|See the little trail winding through the wilderness?|
Last Saturday, they had over 700 riders in one day! At 9.00 a person, that's a LOT of moolah for this trail! C'mon, guys, get the grader out and get busy! And while you're at it, put some more park benches in for people to sit and stop and have lunch! We saw only TWO benches in the entire trip down the 15 mile trail to be able to sit and stop and relax. There were quite a few people on the trail today, at least 30-40, so that's some comfort as you enter that first tunnel--you are not alone!
Enough complaining...here is a little more information. Even though it was a hot day, the trail had a lot of sections with shade and being up higher in the mountains, it was cooler. This trail is the former railroad journey for the Milwaukee Railroad out of Chicago. The history behind this railroad is provided as you bike along the trail on placards placed at the side of the trail and it's a very interesting history...my favorite was about a woman whose job was to derail runaway train cars..she had one where they didn't tell her it was a runaway so she couldn't stop it at her normal post. She managed to derail it and all its contents at another junction in the rail track, only later to discover it was a load of pig slop, sheep sh**t or something like that! You read about the construction of the bridges, the history of the Pullman porters, the history about carrying silk across the country, the history behind the workers and the huge forest fires that occurred, all kinds of things about the Milwaukee Railroad back in the day....
It was a beautiful day and we really enjoyed this ride, even if it was rough....oh, a couple more things. The ride in the shuttle bus taking you back "in comfort"? Those were old, old school buses that take you on a dusty narrow side road where the driver said sometimes he encounters a moose. That would be cool IF there was room for the moose AND the bus, but it's a one lane road with LOTS of blind curves...that and it was HOT, HOT, HOT in the bus...fans not working, I guess. That, and you don't get taken back to your car at the parking lot. You have to go BACK through that same first 1.7 mile tunnel that you came through at the beginning...Ah-h-h-h, but the second time was a piece of cake. Some guy behind us had a REALLY BIG SUPER DUPER HALOGEN HEADLIGHT/FLASHLIGHT that illuminated the entire tunnel.....Thanks, buddy...you saved my man from probably having cardiac arrest! Yay, we did it!!!!!! Hey, Eldo...did you see that OTHER trail, the paved one from the side of the road as we came off the highway? (Trail? What trail? Nope, didn't see any trail, none, nada, zero.....)
And now, you are dying to ride this trail, right? Where the heck is it? Well, it was 100 miles from Jim and Mary's RV Park. That's right, folks, Eldy knew I had my heart set on riding it, and this was the closest we were going to be to it before we left the area and headed towards Yellowstone. So Eldy drove us there....I'm a little confused about where it exactly is, but it's in Idaho, near Wallace at the border of Idaho and Montana. Exit 5 on interstate 90 in Montana, the Taft exit. The drive to the parking lot to get on the trail is a trip in itself, dirt road to nowhere, but the whole thing was cool, and isn't Eldy quite the guy for keeping his woman happy!?
See you at a calmer, slower pace tomorrow......We're resting up for our trip to the Yellowstone area on Sunday, but first----a festival in downtown Missoula this weekend, and Sparky wants to check out a cool knit shop she found on the internet. (Uh-oh! says- guess who?)