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Day 4 - Thompson Falls, Montana to Missoula, Montana
105 miles
2850' climbing

We had a time change the night before, and since the day was so short, Lon and Susan decided to let us sleep in an extra half hour, so we started at 7AM. I had a little extra energy and ended up with a little bit faster group after the first snack stop. We were taking a detour that Pete was supposed to be painting, but since we weren't stopping to paint arrows, we caught him. We found the correct roads and rolled along happily. Susan kept a small group of us together for a while with her stories. The group was pretty fast, but stuck together for conversation. It would be the only time I could keep up with Robert, practically a neighbor of mine from nearby Belmont Massachusetts, who I had just met a month before the trip. Also riding with this group was Darren, a field engineer from Atlanta, Craig, who worked and trained with Darren sometimes in California, Jane, who's name I recognized from a RAAM qualifier we had both done in Johnstown, NY, as well as Susan, Renee and Julie.

We stayed together until just before lunch when we hit some big rollers. A fifteen mile gradual climb after lunch broke the group up, but Renee, Julie and I finished together. I had hoped to get into the massage line first that evening, and I hovered around waiting for Phil to set up. Then Renee, Julie and I explored Missoula in search of interesting places and a bike shop, and eventually found one, but there was nothing I really had to buy. After dinner we did walk by the BikeCentennial offices, but they were closed. I did find some really great postcards at the hotel and bought enough to last the three days that we would spend in Montana. The cutest one showed a bird on a bike passing a deer on a bike and was labeled "Passing the Buck".