Today we woke up to thunder clouds and heavy rain. Sure enough, the lightning storm the surrounding mountains to make for some spectacular scenery and echoes. There was a small window of dryness so we quickly packed up and shipped out. We rolled down red meadow pass through occasional snow mounds. It was nice to wake up and be able to hit a downhill for 20 miles or so... We passed through Whitefish Lake which featured some beautiful rolling hills accented with some of the nicest houses/cottages/ranches we've ever seen.
We eventually made it into Whitefish (awesome ski resort town) where we had a quick bike tune up, lunch, and mosied around. After the bike was ready, we took off for Columbia Falls which we passed through rather quickly after realizing the local hostel was closed. We weren't sure what we were going to do for the night as most of the next 35 miles or so were through farm land. Luckily we happened upon this sign
we biked down the gravel driveway to meet Tom and Patty Arnone - an awesome truly American couple.
After serving us some nice cold local IPAs, Tom was quick to take us out back to his garage. Here we saw all of the motorbikes he builds up and restores. As if we weren't impressed, he took us further back to where he used to build handmade bicycles for him and his family. Turns out him, his wife, and his sons used to race competitively. The frames were amazing... Handmade with different steel alloys. Everything was handmade actually - custom spokes, bars, headsets, etc... He even made a custom tandem racing bike for him and his wife.
The four of us sat at the picnic table and chatted until the sun went down. Turns out Tom is from Italy and he and his wife had plenty of good info and tips to share with Cam regarding the time he will spend there. They were gracious hosts allowing us access to pretty much whatever we pleased. The highlight of the night may have been when we spotted Tom sprinkling his urine around the perimeter of the garden to deter animals (only to attract Geoff). He invited us to do the same if ever we needed to use the washroom throughout the night.
All in all, it was the perfect way to spend the night. A big thanks goes out to Tom and Patty!
Tom giving G life advice
Custom bike frame.