Saturday, July 18
Did I say that yesterday was day one of the Glacier / Waterton tour? I know the answer, but just want to see if you were paying attention. Yes, I did say it. Well technically, Friday was the day for "Early Arrivers." Saturday is the first day of the tour as defined by Cycle America. And what was it like?
A glorious, cool morning; blue skies, tree covered mountains in the distance, a fresh pot of coffee in the motel office. Getting off to a good start. We walk into town, looking for a place for breakfast, deciding after not too much deliberation to step into the Red Caboose Diner. There were no other customers, not always a good sign. But the breakfast was special... I had the Sweet Potato Waffle, which I enjoyed very much.
Red Caboose Diner
Sweet Potato Waffle!
Then it was back to Glacier Cyclery to give Bill a chance to lighten up, in a financial way. He went whole hog, popping for a bottle of chain lubricant. Being the proud owner of a new do-rag and jersey, I held back today and left the shop empty handed. We then continued our cruise around the pleasant downtown area with its covered sidewalks and mix of upscale and tourist-focused shops.
One jewelry store proclaimed to have famous Montana "Yogos." A bit of exploration was in order. We find out that a yogo is a rare - rarer than diamonds, according to one source - high quality sapphire, found only in Montana. There is quite an array of yogo jewelry, including some nice ear rings. And only about $2,000. Too bad they didn't have Shirley's size. Maybe I'll be able to find a nice scented candle instead.
We succeeded in our primary mission, though: spending enough time looking around to need to go to the Great Northern Brewing Company for lunch. They offered a special roast beef sandwich which I ordered with the house horseradish sauce. It was a really good sandwich. However... 90% of the sauce came across in one bite. Yikes! I did not think I would survive. But, I did, and the rest of the meal was enjoyed without further incident.
Now it was time to head for the school - which I had found yesterday in spite of the bum steer. And, I had actually laid my eyes on the bike boxes in the wrestling room where Cycle America had set up shop. We passed by the ice cream shop where I'd gotten a huckleberry cone on my solo tour on Friday. Ice cream...
...it's not just for dinner anymore
It took about an hour to unpack, assemble the bike and then put away the case for storage at the school. I didn't have any left-over pieces when I was done, so figured all was well. We rode the bikes back to the hotel. Helmets, shoes were packed with the bikes and I carried everything else - that included Bill's stuff - in my backpack. I have GOT to stop carrying that pack when Bill is around.
The ONLY time when rubber side up is OK
We took the shuttle back to the school for dinner and the first of the evening meetings. As was the case yesterday (remember Camp Dixie for Girls?), I had another blast from the past experience. Ted, one of the 36 riders on the tour, was from Connecticut and had worked at Pratt & Whitney. Hmmm.... I worked at Pratt & Whitney after I graduated from Ga Tech. It didn't take long to realize we had worked in close proximity to each other and had probably met - this was 38 years ago, so let's not be too picky about details here. He was able to get me caught up on a number of people I had worked with then but not heard from since. Warning! Cliche ahead... It's a small world. After all. Can't you just hear that annoying tune?
The meeting lasted way too long. And too long for us to be able to make the 7:00 p.m. showing of Public Enemies as we had planned. Day 2 of the trip and day 1 of the tour was coming to an end, so we retired, getting ready to do what we came for - in addition to the Great Northern Brewing Company thing - Go Ride!