Saturday, September 8, 2012

Whitefish to Sula

Arriving in Downtown Whitefish, a cool little arty town

One of several great brewpubs

Historic train station (above and below)

A reunion with Chuck Haney (2nd from left), renown photojournalist and frequent contributor to ACA's Adventure Cyclist magazine, for breakfast at LouLa's.

Chuck wrote a major piece in 2005 about cycling in Northern California where a photograph of Herb, Jim Regan and I was taken on Coleman Valley Road and featured on the magazine's front cover.

Whitefish Lake

Taking Farm to Market Road from Whitefish to Kalispell

What the heck are these things?

Taking a much needed break on our way to Flat Head Lake

Arriving at beautiful Flat Head Lake

One of the major highlights of the tour, spending 3 full days at Bill and Kathy Douglas's family compound on Flat Head Lake.  It is located on "This is it" Road.

R n R time . . . its time to give our butts a break . . .  onto the paddle boards

Herb taking the sailboat out

Dennis working on his blog

Al fresco dinners on the lake

Enough to make a huckleberry pie

Another decadent treat - masseuses came to the lake to tend to our bodies

Getting a tour of the lake on the family outboard

This 25,000+ sf home on a private island is for sale for $75 million 

Prayer flags at sunset

Don't cry Kathy . . .

At the end of our stay, we all chipped in to buy this photograph for Bill and Kathy as a token of our appreciation.  Huckleberry heart, how appropriate!!

We had a fabulous time! . . . many thanks for your gracious hospitality

A day trip to see the Garden of 1,000 Buddhas in Arlee, a truly amazing place.
The Garden was recently completed and sits in a lotus shaped valley surrounded by low lying hills.

Note the "fragile" symbol on the crate.  Very clever!

The founders worked cooperatively with local Indian tribes in establishing the Garden

The meal and pies at the Laughing Horse Lodge on Swan Lake was one of the best of the tour. 

A small yet beautiful lodge

We found pie heaven!

A great meal was had by all

It's also a dog-friendly establishment

The Clark Fork River bisects the city of Missoula, a beautiful university town, where we spent a couple nights

The University of Montana campus is impressive - very neat and tidy with nice architecture, expansive open space and cool art pieces

Art along the river

Missoula train station

Long lines at the Big Dipper, a favorite hang-out during the dog days of summer . . . I believe I had 3 huckleberry shakes here

Concert in outdoor amphitheater on the river

A must visit for long-haul cycle tourists - the ACA headquarters

The building on the right is a converted church and main entrance to the offices

The new 2-story addition

We first arrived on a Sunday so the offices were closed. We came back the next day.

The courtyard between the two buildings

Group photo inside the lobby.  Much to our surprise, one of the three photos displayed on the wall was the one taken by Chuck Haney of our 2005 Sonoma Coast tour (Herb pointing).

That's Herb, Jim Regan and me on Coleman Valley Road - pic on the right

Jim Sayer, executive director, giving us a personal tour

Artifacts on display in the offices

A poster board of every cyclist visiting the ACA offices this year.  According to Jim, this is a record setting year.

Magazine covers on a wall.  Note the one on the left . . .

Office in the new wing

Gosh, this photo is on everything . . . ACA brochure

OK, enuf gloating . . .

On to Sula, a very small town south of Missoula

Taking a spin in the Sula Valley

Site of old Fort Sula

The one room school house has been restored

The thing that looks like a medieval catapult is called a beaver slide and is a hay stacker 

Pastoral Sula Valley

Mike on Hwy 93 leaving Sula and heading to Chief Joseph Pass

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