Day 10 & 10.5

Day 10…the journey home began, but we were so excited because we knew it held lots of fun rides and more adventures for us!  So we left Seattle at about 5:00 AM knowing we had a very long day of driving ahead of us…all the way to Libby, MT.  We had chosen not to go back via I-90 for several reasons.  On the way in we had seen the amount of construction on the other side of the road and cars backed up for miles and miles.  Also, it’s just not that exciting of a drive.  So we opted for the scenic route on highway 2, a beautiful drive through mountains and national forests, knowing it would take longer, but we would enjoy it so much more.  And we did enjoy it…it was gorgeous and curvy and fun…but we did encounter construction there too.

Just before we got to Libby, we started seeing signs for the Kootenai Falls and the Kootenai Falls Swinging Bridge.  We were intrigued and in need of a good stretch, so we pulled in.  We found out that this was the location for the filming of the movie “The River Wild.”  You may have noticed from some of our pictures that I have been wearing an orthopedic walking boot on this trip.  Just before leaving home the Orthopedist diagnosed me with insertion tendinitis, a very painful condition in my right heel.  The treatment is 6 to 12 weeks in a walking boot.  I did not take this news well and honestly had been cheating a lot on vacation…I was not wearing that thing on the motorcycle or when I needed to walk far…or when I was hot…or when…well you get it, I was cheating. But when it was really painful I would get out the boot and I happened to be wearing it when we got to the falls.  Since there were no signs indicating the length of the hike, we figured it couldn’t be too far.  WRONG!  Of course everything seems too far when you are in the boot, but between the falls and the swinging bridge, we walked (well I limped) several miles.  I got a lot of sympathy from other hikers and all I kept saying was, “if I had known how far it was I wouldn’t have worn the boot!”  It was so worth the effort and struggle though…incredible views, amazing river and falls, and totally scary swinging bridge.  Here are some of our favorite shots from that stop:

We arrived in Libby, Mt that evening.  It was a pretty cool little city that calls itself the “City of Eagles,” and while we never saw a live eagle while we were there, there were tons of Eagle sculptures all over town.

We were hungry, so we headed for a local brewery, Cabinet Mountain Brewing Company, (http://cabinetmountainbrewing.com) and enjoyed a generous tasting sampler of all of their beers, an incredible meat and cheese plate with elk and buffalo sausage on it, and an amazing dessert that they called Chocolate Corruption.  It had a laid back atmosphere…in fact, their slogan was “Libby’s Living Room”.  They even had a big chalk board where people from all over had checked in, so Dale left our mark on Libby, MT.

After a good night’s rest, we were up bright and early and off for a ride up into the mountains and then back along the incredible 90-mile long Lake Koocanusa, which is really a huge reservoir that goes all the way up into Canada.  It is held back by 422 foot tall Libby Dam, which gave us a great spot to stop for a stretch.  This was a beautiful morning of riding, and although we were thwarted once again by construction, the alternate route we took was an incredible road.  Did I mention that the weather was fantastic?  A bit chilly to start out, but as soon as that sun started to warm things it was perfect!  Here are some of the views:

Something else special happened that morning in Libby…

We rolled over 10,000 miles on the bike!

It was another amazing day and a half on our trip, and after loading everything back up we headed out on our drive to East Glacier Village…to be continued…

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