Day 16
After church I headed out highway 37 towards Libby Dam. The AC route guide promised good bicycling and indeed it was good till after the dam. I zipped along at 17 mph down good quality roads that were mostly pretty flat. When the road turned north below the dam, it started climbing. On that climb a group of three teenaged boys came up behind me and then came on up around me (one on each side and one behind me). I was a little alarmed by this tactic, but it turned out that they were just very friendly kids on their way to a church picnic. They invited me to come along and I wish I had had time to do so. I bet I would have had a really good lunch and met some more nice people. As it was, I did ride with them across the dam and then, after they had ridden on, I took a break.

When I rode on I discovered that AC had really blown the description of this section of the route. It was not flat, with over 3000 feet of climbing in the next 40 miles. It was not fun either. Mostly it was the endless repletion of grinding up hills, each a little higher, and coasting down the other side. Lake Koocanusa is pretty, but after a few hours of essentially the same view, it gets boring. The lack of any services was also a problem. No hot food for me! The high point of this part of the ride was coming over the last hill and seeing the Lake Koocanusa Bridge with the Canadian Rockies in the background. A nice view, especially since it meant I'd soon be finished riding along that lake.

Eureka consists of a couple of motels and casinos at the intersection of 37 and 93 and then a long downhill to the actual town. Part way down that downhill was a restaurant that offered milkshakes. I stopped for a milkshake and a meal. I had been a long time without real food, so I consumed a large milkshake while my dinner was cooking. Kathy and Justin had stopped at the same restaurant (milkshakes!) earlier and the folks there told me that they thought they were going to camp at the city park. Rather than riding back uphill to a motel, I rode on down the hill to camp with them, found their camp, parked my bike with theirs and walked back through town. I found them at the nearest bar, eating supper. Then I went to the police station to register ($5), but they just put me on the same registration with Kathy and Justin with no additional charge. 75 miles today, although 10 of them were off route checking out all possible places to get something to eat. No luck.

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