Friday, August 9, 2013

Day 40 Daunted Courage, August 8, 2013

Progress to date (in red):

We spent today in Missoula, Montana and will stay here through the weekend.  Our first stop this morning was the Adventure Cycling Association’s headquarters.  We are using ACA’s route maps as we re-trace the Lewis & Clark trail, and they have developed many other bike routes across the United States.  It’s a cool organization:  Visitors are treated to a personal tour – our guide today was Gage Poore, who patiently tolerated Sho and Saya’s rambunctious behavior.  Arlen Hall, ACA’s Tours Director, offered to host us at his home tomorrow night, and Melissa Thompson, ACA’s GIS Specialist, will host us Saturday night.  How cool is that?  I met Melissa in New York City in 2009 when she cycled with two friends from Los Angeles to Boston.  And Arlen has logged over 40,000 miles leading middle and high school students on bicycle trips.

In the afternoon, we cycled to the Montana Department of Transportation, where we met with DOT officials Pat Basting, Shane Stack and Dave Krause to discuss our roadkill project.  The Missoula District of Montana is a model for the rest of the country, with over 80 animal crossings completed and around 25 more planned.  Since 1998, they’ve been collecting roadkill data from the maintenance crews who clean up the roads twice a week and document the animals they find.  The DOT uses that data to identify hot spots where an animal crossing would be most effective, then works to get the project funded, either as a stand alone or part of a broader road improvement initiative.  I love meeting people who solve specific problems in a practical way.  Here’s a link to a series of videos of one of their animal crossings, showing the various animals crossing underneath I-93 (scroll to bottom of page):

Here are some pics:
Sho and Saya outside the Adventure Cycling Association's HQ

Missoula -- surfers were riding the rapids

Montana DOT officials Shane Stack and Pat Basting

Saya being silly with Pat, Shane and me

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