Le Tour de Koocanusa to benefit Search and Rescue

By Brian Baxter


David Thompson Search and Rescue is one of the most important organizations in Libby. Along with local law enforcement agencies, ambulance, and fire departments, they are the ones we call when we are in trouble and need help. Especially if we have a loved one, family member, or friend in immediate need. Our local outdoor professionals really appreciate the DTSAR group. Many of us work in remote locations, often on our own. We know the risks, and for many the solitude is an attractive aspect of the job. But we are always keenly aware and comforted to know the DTSAR folks are there if we need them. And they need our support too. The training is intense for search and rescue volunteers, and the commitment a serious one. They need volunteers. Please contact them if you are interested at the official website: dtsar.org; Email dtsar@frontiernet.net; Phone 406-293-3556, Or in emergency call 911 and ask for DTSAR, and additionally you can try 406-293-4112.

DTSAR is sponsoring the Le Tour de Koocanusa, an 83 mile round trip bicycle adventure on Saturday, August 10th. Bicyclists must register by August 1st. You can register on line at: www.letourdekoocanusa.com or try phoning 406-293-3556. In a pinch, try calling Terry Crooks at: 406-293-6629. Absolute last registration day is Monday, Aug. 5th, 2019. Ride registration fee is $ 60.00 dollars and includes bike ride; support vehicles; 3 food and beverage stops; 2 water and electrolyte stops; a T-shirt; and one ticket for our jammin Riverfront Blues Festival in Riverfront Park that day / eve from 12 noon to 12 midnight. The schedule is for a Friday Aug. 9th 4pm to 8 pm Rider Check in and packet pick up at the Venture Inn at 1015 W. 9th St. in Libby. On Saturday, a last chance check in will occur at the riders start point on the access road below the Libby Dam at the David Thompson bridge at 7 am to 7:45 am. The ride begins at 8:00 am.

If riders need any last minute parts or work, try Libby’s Bad Medicine Bike Shop located at 1000 MT. Hwy 37, and the phone is 406-291-4075. Check out owner Bryce Huck’s FB page at badmedicinebikeshop. For general lodging info see www.explorelibbymontana.com and for area overview check the kootenaicountrymontana.com site. For local Army Corps of Engineers Camp sites call 406-293-5577 and for camping closer to the music festival at J. Neils Park call 406-293-5900. To check out lodging near the river and the dam call the Riverbend Restaurant & Kootenai Angler at: 1-800-322-9339; the Heron’s Roost at: 406-293-3530; or the Koocanusa Resort at: 406-293-7474. The route starts at David Thompson Road below the Libby Dam, then continues northwest on road 228 (W. Kootenai Road)  up and over the Rexford bridge, along Koocanusa to Libby Dam Road and the point of beginning.

And the route is a most awesome one pulsating with the beauty of nature and dreams of local history. The Kootenay (Canada) or Kootenai (USA) River is one of the major tributaries of the Columbia River, the largest North American River that empties into the Pacific Ocean. The Kootenai runs 485 miles from it’s headwaters in the Canadian Rockies near Golden, B.C. in the Beaverfoot Range, and flows from B.C.’s East Kootenay region into northwest Montana, then west into the Idaho Panhandle. From there, the river returns to the West Kootenay region of British Columbia, where it joins the Columbia at Castlegar, B.C. and re-enters the U.S. near Northport, Washington.