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Uphill and Against the Wind - TransAm E-W
By Dave T

Day 67: Wisdom to Missoula - The Coup deta

Tuesday July 22, 1986, 122 miles (196 km) - Total so far: 3,472 miles (5,588 km)

Chief Joseph Pass 7,241'

Lost Trail Pass 5,233'

We were all up early and headed to the restaurant for breakfast. The weather was absolutely perfect so we didn't dilly dally during breakfast. We planned on going all the way to Missoula, about 125 miles so we needed plenty of time. The day started out pretty good, climbing up to Chief Joseph Pass and 7,241.

While we were riding up the pass, Steve pulled out a stereo system, one speaker in front, one speaker in the rear. A ZZ Top tape was jamming on the stereo system as we slowly made our way up the pass. (who needs ipod?) Steve and Stewart were carrying so much stuff you wouldn't believe it. I think these guys have almost double the gear I'm carrying, maybe that's why they are slow. Steve has a big wind sock dandling behind his bike. They have heavy bikes, full thermarests, a stereo system, a gun, kitchen sink the works.

We finally made it to the top of the pass and stopped for a break and pictures. While at the pass Rich and Sheryl showed up. I was pretty surprised to see them, early in the morning and ahead of everyone else. Last night I guess there was an attempted coup in the BC group. I didn't camp with the BC group last night so I'm not sure what happened.

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The infamous Chief Joseph Pass

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Gene was cursing the pass because it was so long and tough.

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The "bandits"........and that's Steve with the babushka.

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Rich, dude, put some clothes on please!

We all departed Chief Joseph Pass and headed down an awesome descent, the best of the trip. The guys from Texas descended fast and crazy, and I was right behind them. These guys are flat out nuts on the downhill. At the bottom of the descent we entered Idaho for about 50 yards then right back into Montana climbing up to 5,233' Lost Trail Pass.

We stopped at a place for lunch along the road, and spent a couple hours relaxing. We were all getting ready to depart when Clay and the rest of the gang all rolled up. An argument ensued, and words were exchanged between Rich, Sheryl and Clay. Rich and Sheryl indicated that they were riding on to Missoula, and that they were done with the group. Clay then asked me what I had to do with the situation. I kinda got stuck in the middle of it when Rich and Sheryl caught up to me on the top of the pass. I really hoped that cooler heads would prevail, that they would change their minds and not go on to Missoula.

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I departed for Missoula with Steve, Stewart, Gene, Rich and Sheryl. The grade was downhill most of the way to Missoula and the traffic was light. Along the way Gene told me he also is leaving the group in Missoula and those were his intentions all along. I'm not sure what's going to happen to the BC group in Missoula.

It was a long day getting into Missoula but it was a great feeling when I arrived. Steve, Stewart and I stayed in the hostel for $4.50. Gene, Rich and Sheryl stayed in a motel down the street. Gene met Steve, Stew and myself at Godfathers Pizza for all you can eat. I made plans to meet up with Gene tomorrow and say goodbye. I'm really going to miss Gene, we had some great times on the road. Now, I'll have to figure out what I'll be doing in the coming days.

[Author's Note:] - I hated to see this happen to the BC group, and I still to this day, don't know why Rich and Sheryl were so upset with the situation.


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