This is one of a weekly ten-part series of an adventure in which the author decided to bike from Montana to Seattle on abandoned rail road beds, through private property, on back roads, and other stuff that happened along the way...
"Are we really doing this?" I must have asked myself a hundred times during that first part of the journey that began in Hamilton, MT and finished in Alberton, MT., 70.4 miles of mostly bike path with one well groomed, modest gravel pass. It was the longest ride of my season, and I was certain that I wasn't in any kind of shape to do a 700 mile trip. Yet here I was on a heavy touring bike loaded down with 25 pounds of gear, pushing myself at an achingly slow 12.5 miles per hour.
We, my significant other Jim, and I had been planning this trip for more than a year. Actually, Jim had been planning this trip for the year when I was focused on getting a business started. I didn't really think we'd end up going. But his enthusiasm, and the time he'd spent planning out the route, the food we'd eat, the bikes we'd need, and the gear we'd have to obtain were so touching that I played along thinking that something would get in the way of us going and that I'd be off the hook. Watching him plan this trip reminded me of the adventures I planned as a kid with hand drawn maps of my neighborhood. When we pulled out of the driveway, my daughters snapping photos of us and waving goodbye I felt very much like a kid waving goodbye to my mom as I set off with my trusty map, a bologne sandwich, and the promise of adventure.
"We really are doing this," I said to Jim at mile 70.4, legs a little tired, but fired up, and ready for another day.
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