I took my time getting around in the morning. I guessed that Quinton was only 15 miles behind and if I left out late he might catch up. As soon as I get on the bike to leave the hotel I see him roll by. I whistled and caught his attention. We caught up the last couple of days before I lost him again.
The ride to Missoula was all downhill. I pushed through lunch, eating on the bike and made it to Missoula by 4 PM. My first stop was the Adventure Cycling Association’s headquarters. I got a tour and explanation of everything they do there. I got to see the wall with all of the other cyclists that stopped by and they gave me access to their fridge. Everything was a bit rushed because it was so close to closing time. When I left there I went to the famous House of Bruce to set up for the night.
Bruce runs a Warm Showers community house. People come and go and several have moved in over the years. He is so experienced that he has a guidebook that he points you towards when you get there. He said, “the book explains everything”. I sat down and read through it before contacting Quinton. I sent him the address and then went for dinner.
Everyone I talked to said I must try Five on Black. It was a Chipotle style restaurant. The food was ok. The coconut curry sauce they put on my bowl of rice and beans made me miss coconut curry vegetable soup. While I was sitting there I kept looking at the guy next to me thinking he looked so familiar. I asked him if he was from Arkansas and he said no. He asked if I watch Netflix, so I asked if he was an actor. Turns out, he made a documentary called Minimalism. His name is Ryan Nicodemus. In his usual fashion, he gave me a hug and asked about my journey.
From there I went back to the house to find Quinton making himself at home. We decided to take a rest day the next day and were not in a hurry to get up in the morning. I made some cinnamon rolls and after breakfast we went out shopping. I needed a warmer bag and Quinton wanted to see what REI had. I spent an hour picking out the bag, which I will now probably trade for a different one. We then went to Adventure Cycling Association for Quinton’s tour.
After we had eaten the celebratory popsicles and drank as many lemonades as we could stand we went to Free Cycles, a community bike shop. Quinton needed to fix a bad tube and get a wobble out of his wheel. While I was there I went ahead and built up and tuned a bike for the shop to give away. The rest of the day was spent doing laundry and lounging.