August 26, 2014
Earlier in the year my colleague in this department, Lydia, wrote a post about touring in your own local area. She wrote “my best discoveries in Missoula have come when I was…out exploring on two wheels”. I couldn’t agree more.
I’ve been commuting to and from the office this summer. Not only do those 20 minutes energize my day and put an A.M. smile on my face, but the ride presents me with sights one wouldn’t necessarily expect in an urban area. Of course, the route is entirely along the Clark Fork River, so perhaps it’s not so surprising that I have been greeted by four young whitetail bucks browsing the shore, or experienced a fly-by honking by a gaggle of Canada geese.
This morning it was a close encounter with an adult osprey. Riding across the pedestrian bridge near my home I spied her, precariously clinging to one of the suspension cables. As I rolled to a stop she cocked her head, looking at me first out of one eye, then the other, then full on. Above her and in the surrounding brush all the little brown birds were a-twitter with panic, calling “Here! Here! Here there be danger! Peligro! Achtung!” On my evening ride I often spy her skimming the breeze, her piercing gaze scrutinizing the river for complacent fish. She has a nest nearby, and chicks.
I pass other riders, runners, folks walking their dogs and various city workers. I think I must have a reputation among the regulars as someone who’s a bit odd — I am always smiling on that ride, and saying good morning to those I pass. Sometimes I even get a greeting in return. All of this, even if it’s raining, completely makes my day.
Post and photos by Mandy Hale
ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team — Lydia, Darrah, Mike, Mandy, and Arlen — tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, covering all things related to the Adventure Cycling tours department. Check out our Early, Epic and Educational 2015 Guided Tours today!