspected I could even go off them whilst in the trip. I'll stay on them but keep cutting down the tablets. Proof exercise does work. My weight has also dropped by about 3-4 kg's as well.

Whilst waiting to see the two nurses and doctor I realised I'd stuffed up the itinerary between here and Whitefish. Jim's wife (Meg) and son are coming to Whitefish and we were hoping to meet up but there's no way John or I (& my problematic bum) can do the distance in time so Jim is going to do a sprint to get there in time. John and I will follow the day after tomorrow and meet him in Whitefish. I not worried about the overall itinerary but meeting up along the way with family is hard to make work.

We did 48 miles today and climbed around 2000 feet. Weather not super hot, probably mid 80s.

Sandpoint is a really nice town full of restaurants and bars and beautifully laid out. Will add more photos tomorrow but here's a cute Alice in Wonderland hare.

In answer to my brother, I've only seen a few Trump posters so far. Suspect that might change in Montana onwards until we get to New England.

Posted: July 3, 2017, 11:49 p.m.

Monday 3 Jul 2017 12:08

Just arrived at Sandpoint after a tough morning

Posted: July 3, 2017, 7:08 p.m.

Sunday 2 Jul 2017 19:00

Today was great early; lovely cycling alongside lakes/rivers. Huge lunch and then ride into Newport. Another hot day pushing 99. Struggled to find accomodation because of 4th July long weekend. Ride 4 miles out to find a Campground on mean, steep gravel roads only to find it was full so we had to ride back. Staying at a fairly crappy private Campground in town. Rode 60 miles and climbed 2956 feet. Photo us of Team Fox's office at Macca's booking motel in Sandpoint where we will have a rest day.

Posted: July 3, 2017, 2 a.m.

Sunday 2 Jul 2017 16:03

One state down....many to go!

Posted: July 2, 2017, 11:03 p.m.

Sunday 2 Jul 2017 10:34

Great ride on mainly flat quiet roads alongside a beautiful river. Entered an area controlled by the Kalispel tribe who own the restaurant that were about to have an early lunch

Posted: July 2, 2017, 5:34 p.m.

Sunday 2 Jul 2017 7:02

It's a tough life.....

Posted: July 2, 2017, 2:02 p.m.

Saturday 1 Jul 2017 20:03

Now happily sitting in an air conditioned motel in Ione, post-dinner. All is good. Photo is from the motel. What a day! We started early, up at 5ish but the Council worker had locked the toilets, now none of us had a problem with the odd stealth pee but doing a number 2 on the pitch where the little kids play soccer seemed a bridge too far. We packed up and then found an early opening breakfast place and all was good. The kids can play soccer safely....

We rode a diversion through Colville and the scenery was lovely / farming land, nice valley etc but if was a bit hilly. The hills were the theme for the day. We expected hills to take us to a plateau and all in all an OK day. How wrong we were! The hills didn't stop - sometimes really steep including one wrong turn that was the steepest climb of the trip. Sometimes we thought the road was flat but in fact we we were still always climbing. We were chased by a dog at one point. I outsped it but then was faced with a steep climb when I was spent. We were also running low on water at one point but asked a young woman in her house for water which she was happy to provide. We climbed on, getting frustrated as to why we all felt so tired. Eventually and quite dramatically came the huge descent to Ione. When we checked the ride stats we found why we were tired - we'd ridden 58 miles and climbed 4675 feet in 90 degree weather.

Posted: July 2, 2017, 3:03 a.m.

Saturday 1 Jul 2017 10:20

After climbing out of Colville

Posted: July 1, 2017, 5:20 p.m.

Friday 30 Jun 2017 19:54

Home for tonight - will sleep well after 47 miles and 1251m of elevation.

Posted: July 1, 2017, 2:54 a.m.

Friday 30 Jun 2017 15:14

Arrived Kettle Falls in the heat of the day. Strangely the town is well away and up hill....from a lovely lake. Camping tonight but first priority was a milkshake!

Posted: June 30, 2017, 10:14 p.m.

Friday 30 Jun 2017 11:46

We made it - Sherman Pass! Last Pass for the Cascades!

Posted: June 30, 2017, 6:46 p.m.

Friday 30 Jun 2017 10:38

Lunch stop with around two more miles of climbing and 400 more feet of elevation

Posted: June 30, 2017, 5:38 p.m.

Friday 30 Jun 2017 8:51

Early stop after around 6 miles

Posted: June 30, 2017, 3:51 p.m.

Thursday 29 Jun 2017 19:48

Tomorrow we aim to cross Sherman Pass at 5575 feet - our final Pass in the Cascades. Not sure if you can read the elevation map but it shows the various passes and the grades. We'll be aiming to hit the road early to get as far up the #%### hill before it heats up. Aiming for Kettle Falls tomorrow night.

Posted: June 30, 2017, 2:48 a.m.

Thursday 29 Jun 2017 19:20

A great rest day in Republic. Had a leisurely 2.5 hour breakfast on the motel terrace followed by doing our laundry (including drying it out the front of the motel because the laundry dryer didn't work). No one batted an eyelid. This is a seriously chilled western themed town. The small amount of traffic stopped If you thought about crossing the street. People were particularly nice as well.

Posted: June 30, 2017, 2:20 a.m.

Wednesday 28 Jun 2017 17:44

Tonight's dinner - huge and I finished it easily!

Posted: June 29, 2017, 12:44 a.m.

Wednesday 28 Jun 2017 15:21

Arrived at our destination, Republic, at 2pm after 40.6 miles and 3989 feet of climbing over our third Pass. Felt pretty good except for a very sore bum. Will have a rest day before we tackle the last Pass in the Cascades. We decided to stay in a cheap motel in town rather than camp 5 miles out. Here's us drying off our tents which gig a bit damp overnight.

Posted: June 28, 2017, 10:21 p.m.

Wednesday 28 Jun 2017 12:58

John at Wauconda Pass. Climb big as hard as we'd expected bug it was great to start early to beat the heat

Posted: June 28, 2017, 7:58 p.m.

Wednesday 28 Jun 2017 11:29

Lunch break at Wauconda. A big of a ghost shop/ once had a restaurant but now has a very basic post office and a fridge to sell cold soft drinks. Even though weather not quite as hot as it's been we still appreciated the cold drinks.

Posted: June 28, 2017, 6:29 p.m.

Wednesday 28 Jun 2017 8:15

Munchies break after 6 mile climbing to this valley with cascades in the far distance

Posted: June 28, 2017, 3:15 p.m.

Tuesday 27 Jun 2017 15:26

A surprisingly tough 28 miles today with 1094 feet of elevation saw us get to Tonasket around 1ish after an 8am start and breakfast in Omak.

The countryside is hilly but really dry and unfortunately we head a fairly strong head or side wide for the whole way.

Tonasket has a nice visitors centre and allows cyclists to camp at the rear. The nearby laundrette has really good showers.

Lunch in a very nice cafe under a tree escaping the 93 degree heat. Photo shows Jim and John working on blogs etc.

Posted: June 27, 2017, 10:26 p.m.

Monday 26 Jun 2017 16:34

Arrived at Okanogan around 4pm after 78 miles. It was a mega diversion necessary because of the blocked Loup Loup Pass. Camping in American Legion Park.

Posted: June 26, 2017, 11:34 p.m.

Monday 26 Jun 2017 13:42

Escaping the heat in the only shade for miles

Posted: June 26, 2017, 8:42 p.m.

Monday 26 Jun 2017 12:56

Massive orchard area irrigated from this lake. Temp = bloody hot

Posted: June 26, 2017, 7:56 p.m.

Monday 26 Jun 2017 10:53

Pateros- our brunch stop at 1030 after 42miles. Country became much dryer after we crossed Washington Pass, some of the countryside today has reminded me of Kiewa Valley

Posted: June 26, 2017, 5:53 p.m.

Monday 26 Jun 2017 8:16

Carlton after 20 miles. Left at 0630 to try to beat the heat.

Posted: June 26, 2017, 3:16 p.m.

Sunday 25 Jun 2017 20:19

Our first rest day- yeah! The hostel in Winthrop is one of the best I've stayed in - great lounges etc and a good kitchen which we've used a lot. Had a nice night last night drinking a few beers and talking with Henry - a young bike mechanic from Minneapolis who is walking the Pacific Crest Trail from Canada to Mexico ala the book and movie 'wild'. He's the first southbound walker this year so he's had to contend with thick snow and icy slopes.

We cooked up a big breakfast of eggs and potatoes to start the day. We had a look at an arts and crafts market and then looked in a great book shop before being seduced into a camping store. I bought another water filter because the weather is so hot that we will need to top up bottles in the Passes that we still need to cross. Spent the rest of the day in the hostel reorganising our gear. More ice cream around lunch, reading and resting up. Tomorrow we were due to go over the Loup Loup Pass to Omak but the road is washed out so we have to divert a long way south before coming back north. We think we need to cover around 75 miles tomorrow along river valleys aiming for Okanogan.

Posted: June 26, 2017, 3:19 a.m.

Sunday 25 Jun 2017 20:18


Posted: June 26, 2017, 3:18 a.m.

Saturday 24 Jun 2017 19:02

Arrived in Winthrop around 12 after easy 13.5 miles. Damn hot / around 34 again. Staying in a very cool hostel. Did bugger all this afternoon other than our washing. About to have beer and veggie spaghetti. Winthrop is a themed town modelled on a western town eg Deadwood. More photos tomorrow.

Posted: June 25, 2017, 2:02 a.m.

Friday 23 Jun 2017 18:36

Arrived Mazuma at 6pm after an epic 55miles and 6087 feet elevation gain. Free camped in a disused town Campground. Dinner at only restaurant- food and beers equally glorious after today. Amazingly I didn't cramp at all. Ive been taking magnesium tablets but needed more - this is where American Mustard came through. I think I sucked a whole bottle dry. Quite tired now......

Posted: June 24, 2017, 1:36 a.m.

Friday 23 Jun 2017 16:23

Arrived at Washington Pass (5477 feet) at 5pm. We had a mild or so descent from Rainy Pass and then the steepest climb of the day which is where I dropped down to second and finally first gear. Trust me when I say most tortoises would have passed me on that stretch.Lots of stops, more muesli bars and more water and then we arrived at Washington Pass at 5pm.

Posted: June 23, 2017, 11:23 p.m.

Friday 23 Jun 2017 15:13

OMG!!!! Today was epic. We set off at 0800 to beat some of the 25C heat as we would be climbing for all bar 45 minutes today. Scenery is breathtaking, rivalling Kashmir. Snow capped mountains, green rivers and countless waterfalls. Did I say it was hot...... I changed my cog/sprocket combination over early this year after realising how ##### steep and long the first 5 mountain passes will be. I had low gears before but added about two more lower gears. I used them today. The grades peaked at 10% but were often 5-8% for 30 miles. This is not a typo. Mostly I rode in 3/14 gear up to Rainy Pass (4875 feet). Dehydration was a real issue - I carried about 4.2 litres water but needed John's filter straw to get me all the way. Ran out of energy early but then ate some muesli bars and I think lunch helped - English muffins with peanut better. Arrived at Rainy Pass around 3pm (see photo).

Posted: June 23, 2017, 10:13 p.m.

Thursday 22 Jun 2017 19:58

Arrived at Colonial Creek Campground ( see photo if TeamFox). Beautiful setting in trees on a Diablo Lake. Got in late and phaffed around trying to find vacant campsite. Pretty weary but felt much better when group next to us offered us a beer.

Posted: June 23, 2017, 2:58 a.m.

Thursday 22 Jun 2017 14:32

Arrived in Newhalem, weather hot; gradual climbing about to get not so gradual.

Scenery spectacular; weather sunny and hot.

Cramping an issue - Jim swears by mustard so we've stocked up on small bottles to suck on as we climb. Bizarre but if it works then magic. Mobile coverage for AT& T sucks.

Posted: June 22, 2017, 9:32 p.m.

Thursday 22 Jun 2017 11:14

Scenery along the way

Posted: June 22, 2017, 6:14 p.m.

Wednesday 21 Jun 2017 17:03

Arrived in Concrete where every northern tier cyclist takes a photo of the wheat silos.

Aimed for a camping site but it was closed so we hunted around and eventually settled on the Cascade Mountain lodge which is a small motel and a Korean restaurant run by a young Korean couple. They were so accomodating with our bikes. Jim and I went into restaurant for a beer and she'd brought out Korean popcorn followed by honeydew melon and three bottles of mineral water.

It was a great day cycling - nice weather and distant views of the Cascades and cycling next to a big green blue river with forests around us.

We all felt pretty good today and terrain was friendly and a tail wind for parts. We covered 51 miles and 1400 feet elevation.

We're heading to Colonial Creek Campground tomorrow night as the 'staging ground' for the assault on Washington Pass the following day.

Posted: June 22, 2017, 12:03 a.m.

Wednesday 21 Jun 2017 15:16

First view of the Cascades....knees started trembling at the thought of riding over them

Posted: June 21, 2017, 10:16 p.m.

Wednesday 21 Jun 2017 14:28

Team Fox in the Cascade Trail

Posted: June 21, 2017, 9:28 p.m.

Wednesday 21 Jun 2017 12:14

Brunch - amazing!

Posted: June 21, 2017, 7:14 p.m.

Wednesday 21 Jun 2017 11:59

Good morning cycling through some flat (yeh!) farming land. It's pretty exciting to be finally on the way east. Arrived in Burlington and having lunch at this great little cafe. Here's Team Fox about to fuel up...

Posted: June 21, 2017, 6:59 p.m.

Tuesday 20 Jun 2017 20:24

Spending the night at Pioneer Trails RV Camp ins basic cabin surrounded by the biggest RVs I've ever seen - bit like being in the land of the giants.

Today's ride was great. We covered 34 miles and 2386 feet of elevation plus around 6 miles on a ferry. Not sure whether it was having breakfast at the camp or a chocolate shake in a fantastic soda shop near the ferry terminal at Port Townsend or the 2 huge baked spuds and salad at Wendy's in Oak Harbor but I seemed to have more energy!

The day had a bit of everything. Port Townsend had some magnificent stone commercial buildings in the Main Street. Ferry to Whitney Island was short but it looked like we were heading into wet weather. Quite cold today with a head wind at times that was quite strong. We actually had to pedal down one exposed hill at one stage.

Then we rode past the naval air station and were overflown by F-18s.

We crossed a very cool bridge over Deception Pass: see photo.

We decided not to head to the traditional starting point of the northern tier - Anacortes. Instead we are heading to intersect the route outside the town.

We seem to have entered the part of the trip where I keep looking for things. Last John nicked my headlamp thinking it was mine which sent me into a frenzy of emptying bags in my very small tent whilst it was raining. Today it's the sponge I use to clean my stove ...gone!

Nice to be a warm room tonight with lights as we've been hitting the tents around 830/9 each night because it's been cold.

Also on the positive side I don't seem to be cramping like I was last - cramps suck when you are trying to get inside a one man tent or a sleeping bag.

Posted: June 21, 2017, 3:24 a.m.

Tuesday 20 Jun 2017 13:23

Lunch stop at Oak Harbor after 17.5 miles riding.

For those interested Jim's local TV station in Omaha did a follow up story on the trip:

Posted: June 20, 2017, 8:23 p.m.

Monday 19 Jun 2017 17:47

Arrived at Port Townsend Fort Worden State Park at 5pm after 35.9 miles and around 3100 feet of climbing. Lots of climbing before breakfast which wasn't part of the plan. Had brunch at Fort Ludlow resort around 1130, running on fumes. Lots of interest from manager of resort which was nice- apparently we will be in a newsletter she sends out. John sent some gear home. I'm going to see what I can do to lighten my load as well- hills are hard carrying a tractor. Nice scenery for most of day as we rode above or next to water including a nice bike path into Port Townsend.

Posted: June 20, 2017, 12:47 a.m.

Monday 19 Jun 2017 10:36

Hills....,here's John struggling up the 10th hill of the morning before breakfast

Posted: June 19, 2017, 5:36 p.m.

Sunday 18 Jun 2017 17:44

Some reflections on day 1 and of hostel life:

Leaving the hostel was a bit of an ordeal. Luckily all of the other people in my 4 person dorm were up at the same time. The dorms are male/female which was kind of nice - less belching and farting which is how I remember hostel life. I shared with two German girls who were partying every night and sleeping late, an Israeli guy driving around USA and two young American girls. Definitely more conversation than you'd get in a motel or hotel and great common areas abc kitchen. I even managed to sleep really well last night.

Leaving involves packing up 6 bags, dragging them downstairs and then finding a worker to open up a laneway to access my bike and then trying to get all the bags onto the bike.

Ferry ride was very pretty - going through narrow straits with houses dotted in very thick forested areas.

Following the maps worked ok with only one moment where we resorted to google maps.

Campsite is great, even a hot shower. Everything is new so there's lots of cursing as we look for the glove we just took off and find it buried under another pile. I expect packing up tomorrow won't be pretty either but we will get better!

Posted: June 19, 2017, 12:44 a.m.

Sunday 18 Jun 2017 15:34

Arrived at Kitsap State Park after a great ride through green trees on both sides of the road. Lots of hills - around 1500 feet of climbing and 24 miles. Lots of minor gear issues during the day. Bags not being closed properly, Jim's chain coming off a few times etc.

Posted: June 18, 2017, 10:34 p.m.

Sunday 18 Jun 2017 13:37

First lunch stop for the biggest burrito I've ever seen. We've only ridden around 9 miles so far so couldn't manage to finish the burrito.

Posted: June 18, 2017, 8:37 p.m.

Sunday 18 Jun 2017 9:50

And so it starts...waiting for ferry to Bremerton. Bike feels like a Massey ferguson tractor without the motor!

Posted: June 18, 2017, 4:50 p.m.

Saturday 17 Jun 2017 15:40

Ok, it's getting real now. Met up with Jim and John at the Green Tortoise. Great to finally meet up. Bit of talk about gear, training (I haven't done enough), what we like to do outside of cycling. Jim handed over the Team Fox cycling gear - bit like a footy guernsey ceremony!

Then walked back to velo cycles to pick his bike which had also sustained some damage during the flight. Bought another cycling top - thankfully I think that's it for gear.

Walked around town getting to know each other and ended up under the space needle. John is on left and Jim on the right.

Then back to our hostels to try to get packed up. Whilst I'd been fairly organised in packing at home, the packing for the plane threw that out the window as I had to empty most bags to fit everything into the two cartons. It's all over the floor at the moment.

We are aiming to catch 10am ferry to Bremerton tomorrow to start the journey.

Posted: June 17, 2017, 10:40 p.m.

Friday 16 Jun 2017 20:00

A good day. Walked miles looking to pick up last bits of cycling gear. Turns out I have big feet even in the USA! Eventually found rain booties to fit me at the REI store.

Went to Pop Art museum near space needle- pretty cool place. Features on Star Trek, sci fi, horror, music and fantasy. Funniest part was having a phone conversation with Kate whilst watching a serious discussion about significance of Texas Chainsaw Massacre film.

Picked up my bike. Brake problem was due to a cable being damaged in the flight.

Spoke with Jim and he also had bike problems but the same shop fixed his bike as well. We're all meeting up tomorrow for breakfast and expect to be starting the trip on Sunday.

Some reflections on Seattle - City of.....:

  • rain...
  • salmon
  • weed
  • coffee
  • beer
  • really nice people

Not as many Tatts, beards or graffiti as Melbourne either!

Posted: June 17, 2017, 3 a.m.

Friday 16 Jun 2017 10:43

Just visited REI central - for Aussies its like paddy Palin the size of Myer. Amazing - has an outside cycle track to test bikes and this huge indoor rock climbing wall.

Posted: June 16, 2017, 5:43 p.m.

Thursday 15 Jun 2017 15:49

Seattle has a great food and general market above the waterfront- Pike Place Market. Teeming with tourists on a damp day. A lot like Victoria Market in Melbourne but didn't hear them needing to glam Pike Place up (unlike Melbourne Council).

Posted: June 15, 2017, 10:49 p.m.

Thursday 15 Jun 2017 14:48

Amazing Amazon employee playspace being built here with dog walking park! Bike is put back together - just dropped it at a bike shop to check it but all good which is a nice feeling

Posted: June 15, 2017, 9:48 p.m.

Thursday 15 Jun 2017 9:46

Happiness is ...... my bike and gear making it to Seattle!

Ps still can't get emails working properly. Can send and read within USA from phone but after that not sure.

Ok... back to the unpacking

Posted: June 15, 2017, 4:46 p.m.

Wednesday 14 Jun 2017 17:13

Made it to Seattle! Not without some hassles. Bike didn't get on same plane as I did from LA but I've been promised it'll be delivered to City hostel tonight. Had intended to stay at Green Tortoise but I managed to book wrong month! Never mind, city hostel also seems good. Fingers crossed the bike turns up. Not sure my outward emails are working yet. Have got a usa phone though.

Seattle has a very Melbourne feel in parts - loads of bars and people enjoying the sun sitting outside in cafes etc. Loads of hipsters and the music grunge feel.

Posted: June 15, 2017, 12:13 a.m.

Sunday 4 Jun 2017 13:10

Last training ride and first with all of the pannier bags. Just need to fit a motor!

Posted: June 4, 2017, 3:10 a.m.

Northern Tier USA 2017

User: ncle2809
Dates: 4 Jun 2017 - 20 Jul 2017
Duration: 1 month, 2 weeks

Starting from Seattle in mid-June 2017, I'll be aiming to ride the Adventure Cycling Association's Northern Tier bicycle route with two other riders, Jim and John. We'll be self-supported, riding touring bicycles with pannier bags. My wife, Kate, will be joining us in early September to finish the ride with us.

Jim's riding to raise money for Parkinson's disease research as a tribute to his late father.

Agree too.
More rest days needed Noel- you are looking v tired ( and thin)
It doesn't sound like fun at the moment.
please take care as it is just too hot for this level of exercise

xx Mary

Well said Ross!

Mate this seems more like torture than fun. What about sleeping in shade of that tank in day and travelling partly at night with myriad LED flashing lights.?Failing that consult clause 32 of Trek Rules which grants 500 miles of hitch hiking in temps above 90 degrees! Feel your pain but not sure I fully understand! Ross

Did you feel like you were on the set of a Western? X

HaHaHa you painted the picture well.
It must be hard to get enough fuel in when you are using so much energy on the bike so enjoy the fries.
Hope you get to catch up with Lisa ( Dad would be over the moon)
Stay safe

x Mary

Hey Noel!! I am so proud of you! I am envious! I am still hoping to catch a meal with you when you arrive in Michigan if possible! I think what you are doing is amazing. I sincerely hope that you are having the time of your life. <3

Well painted picture! Helen S

Head winds remind me of mate who rode from Perth to Melb. On old coaster brake bike, no gears, no frills. One day on Nullabor he said he rode all day against massive head winds only to find he had travelled less than 30 miles. Sat in roadhouse for a day, got headwind and 140 miles in one day! Safe winds, safe pedalling. Your blog is great and you are all inspirational. Ross

Ooo the motel sign looks like it's from the Jetsons.

Love the old sign too in Malta. (Did you somehow go the wrong way?!). That sign conveys everything available in that little town including picking up a bit of ammo along the way!

Fabulous sign, the huge advantage of being off the beaten track. Ditto, hope a rest day is coming up! Thanks for the blog. Helen

Wow that sign covers a multitude of sins
hope you manage to get some decent food.
also hope you have a rest day coming up soon!!!
Catching up on my sleep after Wimbledon and cheering on Roger.
Travel safe Noel John & Jim

xx Mary

I love the classic barn. Looking forward to seeing some of my leg of the journey k x

Lovely photo Noel. You look so happy and relaxed. K xx

Hi Noel
Really enjoying the blog and pics. Good win by bombers on Fri

Top ride Noel, great distance, no wonder your bum is sore, could it be wind burn from excessive speed? Ross

Great work guys, real Bomber spirit but the heat must be debilitating. Eat your grits Noel, much better than Coke Ross

Think you mean go Crows

Great effort Noel, you will soon be able to ride up hill in your dreams but do not forget to eat something substantial as you look to have dropped a fair bit of weight. Top scenery. Top effort from you all. Keep safe but beware drug peddlers!, Ross

Looks amazing :) hope the ankle is feeling better .

So well done Noely!
4 hours climbing?!! 45 mins in foundation spin class is hell!
Did it remind you of your days doing the Melbourne marathon with your darling mum and dad at the finish line encouraging you on and congratulating you at the finish line?
Glad to see you got the leggings. Much love Kate

Utterly Devine scenery; that which makes you feel as though you are an ant in a huge universe. Very grounding. X Kate

Gosh Noel, you said that this area far exceeded your incredibly high expectations; from the little I see,it looks heavenly.
You know how daggy I think your dad's cricket hats are but I am glad you found it to take it with you on the journey. Love you Kate x

In awe of you Noel.
What a magnificent achievement.
Stay safe
Love Mary

Well done Noel following you all the way. Sitting here is Tassie following Jill's eventual move. Looking forward to seeing Kate next weekend. Regards Ann Rymill

Too tired to comment further. Brilliant ride. Well done!! Ross


Great photo Team Fox. Kate

Sounds like you covered all the food groups at the golf club in Fortine. Not so keen on the look of that dessert with the fake cream (yuk!) can appreciate though after toughing it out on a bike, devouring anything with a mammoth calorie count like that would go down well. Feeling sick after would be a definite!

Keep the blog rolling! Very glad to hear you are a bit more comfortable, and smiling in every pic!Perfect old school dessert after such hard work. Confess, aside from the fact I could not do the ride, the shower situation would be a deal breaker! In awe of you all .
Keep safe, Helen

Great scenery brother & glad to hear all good. Check those wheel nuts before descent! Doing great and get those eggs easy over!, Ross

Stunning scenery. Kate x

Noel, your revised itin.still sounds hellish,trying to ride a bike with pack gear that would give a mule a hernia, in bloody hot weather, over the Rockies.....?We arrived home a bit worse for wear after 2 days of travel from Anchorage but feel none of your pain. Scenery is truly memorable so keep pedalling and keep safe.Go Noel Gump! Ross& Helen

Hi Noel,
Glad the caboose is starting to repair.
With that kind of pain in the A you would have thought you were back at work.
Montana should be great; so envious.
You guys are just awesome.
Best wishes from us Tassie Dooles

Hi Noel
Glad to hear you are feeling a little more comfortable.
also pleased to hear you are revising the schedule although bloody hell it still sounds very tough.
scenery is amazing, quite stunning.
How was your first 4th July?
all good here.
good travels over the next few days
Love Mary

Absolutely love the lakes and the carrot cake sounds pretty damn good too. Kate

Hi Noel.
Am with Kate, we are supposed to be packing, but waisting time reading your blog. We are going to start soon, I think. Hope your backside is a bit better, I am feeling your pain. Your are doing a mighty job Noel. Talk soon Glen

Take it easy brother and look after your health.All going well with internal flights in Anchorage & Seattle we head home tomorrow & glacial Melb. Enjoy, very proud of your achievements Ross

Looks amazing Noel , don't think you are missing much here .
Although i think the Bombers want you to come back (0-2 since you have been gone :-p ) now I have the link I will be keeping a close eye on your journey .

Loving the blog Noel. Hope you recover soon. Sounding very positive with a few challenges, well done. Mark hopped on his bike yesterday after many months so inspiring this end....Take care xxxx

Loving your blog/ pics of rural USA but really sorry to hear about saddle probs , take care. H xx

Ooo I love the sculpture of the hare.
Yes, exercise is great for health but if you have work that hard to lower blood pressure hmmm !! I know you would be so pleased to reduce those meds Noel. Let's hope the saddled sores get under control quickly. Love you. Xx

How about a state analysis for geographically challenged eg how far above sea level, total distance travelled, how many Trump posters have you liberated, wild life count. Can you beat seeing a beaver cross the road (supposedly rarely seen as nocturnal) Look forward to your postings and enjoying it vicariously without a numb bum ! Ross

I remember riding through England and arriving at into a new county..sense of achievement. Noely, you definitely must've felt the same arriving at Idaho.
...Not so so about biscuits and gravy on the breakfast menu!

Scenery does look beautiful. The lakes look like mirrors.

Hi Noel

Great to talk to you over the weekend.
scenery looks superb, not that you see much while your cycling along dodging dogs and timber trucks.
Bombers had bad loss to Brisbane.
Hope the next few days are more flat and the heat subsides and you are able to get some choice in vegetarian meals.
love Mary

Hi Noel,
Those ongoing f#$@en hills sound punishing. The suntan must look awesome by now though.
With all those great meals it just as well you are burning it of.
You would have enjoyed Saturday night here. Went to see Holy Holy at the Republic Bar. Poor Jake was the designated driver.
Only 1 degree in the mornings here lately so kind on envious of your heat.

Think that dog was actually a brown bear so you did well to out run it. Understand the soccer kids are very grateful to you too for your thoughtful, empathetic response. Great work. Hard to believe you are facing extreme temps when we were dodging floating glacial ice and orcas today. Keep safe Ross

Looks a lovely spot to free camp. Reckon you'll be safe from bears tonight. X
wish you had've bought that tee shirt Ross.

That is not a milk shake unless it comes in an aluminium container but no doubt it will help forget that climb. Saw a T shirt in Ketchikan today featuring a bear chasing a bike ( or was it 3 bikes?) labelled Meals on Wheels. Did not buy it brother! Continued great pedalling Ross

Keep that hard slog going you elderly bikies. Doing amazingly well and really enjoy the blog. Know it is not polite but it is really hard work on this cruise and could return as trainee sumo wrestler given all the food and drink. North to Alaska we go. Ross

Hi Noel,
Wish I had have realised you were going to Pateros.
My council had a really great linkage to there (Mayor to Mayor) for a while.
They had a massive wildfire there that destroyed a lot of the town and we used their plight as bushfire readiness messaging for our community.
You could have been Kingborough Ambassador for a day !
The heat must be really tough and I assume they are all concerned about fire again.
Keep up the great work you guys.

just want to wish you all well over the next days of hard climbing.
do hope it is not too hot and windy
with you in spirit
love Mary

The irrigation area looks lovely. Why don't you jump into the water?
Gee John and Jim, stating the obvious - you both look hot and weary.
Where are Ross & Helen with the frozen oranges?! K x

Hey Noel,
Looking at that mural you would think you are back in Tassie.
Lots of chopping down of trees, truckin them away, denuding hills.
The hills do look slightly bigger though.
Glad to hear that you are not likely to add to the native roadkill tally. Bet they have plenty of time to get out of he way.
Keep up the yeast based rehydration regime.

Noel, my dear, I am thinking that at once you are amazing & stupid. Pleased you are eating well, drinking lots & sucking on mustard. May good luck continue for you & your fellow riders. After this experience you will all have to be buried together - with partners at a place that you all loved.

Wow brother I feel every mountain and descent too for and with you. It is so surreal to be on the Canadian side in bus and train , at the same time you are slogging your guts out, but all we can do is applaud your determination and feel really proud to have such an adventurous tortured soul of a brother. Go brother go! ( now in Whistler) Ross

Just amazing Noel , such a big thank you for adding to blog after such tough rides.sucking on mustard.... great that it works! Helen

Noel, Mark and I so enjoying your blog. Inspiring us with your beautiful descriptions. We feel as though we are there (almost!). Well done. Maureen and Mark xxx

Loving your blog!!!
wow those hills/ mountains look big.
Hope the mustard works with cramping


x Mary

Whoa those mountains in the distance look a bit daunting.
True character building material soon eh.
I know you are saying f#$k character I already have enough of it.
Reminds me of the view of the Ironbound Range that you have to walk over on the Tassie south coast track. And look how that ended............!
The places you are getting to look awesome. What a privilege to be out there.
Enjoy mate; I am there with you.

Feels good here too to know you are finally pointing in the right direction but keep your longjohns close if, like Jasper, you strike snow flurries. Safe travels Ross

I've put on weight just looking at the size of those meals!! Kate x

Gosh, still looks like you have a lot of gear which weighs a ton! X

Continue to enjoy your postings.Felt your pain today when we passed several riders with packs of gear battling mountains , rain and cold on the Canadian side near Jasper. Again watch out for bears and elks on toilet excursions! Ross

Hills...... carrying a tractor OMG ! in absolute awe of you all. Looks very pretty....Loving your updates

Go brother go! To share your load we walked for an hour at leisurely pace around Lake Louise Also spotted grizzly bear and two cubs so hope they do not stray your way! (We saw ours on bus on Trans Canadian Hwy!) Safe pedalling to you all Ross

Looking great Noel.
Sure the fitness will build rapidly.
We are there with you and will use foul language randomly as moral support.

I am so proud of you too my love.
You look really fit but not as fit as Jim!!
Love you and as I always say to you every weekend morning as you set off..."ride safely." K x

I can feel your excitement and i am excited for you.
Dont go too hard too early!
Swannies beat richmond in a thriller.
Good luck to you all
X Mary

The Amazon play space has nothing on DHHS bike facilities! Be kind to the Americans. Has your bike arrived yet?

Well brother so far so good but do not envy you at all given the topography of Vancouver nor the rain and chill! Hope you are doing better than yours truly re jet lag and sleep. I am zonked out with very little sleep but tour we are on has started great so just need to get sleep pattern in gear. Talking of gears, hope your low gear is fine, wind is on your back and you have a great start to your marathon. Both Helen and I are so proud of your aspiration and vision and wish you every success and no bum chafing. Ross

Good news, onwards and most probably upwards from here.
I got test 87!!!
Love this blog

Stay safe and have fun


Now that is good news. May have thrown a less experienced traveller! H x

Amazing ! Safe travels , best Helen x

Thanks Noel
Looking forward to tracking your progress.
safe travels
Much Love