We made it to missoula Thursday morning after camping at lolo hot springs the night before. Missoula is an awesome town, like an unpretentious Seattle. With cowboys. We spent the afternoon in Missoula getting our bikes and my guitar fixed, and found a laundromat. Then I found a brewery with live folk music so we spent the rest of the night there. We were not sure where to camp, but needed showers so went to the riverfront. While we were in the river some couple came out of their apartment and glared at our bikes with their little schnauzer dog for a good ten minutes. So we packed up and rode a few miles upriver where there was a huge, beautiful park that we pitched our tent in. It was the perfect day. Until shit hit the fan at 4:00 am.
First there was a distant rattling sound, which I thought was a bum pushing a shopping cart. It made me nervous because that was the one thing people in Missoula told us to be careful of if we slept in the parks. (bums, not shopping carts). As the night went on it got louder and louder and I got more and more paranoid, breathing quietly and hoping Beth wouldn't fidget in her sleep. Finally she sat up and said 'hey, you hear that sound?'. I said 'yes, be quiet! It's the bums with their shopping carts!'
She looked at me like I was crazy and opened the tent to show me what it was. Sprinklers. We lie there half asleep trying to pretend they were not going to reach us until one blasted a foot from our tent. I grabbed the tent and rolled us upside down because I thought the floor of the tent might work as a waterproof shield, but no. So we spent the next 20 minutes frolicking through ice water in our faces as we bungeed everything on our bikes, then rode to a lit up pedestrian tunnel where we tried to sleep for another two minutes before deciding to get an early start.
We found a 24 hour laundromat online but when we got there it was closed, so we went to a 24 hour walmart to get food and change into dry clothes. Then Beth led us 15 miles down the wrong highway. That pissed me off, so I took over navigating and led us another 15 miles off route. After a few roadside fights we figured it out, and eventually got to hermiston, mt, where we finally found a laundromat to dry our tent and sleeping bags. We stayed the night in an older couples garage (they host cyclists and were very sweet) but when we went to pitch our tent found it had melted together. So now we are at a cafe waiting for big 5 to open so we can buy another tent. Then we are headed up another huge hill and into wisdom, Montana. We need to make good miles today.