So let me tell you about this guy Beardo. Just like us he’s sweaty, scruffy looking, and probably doesn’t smell so good. Not ideal for first impressions. On top of that, he’s lacking in social graces and tact and extremely unlucky. I would say that Beardo is Hyde to Aaron’s Jekyll, but Beardo’s not a bad guy. We haven’t seen Beardo much this trip, despite Aaron’s undercaffeination, but today he was everywhere.
He showed up at around 11 this morning as we were crossing a bridge and passing a woman in a swimsuit looking over the edge into the water. Beardo screamed “Don’t do it!” which I found quite funny, but to which she angrily replied, “My kayak’s down there! Grumble grumble.” Strike 1.
At a grocery store in Big Fork, Beardo was surprised by the clerk at the donut counter. Too busy shoving donut samples down his gullet to verbalize his order, instead he just pointed at the donut he wished to purchase and grunted in confirmation. She couldn’t suppress a shudder as she handed him his pastry. Strike 2.
Rolling through Kalispell, we happened across a restaurant with a rather suggestive sign featuring a rooster soaking provocatively in a bowl of soup. Beardo decided to shout the eatery’s unfortunate slogan, “Taste my noodle!” oblivious of the two young women pulling up next to us at the stoplight. Windows go up, ladies look away. Strike 3.
And a handful of miles later, in front of Aaron’s Computer Mart, I suddenly saw Beardo swerve, scream “A bug is in my helmet!” and frantically adjust his helmet. This was shortly followed by a louder scream of pain and Beardo pulling off the road and ripping off his helmet. He’s out.
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When Dan and I stopped laughing (yes, we’re jerks, I know). Dr. Dan came to the rescue pulling out the stinger and applying steroid cream for the swelling. Within a couple minutes we were back on the road for the final few miles to Whitefish.
Aside from Aaron’s misfortunes it was a great day. The scenery riding up 83 towards Big Bend was beautiful. Swan lake was gorgeous, and at Big Fork, Flathead Lake was breathtaking. It comes out of nowhere. One second you’re riding with trees on either side, then you cross a bridge and as you look left there’s water everywhere.
We put in a solid 85 miles, which bumped us over 1000 miles for the trip early in the day, and tonight may be our last night in the States for a while. We’re within striking distance of the BC border. Once we do get into Canada, internet access is even more of a wild card, but we’ll try to keep this as up to date as possible.