not really into selfies

i’m not usually into selfies, but it seemed like a good idea to document the staples before they were removed this morning.  it’s been two weeks since the surgery and i’m feeling quite a bit better.  i’ve been walking most everyday, but have over done it a couple of times.  it’s pretty hard to go from my active lifestyle to sitting on my ass all


successful surgery

well, i haven’t been too inspired to blog lately.  but, thought i’d get back to it with a couple of pictures of my X-rays.

this one shows the old hardware and new damage this one shows the old hardware and new damage

this is after surgery, the old titanium plate was removed and a new one installed to bridge the breaks. four old screws were left from the first surgery, they were just to connect small pieces to larger ones and weren’t in the way of the new plate or attached to the old plate.


home waiting for surgery

i’ll try to bring my blog up to date soon. but if you haven’t heard i crashed outside helena, mt. i was cruising down a pretty hard packed dirt road with a tail wind, going 20+ i came to a downhill with loose gravel washboard. the rapid up/down jarring from the washboard causes some kind of disconnect between my eyes and balance mechanism is the best way i can describe it. it’s an unfortunate phenomena caused by my Ménière’s disease (inner ear imbalance). well, i lost control, fishtailed a couple times, and flopped over on my left side. the same side i crashed on 8 years ago. when you go down hard like that it takes a few minutes to gather yourself and access the damages. i lay there saying to myself “i’m ok, no! i’m not ok”. i had just picked myself and bike up, and was leaning over the handlebars when a couple of road angels stopped and asked if i needed help. rhonda and dan kelly of helena, who were on there way to their cabin for the night. they scooped me up, and drove me to the ER at st. patricks hospital in helena, 30 miles each way out of their way.

Whitefish Divide


This is an avalanche path at the top of Whitefish divide pass.  the last and biggest one on the climb.  Almost 1/4 mile of bike pushing, the 3 or 4 others ranged from 10 to 100 feet, and involved ducking under logs, as well as carrying over piles of fallen trees.

Dill & Detour


Riding thru ranch lands south of Columbia Falls the distinctive aroma of Dill led me to notice almost a section of land behind split rail fence was entirely dill. As this was horse country, with every spread featuring corrals, stalls and hay stacks it seemed incongruous. It set me to thinking, ” do horses eat dill?” I doubt it, but it was a pleasant surprise.


Don’s rear tire was still losing air even with a new tire installed just the day before. Fortunately there was a bike shop only five miles off route half-way thru the days ride so we stopped in Big Foot for a fix. Unfortunately the sealant was on a. UPS truck due in by 3pm, hopefully. We took a real leisurely late breakfast and hung out until the delivery which came in early at 2pm.

On a long downhill high above a lake we were pretty surprised to come across an eight inch turtle smack in the middle of the gravel road. After watching him for a short spell we placed him on the down slope hoping he wouldn’t be road kill.



It was hard to start out once again in the mid afternoon especially when the route involved most the days climbing remaining. We opted for an off route campground near Swan River that was more swamp than campsite. At best you’d call it abandoned, however there was already a Canadian couple with there tent set-up next to the only broken picnic table. We asked to share the site, pitching our tents in the gravel driveway. Before long still one more couple cycled in and we had five tents clustered around.

Bugs and Mosquitos were the best redeeming factor of that site.

Making water

I failed to mention the other riders in my last entry studying maps with tom were 2 of 3 guys we met at riverside park camp in eureka. Tom calls them the commonwealth boys. One is from Australia, one from New Zealand, and one from Canada.

I’m not sure how we all missed the turn, but I was last and just following. I guess I won’t make that mistake again.



Those steripens are great. Here we are “making water”



We crossed the 49th parallel when off route. Not sure you can read the sign, but the second picture is the U S Canadian border. The 30′ wide swath is cleared every decade or so.