6/24 - Missoula to Darby - Day 9

The theme of the day is: "We must be on the espresso, ice cream and beer tour"

Following yesterday's "duff" day I felt pretty rested. Yesterday I made sure that I didn't even get on the bike cause I really needed the rest. Seven days of riding mountains and long distances really tired me out.

This morning we woke up to a beautiful sunny day. Compared to last week, the mileage was fairly short, 67-miles. At the 10-mile mark the route took us on to a very nice bike path that ran parallel to the road. It the path when up and down and curves here and there.

The path ended at the 19 mile mark, just in time for coffee.  At right in front of us was a drive in espresso stand. The brightly painted yellow stand was already swamped with riders.  The entire group of us must have hung out and relaxed for more than 1/2 hour before moving on.  The women that operated the stand was heard to say that she could go home now, because she's already done a day's worth of business.

The picnic stop was at the 30 mile mark in the town of Stevensville.  The end of the ride was only 37 more miles, but you could feel the temperature starting to warm up.

Before the town of Hamilton, I came across a building that formally was a church and now was a ice cream store. It had a wonderful gazebo out side attach to a raised deck.  Just as I was getting there a large number of riders were just leaving.  I sat outside almost by myself, but within minutes more riders showed up and swamped the place.

It was getting pretty warm by the time I got into Darby.  Dinner was at Bud and Shirley's, a high point!  It was the most unusual buffet that I've ever been to.  You name it, they had it, salad, pasta, pizza, chicken and lots of it.  We're having breakfast there in the morning, I'm look forward to it.

The tour briefing was held out in the town square. On the way back to the school, several of us stopped at one of the saloons and emptied several pitchers of beer.  It was truly an espresso, ice cream and beer type of day.  Oh so much fun, I hope that we have more relaxing days like today.

Coffee stop on the way to Darby

Ice Cream Stop in the afternoon

Amber waves of grain

Roadside wild flowers