Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I saw seven of them. Yup, seven! Over the course of my two weeks in Glacier National Park and Waterton Lake Park I saw a couple grizzlies, a black bear mama and cub, and more grizzlies. One even decided to snack on some grass about 20 yards from the road we were riding on. Thankfully, he/she didn’t seem too interested in snacking on cyclists.

The Glacier trip was fantastic. We had great guests. The riding was spectacular. The views were breathtaking. Liz and I joked that anyone could be a great photographer out there. Just point your camera and shoot. Nature does the rest of the work for you. Heck, after two weeks out there I felt like friggin’ Ansel Adams (in color, no less!).

I definitely got my climbing legs under me, as well. Over two weeks I probably logged about 15,000+ feet of climbing, possibly more. There was also an absolutely epic time-trial into a 30mph headwind. That was probably the toughest 8 miles I’ve ridden in my life. So far this has been my favorite trip (and since I'm soooo far behind on updates, I feel like I can say that with some degree of "oomph" behind it).

After Glacier I got to take a scenic (kind of) unit drive from Kalispell, Montana to Anacortes, Washington, where I moved the bikes into the guide house and awaited the arrival of co-guide extraordinaire, Liz (shown below with her best penguin friend):

We ran our San Juan Islands trip and it went swimmingly (not, fortunately, while we were on our sea kayaking trip... that water was cold!). It was a family trip, so that added an entirely new dimension to the guiding experience. Having 7 kids aged 10 to 15 on the trip kept things fresh, fun, and occasionally loud. I actually got a 13-year old boy to try foie gras, and he liked it! I definitely really like that area of the country, and if my months off were in a bit warmer part of the year I think I would spend them there. Oh well.

I think it's about time to end this post, as it's late and I have to be up early to drive from Taos to Santa Fe. If you're confused about how we jumped from northwest Washington to the high desert of New Mexico, stay tuned. There will be more updates, hopefully in a more timely fashion than this one!

I'll close by wishing my Grandma Brooks a (very) belated happy birthday! She and my Grandpa read this blog together from Ohio and I'm told she enjoys it, so this post is dedicated to you, Grandma. Love you and miss you guys!!!

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