HIAWATHA BIKE TRAIL Part 2   Montana & Idaho

Biking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller

Date: June 26, 2022

We continued on this beautiful 15-mile rails to trails bike trail. We biked across seven trestles all between 216 and 230 feet tall which gave us incredible overlooks of the forest and of trestles in the distance. The largest trestle was 850 feet long where we paused for a water break. At one overlook squirrels practically climbed up my leg wanting a piece of my cliff bar. A moose crossed the trail a quarter mile ahead of us.

As we continued biking downhill at about the eleven-mile point, on the left was a grave marker. A nearby historical kiosk stated a gandy dancer, a slang term used long ago to describe a railroad worker, was buried here. He was thought to be one of the workers that died in the 1910 forest fire that devastated the area.

We finally reached the end, and our bikes were loaded on buses which took us on a bumpy dirt trail back up the mountain. We got off the bus just below the long St. Paul Pass Tunnel. With the uphill grade being very flat, we re-entered the 1.7-mile dark tunnel, now with two-way bicycle traffic, to pedal to the finish line which was back where we began. Our bike pants and shirts were splattered with mud from the wet tunnel. Afterwards at City Limits Brew Tub, I enjoyed a late lunch of fish tacos and broccoli soup while Rosie had fish and chips. We camped at the Wallace RV Park located in a hollow with the Nine Mile Creek rambling beside it.

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