Day 71: Whitefish, MT to Eureka, MT

By Michael Riscica / August 26, 2007

Sunday August 26, 2007, 59 miles (94 km) – Total so far: 3,830 miles (6,164 km)
58.57 Miles 4:58 32 max 11.7 avg

     Click Here to Visit The Table of Contents
     Click Here to Visit Previous Page: Day 70: Lake McDonald to Glacier National Park, MT to White Fish, MT
     Click Here to Visit The Next Page: Day 72: Eureka, MT to Libby, MT

Last night the sprinklers went off in 3 different sections.  Both Jamie and I got soaked. In the middle of the night, I got really pissed because my sleeping bag was soaked and flipped a garbage can over the tops of all the sprinklers that were getting us wet.

Chuck told us in the morning that a cop woke him up in the middle of the night and told him that we can’t stay here. Chuck told him we had nowhere to go and its 3am and the cop said we could stay but we have to be gone first thing in the morning.

Our breakfast was good, but our waitress had rocks in her head. During breakfast Jamie sat by the window and watched all these people try to get inside to coffee shop across the street that was closed. Watching this tortured him throughout his breakfast, and he couldn’t help but provide a commentary for what was happening across the street. About 15 different people all tried to go to the coffee shop but it was closed. They tried both doors and had no luck. Around 9am they unlocked the doors and the town of whitefish could breathe and they could finally get into their coffee shop.

After breakfast we installed our new tires. We each bought a new tire in Havre, Montana. However we’ve all been too lazy to install them. We’ve been waiting for the next flat, but that wasn’t happening. Jamie got tired of carrying around all these extra tires, so he insisted now is the time. Jamie’s rear tire was pretty bad. It was worn down all the way to the canvas.

As we changed tires on the side of the road, we all talked about how we’re bored with the name Team Northern Tier. We’re thinking of changing it to Team Northern Tired. It’s more appropriate and I don’t think anyone would notice or care. And its only one extra letter.

After we changed our tires we went over to the coffee shop that was now open. I drank some tea and changed my clothes. Jamie went to go get his hat that he left at the restaurant. When I got on my bike to follow him my rear tire was flat. Ugh. So I went back to where we changed tired and fixed my flat. Jamie called and wondered where I was.


After I fixed my flat I rode over to the restaurant and found the guys. Jamie’s hat is gone. Can’t find it anywhere. That hat was a little too extreme anyway. That’s what the soldier we met in Pelican Rapids, MN told him and I can’t help but agree. It felt like it took forever for us to get outta Whitefish. Riding out felt really good. Compared to a lot of the other places we have been, none of really cared for Whitefish very much.

We didn’t meet any locals, it seemed like everyone was from the East Coast. Whitefish just seemed like a place where the rich people came to live in Montana.


Our goal was to ride to Eureka for the day; I don’t know I guess its 60 miles says Chuck, our navigational expert.
The first 15 miles of the day was absolutely beautiful. We were in the valley, surrounded by mountains, in some beautiful horse country.

At one point we rode through this area that had a million tents setup and it looked like a Woodstock just took place. I was curious so I rode in and learned this is where all the firefighters have been living that were battling those forest fires that made national news.


After those first 15 miles the NT put us on route 93, which is one of the worst roads we have ridden. No shoulder, lots of fast cars, tons of logging and Mining and trucks. And on top of all that the wind came out and gave us this terrible headwind. We stopped for lunch at some casino that had a beautiful view of a lake. We watched an airplane take off on the lake. It was pretty cool.

These Montana casinos are all pretty pathetic. They are nothing more than a bunch of video card games. Who the hell has an attention span for this crap? I’d rather play Ms. Pac-man and spend my money on 50 cent cokes.


After lunch the headwind got worse. We struggled down the road and took a rest break at some restaurant. We just sat in front and were too cheap to go buy something inside. We debated not going all the way to eureka because of the wind. Jamie’s knee started to hurt so we knew it was about to rain, so we got comfortable for a little while. But then it stopped hurting and the sky cleared, so we rode out.

A few miles out we saw Darryl who emailed me the night the Ninja attacked us in Shelby. We had all been wondering when we were going to see Darryl and it was great to finally meet him. Darryl’s journal is

He asked us if we have had any encounters with any Beers and chuck and I went on and on talking about beer but then we realized he was talking about Bears.  We couldn’t understand his New Zealand accent, it was pretty funny. I wish we could have had more time to hang out with Derryl. But we were on the side of route 93 and all the logging trucks were pissed that 4 cyclists were stopped on the side of the road. I’m looking forward to reading Derryl’s journal after our trip is over.

After we saw Derryl we hit a pretty decent grocery store. We spent a lot of time there. As I was walking around the store I saw chuck with this weird look on his face. He told I have to go check out the bathroom in this grocery store. So I found the restroom and walked in. Instead of walking into your standard Restroom as I was expecting. I entered this Dark smoky bar with all these cowboys standing around listening to country music. It was the weirdest thing.

Then I turned around and went right back into the grocery store that was obnoxiously light with fluorescent lights. It was like weird time warp. We found Jamie and had him try out the bathroom and he busted out laughing. So strange.


We talked to a lot of people at the Grocery store. We got an invitation to go to a campsite that was free for cyclists and then some nice guy invited us back to his house and said we could sleep inside. We all really wanted to go with that guy back to his house, but we knew tomorrow was a tough day. Its 75 miles with no stops and lots of ups and downs. If we were to go back to his house it would make our 75, a 90 mile day and a lot more painful.

The last 15 miles was really nice. Finally got off that damn route 93, Beautiful rolling hills, and white tail deer everywhere. Derryl got us all freaked out about bears, so we looked at everything off the side of the road and wondered if it was a bear. We went flying down this huge hill that projected us into the town of Eureka. It was quite a majestic way for a cyclist to enter a little town.


For dinner we made burritos. Delicious. We were all really happy and ate like kings.  Chuck got the key for the shower house and we all took showers that felt like a pressure washer. Didn’t even have to use soap, the dirt just get blasted right off? With a full belly full of food and really hot shower we all went to sleep around 9:30 with a big smile on our faces.

     Click Here to Visit The Table of Contents
     Click Here to Visit Previous Page: Day 70: Lake McDonald to Glacier National Park, MT to White Fish, MT
     Click Here to Visit The Next Page: Day 72: Eureka, MT to Libby, MT

About the author

Michael Riscica

Hey, I’m Michael Riscica and I live in Portland, Oregon with my Labrador Retriever. When I’m off the bike, I make my living as a Licensed Architect and also write a architecture blog at

I took my first bike tour in 2003 when I rode from Boston to New York City, and at that time I learned about cycling across America. My life was forever changed. I have successfully ridden and blogged about Coast2Coast bike rides during the summers of 2005, 2007and now 2016.

Thanks for following along. I would love to connect with you on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Linked In! Also check out my new project Young Architect Gear, designing architecturally themed gifts and products.

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