Day 112: September 21: S of Superior to W of Paradise
This was the first day in almost a week that I'd made myself breakfast.
I hadn't paid the prior night, and the campground host came up to me to collect the money. I was going to say something to him about the signs that gave the price as $9 for the first vehicle, and that I didn't think that bicycles were vehicles in Montana, but didn't. But I did have trouble with the fact that I had to pay twice as much as an RV filled with people over 65, who get half price admission. I don't require as many services as they do -- pull-through spaces, sewage dump stations, etc., and don't wear the roads out as they do.
Today's ride was mostly along roads that were beside the Clark Fork River. The interstate runs straight, while the roads that I was taking meandered with the river. Where I had to, I rode along the interstate, which was the quietest interstate I'd been on so far.
As I was riding along the interstate first thing in the morning, an old man in a pickup truck pulled over to the shoulder ahead of me. He got out, staring at me. When I got up to him, he said "I ain't never seen one of those before". I gave him the usual few sentences about it being more comfortable, and he told me that it was good to exercise. Then he told me about how he was 92 and hiked every day, and then about how his wife of 70 years had just died a month ago. Then he showed me a piece of metal in the back of his pickup with his last name on it.
I had a second breakfast in Superior, and did some phone calling. I ordered new sunglasses (I'd lost my main pair in West Yellowstone) and a new tire (the new one I had sent to me is too noisy).
Both should be waiting for me in Sandpoint, ID.
I called a friend at work and we talked for a while. It was good to talk to her, nice to have a connection to a world that I once lived in.
I stopped at the Montana visitor center in St. Regis, as well as at the grocery store. I bought a milkshake for $1.55 and paid for it with a Susan B Anthony dollar coin, two quarters, and a nickel. The girl stood staring at the money and said "But it's a dollar fifty-five". I said "I gave you a dollar fifty-five". "No you didn't" she insisted. I then had to point out that I'd given her a dollar coin. I expected this to shut her up, but she said "What do you mean, a dollar coin?" and showed it to the young guy who worked with her. He'd never heard of a dollar coin, either.
I found a national forest unimproved campsite down by the river to camp at. I was able to launder my two days' worth of clothes and make dinner in the light. I'm glad that I stopped at 38 miles rather than trying to go for 86 (to the next official campsite) or trying to find a place off the road. Of course, this is the National Forest, and it should be possible to find places to camp. I'll have to look at the possibilities for free camping more tomorrow when I get to route 200.