Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dinosaur National Monument

Originally Published August 24, 2004 by Chad

We spent a day in Dinosaur National Monument with Emily, Mick and Ivy, our friends from Western Australia, but somehow we forgot to take a picture of them. We did get pictures of some petroglyphs though.

Mags liked this petroglyph so much that she tried to stand in the same pose for this picture.

Posted by Chad at 08:31 PM | Comments (1)
Original Comments: Dinosaur National Monument
Hi Margaret and Chad,
I'm accessing your BLOG from McCall, Idaho where we have been since Friday afternoon with Mom's friends and their husbands. We done some really need things including water skiing, four-wheeling, golfing, and lots of hilarious chit chat. Even church in Sunday was unique because they only had sacrament meeting (two sessions) because it was the Labor Day weekend.

More to the point is our continued facination with your travels. Mt. Rushmore was near the sight of a family reunion when Janeal and Tony lived there. You might not remember it but one of the things we did is go to Mt. Rushmore.

I loved the comment you made about having the "wind at your back" in part because is it a phrase you used Chad in a prayer probably up Wyoming during my short ride with you. I like the phrase because it is loaded with meaning that for applies nicely to life in general.
Bye for now. We're off to dinner. Love, Dad
Posted by Carl Harris at September 6, 2004 06:27 PM

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Like a Band of Gypsies...

Originally Published August 22, 2004 By Chad

Like a band of gypsies
We go down the highway
We're the best of friends
Insisting that the world be turnin' our way
And our way
Is on the road again

After a hiatus that was longer that either of us expected, we hit the road again early this morning. We met up with old friends and made a few new ones. We saw our families, including two new little ones. But we both knew it was time to continue on with our journey. We'll soon be in country neither one of us has seen before, but first we have to travel east out of Utah and into Colorado for our third and final crossing of Rocky Mountains and the continental divide.

Posted by Chad at 12:00 AM | Comments (1)
Original Comments: Like a band of gypsies...
Chad, Its great to see you are having a wonderful time riding the states, as a fellow bike rider sitting down in a nice warm flat I admire what you too are doing. I'm sitting here listening to Phish and reading your latest adventure, you are getting about mate. I have finally found the song "Bouncing around the room" 6 years, man that's persistence! Well I wish you all the best and may God keep a hand on your handle bar.

Posted by Conrad at August 22, 2004 06:38 AM

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fishing vs. Catching

Originally Posted August 17, 2004 by Chad

fireweed.JPGThe travel brochure advertises Seldovia, Alaska as a quaint town of 300 friendly people and a few old crabs. I didn’t meet any crabs but the rest of the locals seemed to keep to themselves. The bush pilot who flew us back to Homer after our four days there asked us if we’d enjoyed our time in Slow-dovia. He must have been referring to the food service. I waited over an hour for my meal at least three times. One night some people in our group were served, finished eating and had their plates taken away before Mags and I ever got our meals. I would have had enough time to run down to the burger joint to scarf down a few and be back in time to sit long enough to work up an appetite again before my meal arrived.

When wasn’t waiting for my meals I spent my time fishing. By fishing, I mean rowing a borrowed wooden rowboat up and down the bay, riding the tides and watching the otters.
I am not a great oarsman. I spent much of my time correcting and over-correcting my course. I had little time to cast to the silver salmon that were schooling in the bay in preparation for their final journey upriver where they will spawn and die. After a couple of attempts at rowing and fishing, I decided I’d like to do some catching. I convinced Carl, my father-in-law, to come along and row for me early the next morning. He wasn’t hard to convince.

Carl wasn’t any better at rowing than I was, but he did manage to get us all the way up the bay to the mouth of the river. Like I said before, he’s pretty fit for a man of 35. With him rowing, I could concentrate on fishing. Unfortunately, this scheme didn’t improve the catching much. I caught a rockfish and a couple of juvenile salmon on their way out to the sea, but the ten pound silvers still weren’t interested in my offerings.

After we left Seldolvia I had to fill my time with non-fishing related activities such as hiking, glacier cruising and whale watching.

Friday’s edition of the Anchorage Daily News gave the sliver salmon fishing in the Little Susitna River a five-star rating. Mike, Margaret’s second cousin who served as our travel agent, tour guide and outfitter (and sponsor!) said, “nothing ever gets five stars.” So he set Carl, Mags and me up with inflatable kayaks, tents sleeping bags and everything else we would and wouldn’t need for a four-day trip down the river.

My fishing buddies will be happy to tell you about numerous fishing trips I’ve been on where I haven’t done any catching. I’m fine with that. If catching fish was easy it would be any fun. So spending four days on a wild river filled with salmon was all I could ask for. I admit that I fully expected to catch a fish, but I still would have been happy if I didn’t.

The trip didn’t start out very well. I broke my fly rod while trying to free my fly from a submerged log. I thought I might be able to repair it but then I lost one of the pieces overboard while trying to free myself from overhanging shrubbery. So I was resigned to fishing with a spinning rod for the rest of the trip, which in my mind immediately reduced the fishing from five to four stars.

So the quality of the fishing had declined, but later that evening after we’d set up camp on a sandbar on the inside edge of an oxbow curve the quality of the catching improved. Carl and I each caught our limits of ten to fifteen pound salmon that day, and the catching was steady from then on. This of course led to a corresponding increase in fishing quality as the trip progressed. It was so good that even Mags joined in on the fun. She caught a couple of feisty rainbow trout and lost a salmon or two.

We ate salmon every day and filled our cooler with fillets to take home. Then just three miles from our take out point on the river we stopped for a final snack and rest. We had all filled our limits and couldn’t legally do any more catching (well, at least not any keeping). But I wasn’t finished fishing. I found a run in the river that I thought had to hold fish. On my fifth cast I saw a red fish strike my lure.

“One of those spawned-out sockeyes just took my lure,” I said. Then the fish felt the tug of my line and I saw him roll away from me. He was huge. My reel started buzzing with the sound of line being pulled out against its will. I tightened my drag. The salmon rolled again, this time doubling my rod over to where I thought it would snap. I loosened my drag. I was using ten pound test line, and when the fish rolled a third time I saw that he was easily two or three times that weight.

By this time I realized that this wasn’t a spawned out sockeye, it was a late arriving Chinook, or King salmon. He made sure I understood this by leaping two or three feet out of the water a couple times. Then he would dive deep to the bottom of the stream, taking more line from my reel. I struggled to keep him within sight for the next twenty minutes, but whenever I got him close enough for Mags to net him he would make another run.

Then in a panic I handed the rod to Carl, took the net from Mags and threw my shirt off. I thought I would just swim out there and net him myself. That idea lasted about three seconds because he just swam deeper into a swift moving section of the river. All I could do then was just try to wear him out. It would be a battle of endurance. I was glad I had just ridden nearly two thousand miles on a bicycle as training for this contest.

The fish made a few more runs before he finally got tired. The first time Mags got close enough to net him he saw her coming. He fought and splashed, Mags squealed and they both ran away. That must have been the last of his energy because a minute later Mags had regained her composure enough to net him for good. She could barely lift him our to the water.

Like I said, our cooler was full of fish, and this Chinook had been out of the salt water long enough to turn a rosy pink color instead of his bright shiny silver. So I only kept him out of the water long enough to admire him some and take this picture.

I gently put the fish back in the water, rubbed his belly and pushed water past his gills to revive him. He sat there exhausted for a few seconds before disappearing back into the depths of the river. We all sat there in awe. That was the most exciting thirty minutes of the entire four-day trip. Probably the most exciting thirty minutes of fishing I had ever had. At 38 inches long, it was certainly the biggest fish I had ever caught. Just as Margaret and her father were getting up to get back in their boats, I said, “you know, I still feel like doing some more fishing.”

That is the difference between fishing and catching.

Monday, July 28, 2014


***Note:  While we did in fact go on hiatus for a trip to Alaska and a wedding in Oregon, I am not taking a hiatus on reblogging.  I will continue to post regularly without making you wait for us to 'get back on our bike' like our original readers did ten years ago.   That means the remaining posts about our trip will be about four weeks earlier than their 10-year anniversary.  If you're upset about this and want your money back, click here.

There's only one post about a river trip we took in Alaska, then we'll be on the road again starting with Dinosaur National Monument and points east.*** 
OK, now on to our regularly scheduled post...

Originally Posted July 27, 2004 by Chad

You might call it a vacation from a vacation. We've been in Provo for two days now and leave for Alaska at end of this week--by airplane not bicycle. We'll be there for two weeks of fishing and kayaking. On the way back we'll stop in Oregon for a wedding on the coast. We should be back on the bike in mid-August, headed east into Colorado for our third and final crossing of the Rocky Mountains. Stay tuned.

Posted by Chad at 10:04 PM | Comments (2)
Original Comments: Hiatus
Thank god you decided to take the plane this time round. Great job guys! I was scrolling through your blogs...its miles and miles in there through America I have never seen. :)
Waiting to see you in Seattle!

Posted by Joyeeta at August 3, 2004 02:20 PM
Hi Guys,
120 miles in a day is a LOT!!
Did I miss you when you came through Seattle?

Posted by David at August 15, 2004 12:18 PM

Thursday, July 24, 2014

This is the Place

Originally Posted July 24, 2004 by Chad

Just like the pioneers of 1847, we rolled into Salt Lake City today, July 24. I reckon the city doesn’t look the same today as it did 157 years ago, but it felt as much like home to us as it did to the pioneers. We rode through downtown Brigham City, Ogden and Salt Lake, dodging saltwater taffy left on the road from the parades the whole way. It was a hot and sweaty 76 miles through the continuous stop-and-go traffic of Highway 89 from my brother’s home in Brigham City to Margaret’s brother’s home in Draper. In Bountiful, we passed the first Kool-Aid stand we had seen since Seattle. We had decided long ago that we were going to stop at every lemonade and Kool-Aid stand we passed, and these kids made it easy to keep that promise. They were selling their red sugar-water for only five cents a glass, and refills were free. I think I had four glasses, and Mags had two. I gave them a dollar and told them to keep the change, that’s a 900% tip. I just hope they don’t get into a fight dividing it up, since there were three of them.

Tomorrow it’s an easy 30 miles around the point of the mountain to my mother’s home in Provo. She said she is going to greet us in the yard with the garden hose in case we stink. Gee, it’s great to be home again.

Posted by Chad at 10:28 PM | Comments (2)
Original Comments: This is the place
Congratulations on obtaining a significant chunk of your touring/adventure goal. Having ridden for a few miles beside you, should I say "behind you", your accomplishment is held in high esteem by this dad. Having been more of a casual biker since my early childhood and having always loved to get around on a bike I was poorly prepared to understand just how much planning, organization, technical knowhow, and physical stamina and strength goes in to serious, day after day cycling. Sometime during the 70 or so miles I tagged along with you two I clocked a few five-minute miles. But while doing that I realized that you typically do three-minute miles and at least on the relatively level highway you do those three-minute miles all day long. This is an appreciation that I don't think I would have had if I did not try a few miles myself along with you. And then there are a few other challenges you have beein dealing with in high touch, high tech cycling such as coping with long, steep hills, double unit 26 wheel trucks that pass going 70 miles an hour some few feet to your left, roads that have virtually no shoulder and no place other than the traffic lane for a bike, no place to drink, eat, or releave oneself when the need is urgent and of course a problem I did not face - finding a place to spend the night free of while mules and other preditors. I appreciate Mom for making it possible for me to participate with you. I was fun to have Tanya involved also. So thanks for letting us share a small piece of your lives.

Love, Dad Carl

Posted by Carl Harris at July 25, 2004 09:07 PM
I suppose you intended to quote Simon and Garfunkel in your last line Saturday. It certainly is appropriate for your homecoming. Since I went to their concert last month and I've been a lifelong fan, let me add to your closing line.

Gee, but it's great to be back home,
home is where I want to be.
I been on the road so long, my friend,
And if you came along,
I know you couldn't disagree.
It's the same old story.
Everywhere I go,
I get slandered, libeled
I hear words I never heard in the bible
I'm one step ahead of the shoe-shine
Two steps away from the county line
Just trying to keep my customers satisfied
And I'm, oh, so tired
oh, oh, oh so tired.

Posted by Steven Fleming at July 27, 2004 09:09 AM

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Behind the Zion Curtain

Originally posted July 22, 2004 by Chad

We sneaked into Utah today and promptly rewarded ourselves with above-the-rim raspberry milkshakes from Merlin's squat'n gobble--my name for it, not Merlin's. Utah is the only place I've ever found milkshakes so thick that they stand taller than the cup they're served in, and I love the place for it.
We rode with the Tour de Wyoming folks again this morning up Salt Pass above the Star Valley, and were a little too proud of ourselves when we passed some of the riders on the way up. At the top of the pass they had a food station so we stopped, chatted and helped ourselves to some bananas and Gatorade.
We cut across the Southeast corner of Idaho and were following the west edge of Bear Lake when we slipped under the Zion curtain. Half-way up our third mountain pass of the day we pulled off to admire the view of Bear Lake. A couple of Japanese men approached us and told us they had a gift for us. The gift turned out to be a new version of the Bible with "precious footnotes" that fill in the gaps. I politely listened because I realized I used to do the exact same thing to people in Australia that were too polite to tell me to bugger off, but I don't think I'll call the 800 number to get the free bible because, as much as I want to read it, I don't want to get on their mailing list. Besides, I didn't feel the "electric shock" one of them promised after he pled for Jesus to come into my heart. As we rode away I realized I could have begun speaking in tongues after his prayer--that probably would have fired up his faith. But I'm glad I didn't because it's never right to make a mockery out of something someone believes in.
We were tired and thirsty when finally pulled into Margaret's sister's driveway in Logan this evening. There was a banner draped across the bushes out front welcoming us to Utah. We did 120 miles today through three states, so Heidi's family set off fireworks in the street for us as a warm up to the Pioneer Day festivities.

Posted by Chad at 11:35 PM | Comments (1)
Original Comments: Behind the Zion curtain
Is this the same milk shake you kept praising Chad?
Posted by Joyeeta at August 3, 2004 02:21 PM

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Afton, Wyoming

Originally posted July 21, 2004 by Chad

Tonight we’re at Hal and Bonnie’s home in Afton, Wyoming. They are friends of Margaret’s parents. They have the software I needed to upload our photos so be sure to scroll down to see them all. I’ve even added the promised photos from Glacier National Park.
Margaret’s Father rode with us over 70 miles from Grand Teton National Park. About 20 miles outside of Afton he realized he had to choose between finishing the ride and being able to walk for the rest of the day. He chose the walking.
There were hundreds of cyclists on the road today. We happened to be on the same route of the Tour de Wyoming. The seafood restaurant downtown was crowded with riders, so we took our fish and chips to the park where we watched a softball game. Mountain Dew beat Machine Shop, but I didn’t catch the score. From here we continue south and east to Montpelier, Idaho. We should be back in Utah by Friday, just in time for Pioneer Day and hopefully some Green River watermelons. Mmm…watermelons.

Posted by Chad at 08:44 PM | Comments (2)
Original Comments: Afton, Wyoming
Man, it's hard to believe how many miles a day you guys are doing...the most I ever did in one day was 50 for my Cycling merit badge. And that really wiped me out!
Posted by Nate at July 22, 2004 10:32 AM
Just a comment about what I learned (Margaret's Mom)about Chad and Margaret's great cycling adventure as we got to be with them for 2 days:

1. Margaret and Chad travel a lot faster on that tandem bike than you can imagine. I was the support vehicle for a day, and they had to wait for me for an hour because I started 90 minutes after they did, and it took me an hour to find them! Kept looking and looking and couldn't imagine that they could have gotten so far so fast! Then to think they went 120 miles the next day!
2. Chad is an extremely strong specimen. He has had energy to spare even after pedaling all day... going swimming, watching ball games, working the website. He is doing a super job of planning and moving the quest along.
3. Margaret is a wonderful partner. She follows Chad's lead, pulls her own weight, lets her needs be known,and goes with the flow.
4. Carl (Margaret's father) is one persistent guy! Also he is 64 not 35 as listed on the July 19 entry. Carl had wanted to ride with this hardy duo ever since he heard of their adventure. He pulled it off even getting his wife to forgo a high school reunion event (40+ years) to gather with the bikers and our granddaughter, Tanya. Then he was able to ride 70 miles in the heat of the day and still have enough sense to say "when" at the appropriate time.
5. We all know that Chad loves watermelons, but just because it wasn't a Green River one he shouldn't forget the one we got him at Jenny's Lake. Tee hee.....

Posted by Melanie Harris at July 23, 2004 03:41 PM

Monday, July 21, 2014

Grand Teton National Park

Originally posted July 20, 2004 by Chad

You probably can’t tell, but that’s not Margaret on the bike with me in the picture below. That’s Tanya, our niece. She is working at a guest ranch in Cora, WY and drove down to spend the day with us. Mags took the day off, so Tanya rode with me for 32 miles, from Jenny Lake to Jackson, via Kelly Warm Springs, where we had a refreshing swim. Tanya was great stoker, she pedaled hard, squealed with delight on steep descents, and not once did she complain about how badly I stunk—I was about a week overdue for a shower.

Posted by Chad at 08:29 PM | Comments (0)

Friday, July 18, 2014

A close call

Originally posted July 19, 2004 by Chad

We left Yellowstone National Park this afternoon, after waiting out a big rainstorm all morning. We're in Grand Teton National Park now, and will meet Margaret's father tomorrow. He is going to ride with us from Jenny Lake to Afton, Wyoming. Not bad for a man of 35.
We had a close call today. Just after leaving Yellowstone we came to a four-mile section of road construction. For one mile, traffic was restricted to just one lane. There was a flagger there that told us we would have to wait for the pilot truck to return and we would have to throw our bike in the back and get a ride. We had come over 1400 miles by our own muscles and didn't want to take a ride unless we absolutely had to. It would be an asterisk on our trip--"one mile was in the back of a truck". Fortunately, when the pilot truck arrived it was clear to everyone that there was no way our bike would fit in the back. We got to lead the line of cars through the construction, and we all felt better about ourselves.

Posted by Chad at 04:25 PM | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Yellowstone National Park

Originally posted July 16, 2004 by Chad

Yellowstone was crowded and hot, but we still managed to have fun. If you go, don’t camp at the campgrounds run by Xanterra Corp, it’s like camping in a city, except the food isn’t as good. Everything they serve is from Sysco. Our bike is the ultimate conversation piece, we couldn't stop anywhere without someone asking us where we were going and where we were headed. Here are some pictures.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ringling, Montana

Originally Posted July 15, 2004 by Mags

I just remembered this morning that I forgot to tell you about Chad’s bout of sickness last week. In Sandpoint, Idaho Chad bought a package of 24 chocolate chip cookies from Yoke’s grocery store bakery. The cookies were about 3 inches in diameter. The following day Chad bought another 36 peanut butter chocolate chip cookies at Rosauer’s in Libby, Montana. All 60 cookies were consumed within a period of ~48 hours by his truly (minus 3 cookies consumed by yours truly). After traversing some 200 miles over the two days and settling in for the night at a Forest Service campground, Captain Cookie, as he will hereafter be referred to began to experience curious stomach cramps and nausea at around 2 a.m. The captain awakened me with “I’m sick, do we have any peppermint tea?” Unfortunately we did not. However, I’m happy to report that the captain, after several hours of discomfort did recover and has not purchased packaged cookies since.

Yesterday we found refuge from the prairie heat of eastern Montana at the only public edifice between Townsend and Wilsall—the Ringling Bar and Steakhouse in the town of Ringling, population 15. It’s a red brick building with Brumford’s Garage painted on the side, (apparently the transition from garage to bar is a recent one). A branding iron was heating in a black cauldron at the front door- so we had to edge around it to get inside. The bar owner, a Harley dude wearing jeans and a “Rebel Choppers” T- shirt said, “You two are on the bicycle- I passed you in a suburban and you” he looks at me, “looked like you were slacking off!” He laughs and I protest- (To be continued- I’m getting kicked off the computer!” 

Posted by Mags at 11:35 AM

Comments: Ringling, Montana

Hi guys!!

Am hoping to be your 1st international poster...just so you can feel special and know your trip is being tracked from across the globe! sounds like you are having an amazing experience, I love reading your stories.

Really looking forward to meeting you Mags and catching up - are you guys gonna let us take that beast for a spin?!!

Enjoy the journey and save up some good stories for the hot springs....

eM & miCk & iVy x0x
Posted by eM at July 15, 2004 11:10 PM

Monday, July 14, 2014


Originally Posted July 14, 2004 by Chad

Today we’re in Livingston, Montana and will enter Yellowstone National Park tomorrow. I have a couple of confessions to make. 

First, we rode on an interstate highway. Interstates are noisy, dangerous and boring, but the alternative for us to get to Helena was a detour that would force us to cross the continental divide twice. It was something like 80 more miles out of our way. I was surprised to find that the traffic wasn’t as bad as I had thought, with most vehicles passing us in the left lane. The shoulder was wide, but a bit sandy in places, and the rumble strip was in a very inconvenient place for bikes. But overall, it wasn’t nearly as terrifying as I had imagined, but I wouldn’t do it again. John Steinbeck said it best when he said that interstates “are wonderful for moving goods but not for inspection of a countryside. When we get these thruways across the whole country, it will be possible to drive from New York to California without seeing a single thing.” 

Second, I went to Wal-Mart in Helena. It was on the way out of town and we needed several various and sundry items. While inside, I noticed something that says a lot about our society, the store had bicycles in the toy section but the Nascar paraphernalia was with sporting goods. I shuddered at that sad commentary, found what I needed and then got stuck in line behind a family of fat people stocking up for a camping trip. Their cart was full of Lay’s potato chips, Sam’s American Choice soda pop and disposable plates, lawn chairs and silverware. I pretended to read a People magazine while I listened to how excited they were to be getting outside again this year. All their talk about camping reminded me that it was getting late in the day, so when I got to the front of the line I asked the clerk if we could camp on some grass in the parking lot. I figured if they let folks in their RVs do it all the time, then they should let us do it too; I mean, we’re kind of like a motorhome, except that we’re the motor. The clerk had to radio an assistant manager to ask if it was OK. The assistant manager gave a one-word answer: “No”. I couldn’t believe that we had been turned down by Wal-Mart, the single most homogenizing factor in American society. Talk about being outcasts. We pedaled on down the road a few miles and found a nice, quiet, more peaceful place to camp. I hate Wal-Mart.

Posted by Chad at 11:21 AM

Comments: Confessions

Hey Chump - I've enjoyed the drama of this site, although I must confess to only briefly checking it out a few times. However, this Wal-Mart entry helped me see the light, and I've been converted to an avid fan. In fact, it inspired me to emerge from my recliner (during a recent NASCAR event) just long enough to retrieve a delicious and refreshing "Sunbelt" granola bar, purchased from my local SUPER Wal-Mart. You know as well as I do, that the only place you can find such calorie packed enjoyment is your local Wal-Mart. Therefore, I feel somewhat compelled to let your other readers know the part you left out of that story: the fact that you were stuffing your pockets full of all the high quality Sunbelt granola bars you possibly could, while muttering "screw Wal-Mart" under your breath. Admit it chump.
Posted by mark at July 18, 2004 10:26 PM

Brother Harris,
We're so glad to have tracked you down. Many long hours of painful and intense prayer have finally directed us to this website. A very faithful and dedicated home teacher in Seattle (who wishes to remain anonymous because he seeks not the glory of men, but only to lobby for more spacious mansions in Heaven) has gone the extra spiritual mile so to speak, in your behalf. He informed us that not only was he unable to hometeach you last month, but that you had completely abandoned your former domicile, with no note or hint of where to find you. The emotional and spiritual stress this poor man has undergone, after not having achieved 100% home teaching during the month of June, is almost unspeakable. In fact, since your whereabouts were still unknown, this good brother has not been released as your home teacher, and is in serious danger of getting less than 100% hometeaching marks until he locates you and provides a proper home teaching lesson. That's where we come in. Fortunately we've been able to negotiate with your former ward clerk, and have received the go ahead to dispatch a companionship of UTAH IS ZION mobile home teachers to intercept you. They will be monitoring your future correspondence and will contact you at the appropriate time (most likely on the last day of the month). You're in our prayers, and don't worry, this crack team of mobile home teachers will come prepared with all the recent LDS magazines, books on tape, spiritual pin-up adds AND an uplifting message. May you be comforted in your trials until that happy meeting. 

Brother Muir
Posted by brother muir at July 18, 2004 11:07 PM

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I was just smiling on the bike. It was like a dream.

Originally Posted July 13, 2004 by Chad

I was just smiling on the bike. It was like a dream.

Lance Armstrong said that a couple of days ago when he took the yellow jersey. We think we know how he feels. We pedaled our thousandth mile going up the hill from Simms, MT a couple days ago. Our bike has run remarkably well, I’ve only had to make a few minor adjustments, and we haven’t had a single flat tire…yet. Today we’re taking a rest day in Helena. We met Valerie and Eric who let us camp in their yard. From here we’re heading southeast to Livingston, then south to Yellowstone. We’ll try to get more pictures posted soon. 

Posted by Chad at 01:17 PM |

Comments: I was just smiling on the bike. It was like a dream.

Hi Chad and Margaret,

This web site is brilliant! We really look forward to the new entries. It was so great to hear that all is going well and see the fantastic progress you continue to make. Of course it not just about getting over the ground but the interesting experiences along the way especially the people you're meeting.

I'm still hoping to ride with you a little. As you see your probable locations after Yellowstone then maybe we can select a meeting place. It would be neat to ride but also to bring the big camera and film you on the road.

Continue to enjoy and thanks Margaret for the great card. Love, Dad
Posted by Carl Harris at July 14, 2004 05:27 AM

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Front Range

Originally Posted July 12, 2004 by Chad

I remember three things about riding south along the Rocky Mountain Front Range in Montana; wind, desolation and good people. 

We saw a celebration of the Plains Indians in Browning, on the Blackfeet reservation. 

Lawrence was sitting in his truck in Fairfield when we pulled up and asked him if he knew where we could find some ice cream. We ended up talking for over an hour. He introduced us to his wife, Diane, who is painting Beau, the bison. When Beau is finished he will be displayed at the airport in Great Falls, and then later sold to the highest bidder next year. We finally did get our ice cream at The Store (that’s really all it’s called), right up the road from the camel farm. 

Posted by Chad at 07:50 PM

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Glacier National Park

Originally Posted July 7, 2004 by Chad

Thanks to everyone who has been sending us comments. We don't have time to reply to each one, but we do read every one and are happy to know people are reading our site. 


We saw lots of wildlife in the park: bears, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, mosquitoes.
Here are some pictures from Glacier National Park

Going to the Sun Road:
Looking back west toward Logan Pass on Going to the Sun Road

We had dinner and camped with Mark. He was riding from Coeur d'Alene to visit his father who lives in Alberta.

Posted by Chad at 01:03 PM

Comments: Glacier National Park
So glad to know where you are and that the bears didn't get you. Is that the same bear I saw in the Libby News? Grief! Yellowstone bears are next!

After our recent plane ride for Carl's filming work, I ALMOST wished I was on a tandem bike instead of a plane.

Love, Melanie
Posted by Melanie Harris at July 13, 2004 03:24 PM

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Libby, MT

Originally Posted July 6, 2004 by Chad

Today we're in Libby, Montana. We hope to make it to Glacier National Park tomorrow, where we'll ride up Going to the Sun Road on Thursday. Here's some pictures. idaho.JPG

Posted by Chad at 09:50 AM
Comments: Libby, MT

Chad & Mags
Hey there guys, how are things?
Had lunch with family for Aunt Joyce's birthday and Shirley had to tell us all about you. So I thought I would read up and then just had to drop a line. So interesting and only for the young, I will add. I have driven over some of those mountains etc. Definitely not for the aged! Did I say that?
You know I was raised in Kalispell? So I got a little nostalgic just reading the name from your ball game. Do you really think you will make Maine? If you want to then I hope so.

Congratulations on both of your graduations, what a feat and one to be proud of. You also have fun in Alaska when you go. We have been there,done that also.

Shirley said you are coming through here and she may have some people and family over to see you when you arrive, if she does we will try and see the mighty bikers!!

I need to get out of here and take a trippie so bad, I am getting cabin fever. Eldon would like to go the Northern route, Montana area, he loves it there. I have family in Canada and maybe we better head that way get out of the heat and go to the cool. I have a cousin in Vernon, up the moutain into Canada from Spokane. That might be fun to head up there. Got to make some kind of plans it is getting late and summer is passing.

You two take care and I will check you out every so often. Don't let the bugs get you! Love you Aunt Monta and Uncle Eldon

I don't kjnow how much space I have here so I am kind of lumping everything together, sorry.

Posted by Monta Rae &Eldon at July 6, 2004 05:53 PM

This is very cool, you guys!! I have been reading along but haven't jumped on the bandwagon to comment until today. First thought is - what a loaded bike. How do you get it going? Second thought - when I mention to people that my sister and her husband are biking from Seattle to Utah they can hardly believe it. I guess at first I wondered what, why and how, but now just because you are actually doing the deed it seems so possible and not at all strange. I think there is a message in there somewhere. Love you!!

P.S .M&C - get in touch with me if you want to get directions to see Tanya.

Posted by Heidi at July 6, 2004 09:19 PM

When I read this today in USA Today, I too had to smile thinking of Margaret and Chad on their own "Tour de America." 

"I was just smiling on the bike. It was like a dream." --Armstrong, after his team won the stage.
Learned some interesting facts about bikes in an accompanying article. Armstong gets his bikes from Trek Bicycle Corp of Waterloo, Wis. They create a custom bike for Armstrong that they make into a stock bike for consumers later which they "buy off-the-rack." Last year's bike cost $5,000. They sold 3,800 of them.


Posted by Melanie Harris at July 8, 2004 12:31 PM

Just checked on the Libby Website and they have a warning about bears and mountain lions in the area. Not to take up space on your webspace, I sent you an email. You know, concerned Mom, etc.

Posted by Melanie Harris at July 8, 2004 05:01 PM

Hey you two! Hope you enjoyed Glacier. I'm glad to see you've already found so much kindness and hospitality along the way. I'm sure it must make the trip easier. Despite all the flash floods and steep climbs.
Take it easy

Posted by Michael Dossett at July 10, 2004 11:47 PM

Monday, July 7, 2014

Independence Day in Sand Point

Originally Posted July 5, 2004 by Chad

I had a wonderful Fourth of July. We were in Sand Point, Idaho. The local Lions Club put on a fireworks show over Lake Pend Oreille the night before, because “Mormons aren’t allowed to be patriotic on Sundays” said our waitress at Griff and Wiley’s downtown. I guess there's a lot of Mormons in Sand Point. We wanted to get a hotel on Saturday night so we could clean ourselves up for church the next day. But there was a Babe Ruth Firecracker baseball tournament in town that filled up every hotel room, even the campgrounds were full. The owner of the Meandering Moose Motel let us set up our tent on his lawn. 

The next morning, the Fourth, we looked for showers but didn’t find any in time for church. Instead we went to Harold’s Super Foods, home of the Dainty Maid Bakery. The dainty maid working there that morning had the sleeves on his grubby flannel shirt rolled up to his elbows so we could see his naked lady tattoos. His handlebar mustache was in need of grooming and he had an unlit cigarette hanging from his mouth. I bought some brownies from him that Mags didn’t dare eat. I had to eat them all myself. 

When I had finished my brownies we went back to the Meandering Moose, where there was a room ready for us. I finally got my shower and napped while watching the Mariners drop another close one.
Later in the afternoon we walked downtown and beyond to City Beach. Most of the shops were closed but we did find an Italian restaurant to rip us off. For a night cap I left Mags at the Meandering Moose and went to Memorial Field to take in some Firecracker baseball. Panhandle, the hometown team, scored 2 runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat Kalispell 3 to 2. 

We’ve been passing through a lot of little communities lately. Some seem to have it going for them, some don’t. Kettle Falls, WA was a community without a plan, while Winthrop, WA (aka Win-Throw-Up) was a community with the wrong plan. Sand Point; however, seems to have benefited from some thoughtful city planners. It’s just the right size, compact, and has a lively downtown right on the lake. It’s close enough to Spokane to keep you from feeling isolated. 

Unfortunately, all that is about to change. The Idaho Department of Transportation wants to reroute US 95. As it is now, the highway goes right through the downtown, feeding the area with travelers’ money. IDOT wants to bypass the downtown with a limited access freeway right along the waterfront. Some local businesses were protesting the project, saying that it will suck the life out of the city and ruin the beach and waterfront. But it may be too late, one hotel on the beach advertised “Only 62 more days to stay at beach before US 95 comes through.”

The whole thing reminds me of a situation in my home town. The land occupied by the out-of business Geneva Steel is certainly too contaminated with lead and other heavy metals to build subdivisions on, although some money-grubbing developers already are proposing just that. Like Sand Point, the mill is right on the lake. Perhaps urban planners in Utah Valley will have the foresight to build a waterfront park for the entire community to enjoy. Granted, Utah Lake will never be as beautiful as Lake Pend Oreille, but with the steel mill gone, and better control of fertilizers and other contaminants the lake can be cleaned up. It may be too late for Sand Point, but Utah Valley still has a chance to make the city beautiful again. 

Posted by Chad at 09:24 AM

Comments: Independence Day in Sand Point

I'm jealous. The land from Spokane to Darby, Montana is to die for (or to ride a tandem bike through, which must be a bit like dying). I haven't been on Going to the Sun highway since 1977. My memory of it suggests that you will need to allow plenty of time to do the deed. My mother grew up in Kalispell and the family still has a cabin on Flathead Lake. Beautiful country. I look forward to reading more of your escapades and enjoying your prose. The pictures are nice too.
Posted by Doc at July 6, 2004 04:43 PM

Friday, July 4, 2014

Road Grime

Originally Posted July 4, 2004 by Mags

We've been passing through some timber towns the past couple of days- Kettle Falls, Colville, OldTown, Priest River. Generally the timber mill is located between a highway and a river and the town kind of sprawls out from the mill. The older parts of town are located closer to the mill while the newer parts of town are located near the highway. The older parts of town are mostly for sale and closed while the grocery stores and the live parts of town are near the highway. I was looking forward to getting to Kettle Falls because we had just climbed two passes: Wauconda and Sherman Pass, the latter which took us over the Kettle Range of Washington. Kettle Falls was a big disappointment: the only restaurant that was open served us recently thawed pizza courtesy of Sysco corporation from KD's diner. The town was just faded and treeless, flowerless yards, trucks jacked up several feet beyond normal and sarcastic glares from the lovely denizens. We rested a bit and then headed out of town back into the hills and camped illegally in a tree farm (Chad's idea- not mine) where mosquitoes buzzed my ears the whole night. Yesterday we did 108 miles- the longest I've ever gone in a single day on a bike. We apply sunscreen about 4 times a day and the grime from the road really builds up on our skin- Chad gets bugs sticking to his leg and arm hairs because of the goopy sunscreen. We really stink. Thankfully, today in Sandpoint, Idaho we're staying at a hotel and got some showers. The country is beautiful here, farms interspersed with large ponderosa pine forests- yesterday we saw a farmer's field where I LOVE U had been mowed with letters about 50 feet tall. When we rolled into Sandpoint last night at 7:30 every hotel in this town of 7,000 had been booked due to the fireworks and a Little League tournament. I almost cried- we needed showers so badly. However, the owner of the Meandering Moose Motel let us set up a tent on the motel's lawn and saved us. Today we have a room and we're taking the day off to recover and then are headed out again tomorrow. 

Comments: Road Grime

Mags--is the reality of what your in for setting in? Your adventures are both impressing and scaring me.
Posted by Funk at July 5, 2004 09:56 AM

Mags?? so is that what you go by now. Sounds like your having a great time as far as adventure goes. We were having a discussion at the crowther reunion how you were making these posts to the site. Are you carrying a laptop or something else?
Showers? 4 layers of sunscreen and you will probably have to take two showers. The first shower to get off the heavy dirt and the second to get smelling normal.


Posted by Aaron Harris at July 5, 2004 12:07 PM

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Flash Flood

Originally Posted July 1, 2004 by Chad

The weather report in Twisp indicated possible thunderstorms. I can handle rain. Then came the hail. That can be a little painful, but still no problem. Next was the lightning. This wasn’t distant lightning, oh no. It was surrounding us. Fine, I figured we’d just have to stop and wait it out in a low place away from the trees. We laid the bike down and huddled under our tarp, sure that the storm would pass over in a few minutes. I munched on salted peanuts. Time passed. We huddled closer for warmth. How much longer could this storm last? Then we felt the bulge against our backs. Something had crashed into our tarp. We threw the tarp off, turned around and there we saw it. What had been a small little gully only 30 minutes before was now a gushing river of mud. And we were sitting right in its path.
Mags is sitting about where the flood caught up to us.

I shouted something that my mother wouldn’t approve of while we gathered our gear and ran for the bike. I spilled my peanuts. The pounding rain kept me from riding as fast as I wanted down Loup Loup pass, back toward Twisp, but that was good because otherwise the mudflows across the highway would have taken me by surprise. We found a barn a couple miles down the hill and I steered inside. Mags went to the house and asked if it was OK, not that we were going to leave if it wasn’t. 

Comments: Flash flood

How in the world are you posting this? Don't tell me there are libraries in Twisp?
Posted by Melanie Harris at July 2, 2004 02:24 PM

I hate you... I hate you... I hate you... What I wouldn't give to be almost swept away in a flash flood in the most beautiful and spiritual places on earth. I miss the freedom you both currently enjoy! Which brings me to my second point:
Shouldn't you be slaving away in the "Salt Mines?!" like the rest of us? Pay your taxes? And shouldn't a little Harris jr. be coming soon?
What I need right now is a inner-tube, a map, my 4 runner, and a little bit of water flow in the San Rafel.
Posted by Jeremy Bunting at July 4, 2004 06:37 AM