Friday, June 12, 2009
Today we had a treat on our way back from Yellowstone. About 10 miles outside of Lewistown we saw a bicyclist up ahead. When we had come closer it began to look like a tandem... no wait... it was a recumbent tandem! First glance they looked like they were just out for the day but then we noticed that they had duffle bags strapped to a back rack.
After passing them Heather gave a merry honk of the horn, *that’s the key, honk after you pass,* Dave said, "We've gotta stop." Finally Heather pulled the car off onto a side road (not very many of those in Montana) big enough for them to safely pull their bike off the road. They soon caught up to Dave who stood in the road making an "X" with his body by spreading legs and stretching arms skyward, all to let them know we were waiting especially for them.
We pounced on them as they pulled in and kept them on the side of the road for 15 minutes talking all about their bike and experiences to date while throwing in a few stories of ours. Eventually we asked their day’s destination. They had plans to stay in Lewistown at a motel where replacement tires had been shipped to them. The least we could do was offer to take them to dinner and happily they accepted.
We had such a good time it was hard to find a way to end it all. If it hadn't been for the fact that Heather parked the rental car in a space reserved for another room at the motel we'd have probably still been talking. Later Dave said that the way we talked over our similar journeys was just like four ants with antennae buzzing about a picnic lunch nearby.
The funniest part of the experience for us was that we knew these folks before we met them... sort of. Our savior from around day 42, Mark from Sioux City, had mentioned that in communication through warmshowers.org he was expecting a couple riding a recumbent tandem to stay with him over the summer as they rode their cross country route. "Hey, maybe you'll see them out there," he joked.
Turns out that Brian and Pam were that couple and we'd never had met them if things had gone "according to plan." They detoured to Lewistown to replace a couple of blown tires and we had imagined that we were going to pass through Lewistown sometime in July/August on our way back to Ohio from Oregon. Yet with the Big Sky all around and a dusty road under tire we found another couple of cyclist's enjoying their own adventure.
Heather, Dave and Brian, photo taken by Pam.