Did you ever notice when your driving your car, that to the right of all the lanes there is a little extra road on the side? This is called the shoulder. This is where Legs and I spend a good deal of our lives now. These shoulders come in all widths and conditions.
Anyone from Oregon will tell you that everyone rides their bikes all the time. You would expect the shoulder to be nice and wide, with new pavement and kept perfectly clean. For the first two days of our journey, this seemed to be true. Then we came into lumber country. All of a sudden the shoulder is full of huge chunks a bark, pieces of logging trucks (tires and engine parts) and roadkill. It is amazing how many dead animals are on the side of the road. I wish I were a trapper, finding pelts would be a cinch.
Washington has very similar shoulders as Oregon, just more car parts strewn about.
Once you get to Idaho everything changes. The shoulders are wide but they are full of glass. There is glass everywhere. Its as if everyone in a car is drinking from glass bottles all the time and disposing of them out the window. We've all seen the road after a car crash. Little shards of glass all over the road. Its as if there has been a crash on the side of every road. On the bright side we didn't have a single flat because of glass.
Montana is a land of snow in the winter. Because of this they put gravel on the roads. All this gravel ends up on the shoulder. This is a problem for bikers. Its like your biking on ice when your going downhill, and like you have flat tires on the uphills. Montana needs to invest in some street sweepers.
All in all, the roads have been fine. People are great when they pass us, and give us a wide birth. From what I gather, roads get much worse as you go east, and there is a lot more east to come. This should provide some great material for future Ryan's Rants.