Frenchtown Rock - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

April 20, 2011

Frenchtown Rock

I'm sad to say that 100% of local family members did not catch the pun, or have any idea why this section should be called Frenchtown Rock, except that we pedalled to Frenchtown, Montana. Well for those family and anyone else, I was thinking of Bob Marley's famous song "Trenchtown Rock". Oh well.

The cycle itself was great. With new warmer equipment, there was no longer any whining. And the almost dead flat low traffic road along the southern edge of the Missoula valley was lovely. Here, large single family houses are built in the middle of pastures, with the rest of the land reserved mostly for horses.

This one was for sale.
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It's mostly horses, but you can also find cattle and sheep.
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While the new houses seemed very luxurious, there were also old abandoned houses to be seen. Most poignant was the fence outside the shutdown (since January 2009) Smurfit-Stone cardboard mill. The departing workers had left their hardhats, a mute testimony to jobs lost in the recession.

Mill closure that hurt the local community.
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A poignant monument.
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Frenchtown itself is not much of a town, but it does have a gas station, pub, school, and restaurant. The restaurant (Eugene's) may not be famous, but at least the GPS has heard of it! Standing at the door, though, the GPS tried to direct us 130 meters down the street. Perhaps it was trying to save us from the dishes on offer inside. Dodie, however, did say the beef with barley soup was homemade and good.

The way back had us crossing Highway 93, which will be our eventual route North to Kalispell, Glacier Park, and finally the return to Canada (well, Alberta, anyway). It looked very busy, but it will be our only way out when the time comes.

We had been reading in some other blogs, including Neil Gunton`s, about the need to prepare for dog attacks. We have never had a problem with dogs, but still have some Halt on order. We also looked at a variety of sizes and powers of dog and bear spray at Cabella`s in Idaho. But so far we are travelling "unarmed". To our chagrin two sets of dogs chased us along their sides of chain link fences on our ride today. Then there was the third one, guarding a large warehouse yard, behind chain link also. Only this one had dug a way out and came for us. Now we may be unarmed, but Dodie has an airhorn, designed to fend off truckers. It seemed a bit crazy to install this bulky item, but it saved the day today. Dodie gave that dog a big blast, and it retreated at high speed! Now Dodie is on the hunt for an actual trucker to try it out on!

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