24. Troy to McGillvary Campground, Koocanusa Reservoir: Damn Dam - From the Olympic Peninsula to St. Mary - The First Bite of the Northern Tier - CycleBlaze

June 6, 2018

24. Troy to McGillvary Campground, Koocanusa Reservoir: Damn Dam

We left the little-traveled MT 56 outside Troy for the active US 2. Morning traffic had its usual mixure of logging, gravel, and asphalt haulers. By the time we arrived in Libby, the number of RVs and camper trailers increased. The road quality was good and the shoulder ample, but vehicles swooshing by at 70mph definitely reduced the enjoyment of the Kootenai River Valley.

Once we got to Libby, we tackled some admin tasks. We mailed some stuff home to lighten the load before Logan Pass and caught up on the blog by tapping into the WiFi outside the Libby library. We stopped at the USFS office to confirm the campground we intended to stay in would have water. We were assured it did. (Key the orchestra to signal the impending trouble.)

The ride on back roads out of Libby restored our tranquility. Still lovin life when we stopped at a wonderful U.S. Army Corps of Engineers picnic site where we crossed the Kootenai and MT 37 and began the route up the west side of Koocanusa Reservoir, created by the Libby Dam built by the USACE on the Kootenai River. We immediately began four miles of intense climbing. We met a fellow bicyclest who warned there was no water at the campground. We told him what USFS had told us, but he had just ridden past and seen a sign at the entrance to the campground definitively stating no water. With reduced hope, we pedaled on since it was nearing 5pm after a long day and hard end and we had no other options. We arrived and confirmed, nope, no water. Breaking out our waterfilter and iodine tablets, we refilled our bottles from the reservoir.

On the return, Scott sought out the camp host who said the pump for the well had broken and was not yet repaired. He kindly shared some of his bottled water. The five campground users had vehicles so getting water for them was no issue. One of them who was over from Idaho offered us water, which we didn't need and kindly gave us a small jar of his home-canned salmon. These are just a couple of the many kind gestures people have made during our ride. Fellow campers seem to enjoy sharing their enthusiasm for the outdoor life.

For dinner we finished the oversized sandwiches purchased in Troy with Power bars and hot cocoa for dessert.

BTW, we discovered the box in the photos in the woods but it had no ownership markings or indication of its purpose. If any readers have any ideas, we would like to hear them. The camp host thought it was a bear box, but why is there a notation about voltage?

Scott enjoying his 4th donut while doing the hard work of preparing the blog outside the library in Libby, Montana.
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Koocanusa Reservoir peeking through the trees at McGillvary Recreation site.
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The white box at the camp site in McGillvary Recreation Site. Anyone know what this is?
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Andrea BrownEKTO makes equipment shelters. Since this is near the Libby Dam I'm guessing there are seismographic devices in there.
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2 years ago
Jeffrey WaldoThanks. Seismographic devices makes sense to us.
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2 years ago

Today's ride: 48 miles (77 km)
Total: 843 miles (1,357 km)

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