I strolled down the shore before anyone else got up; lots of people out and about at 6:30am. Really close to the CG was the start of our route for the day. More closed road, then double track, then single track and back to gravel road. We were travelling up the road when a grizzly popped out of the woods and crossed the road at a leisurely pace about 100 ft ahead of us. We immediately stopped and everyone (except me with no spray) pulled out their bear spray. We made loads of noise and everyone (except me) grabbed cameras and took pictures. From the photos, though taken from the rear and at quite a distance, most locals decided it was a grizzly. I am still not convinced, for we could not see the snout or hump and I didn't see the golden hair effect grizzlies sport. Finally, I envision grizzlies as huge and this one seemed the size of a large black. Whatever. It was probably a grizzly. Regardless—a pretty big bear. We waited 15 minutes to be sure it had a chance to clear the road, then rolled down the road loudly singing bear songs and generally making a ruckus.
The long climb, turning steeper worried me greatly, 6.5 miles total, but it turned out to be very do-able in my lowest gears, just cranking away. At the top of the road you could see the whole Mission Range, still snowy. From there we started up a "fire" road, which vacillated between single and double track, with very small pine trees growing thickly between and beside the tracks. I commented that the effect was like going through a car wash without the car. It would have been more pleasant in long pants, but no harm done. Beginning the descent, the brush impacted us more (ha ha) and we came to a junction at which we were unsure which way to go and we were getting chowed while we decided. The descent eventually became more of a fire road once more, with dirt culverts. These were great fun as they dipped down about a foot, then rose almost immediately allowing you to fly up and down at 15mph. Careening down the gravel road, I topped out at 26.8 mph. John topped out at almost 40 mph, but then suffered a flat. I was smiling the whole way down, especially at the culverts.
We got into Seely Lake pretty late for us. The Seely Lake Motor Lodge only had tent cabins, no sites, but we were tired and they were right in town. There was a family run bike/outdoors shop. They straightened a tooth on my granny gear and oiled my chain, lubed Jamie's chain and replaced John's tire. Groceries, cooking dinner and showers followed in quick succession.
I hailed another loaded cyclist and invited her to stay on the floor of our tent/ cabin: Tricia from WV was riding south to north alone.
Start ODO- 715
end ODo- 753