Friends for three days


Jane came, and Jane went; exactly as you imagine. You’d think there are healthy, like-minded people riding bicycles all over the countryside. There aren’t. It’s a big country and a lonely planet, with no shortage of roadways on which to ride, and hide.

There are, however, half a dozen towns around the country that are temporary destinations to cyclists en route, typically ACA routes. Whitefish is one such town; on the Great Divide, Northern Tier, and Great Parks routes. Within moments of meeting, the talk was of Townes and Texas; salsa, horchata, burritos; and Glacier. We both dismissed the idea of biking to Glacier, despite being ” this close”. The next morning over coffee, I said, “I’ll go if you go”. Deal. And that afternoon, we left. That is, after noon, we ate maple-bacon ice cream, drank local beers by the river, and swam through the heat of the day; we left, finally, at 5 PM.

We entered the park via the secret cyclist’s entrance and made camp for the night. A soon-to-be typical late start the next morning forced an afternoon of riverside relaxation; road closures to cyclists in the park necessitate a logistical tango. There is no loss in swimming and sleeping for five of the best hours of the day– thanks Sam.

The road goes up, and the road goes down. Pie is eaten in St. Mary at dinner and at breakfast, and the road is ridden in reverse to our start. Ascending, descending; ascending, descending, descending, descending. Palindromic Glacier days. O sunny Glacier days.

As quickly as we met, we part: “See ya, have a good ride”. We will have good rides, and we will see each other again. That’s how these things work. Two constantly changing trajectories may never meet, but they may also meet many times. Straight lines only have one meeting, unless they run parallel and never meet. You miss a lot of things going straight.

Of colliding trajectories: I’m headed to Missoula to meet some runners that I met in the Copper Canyon, Mexico. They said to visit if/when in Missoula; here I am, less than six months later. The world is getting smaller.