Thompson Falls to Missoula, MT

Today’s ride, the last of the week, sound like one that I shouldn’t feel too badly about missing. Most of it was along state route 200 into Missoula, where there were not really any challenging climbs, no great scenery, very narrow shoulders on the road, and traffic whizzing by at 70mph.

Peter drove the van today, with me and Alis (the massage therapist on staff) riding along. We arrived in Missoula around 11:00am. Our overnight was at the Loyola High School Sister Rita Mudd Activities Center. Missoula is a good town for a rest day, as it is a relatively large city with things to do. The University of Montana is located here, so it is the state’s most liberal city, and is also very bike-friendly. The activity center was kind of a depressing place, though, as it was not connected to the school itself, but just sits kind of alone in an isolated neighborhood.

I tried to take a shower, but in the process of getting undressed, must have worked my shoulder too much. Where any pain I had felt so far was a very generalized throbbing, it was now a very localized and severe burning sensation. So, I just rinsed off a bit in the sink and got dressed again, and took a much-needed nap until most of the other riders got in.

Since tomorrow is a rest day, tonight’s dinner wasn’t included in the tour, so a bunch of us walked into town, and about eight of us settled into the Iron Horse Inn. I got fish and chips and a Bomber Stout, both very good. After eating, we moved to another table to join with a few others from our group. I had a Fat Tire Ale or two. People started filtering out a couple at a time, until I was left to help finish a pitcher of Bud Light with Matt from Iowa and Matt from Australia. They wanted to check out the scene a bit longer, so I made my way back to camp alone, having to ask for directions from a couple of friendly locals on the way.

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