After a great nights sleep in the tipi and a big breakfast at the Stray Bullet, we hit the road at 08:40. It was around 50 degrees and cloudy when we started riding- perfect conditions for our 2,000′ climb over Huckleberry Pass. Shortly after we started a red fox ran across our road and we saw quite a few deer. At one point before we started climbing we stopped for a snack and both of us commented on how quiet it was. The quiet somehow makes the landscape larger. I tell you, Montana is big, beautiful and full of very kind friendly people.
Johnny D and I fairly motored up Huckleberry Pass and completed the 2,000′ climb by shortly after noon. We grazed on huckleberries on the way down- along with most of Lincoln it seemed….
We need to take a rest day in Lincoln because the post office, which has our next allotment of dinners, breakfasts and snacks, will not open until Monday morning and we arrived Sat afternoon… and besides that, our bodies (and bums) can use some rest.
We are staying at the Lincoln Hotel for two nights and it is like staying with your fun relatives. We did our laundry using the hotel’s machines and they dried and folded our clothes- for free! One lady drew us a map of where to go fishing tomorrow- we are really looking forward to a day off, and using it to go fishing!
oh yeah, At dinner tonight we each had huge ribeye steaks that were cut this morning from Montana cattle- delicious!
Daily totals: 36 miles and 2,700′ climbing
Yesterday we made note of, and provided a photo of, the Rice Ridge forest fire that affected this entire area. We ran into multiple local citizens who readily expressed frustration with the US Forest Service’s handling of the fire. Specifically, the locals say that the USFS initially let it burn when it first started, when it may have been possible to stop it. Instead, it exploded into an unstoppable fire, growing in size to over 160,000 acres before early Fall snows stopped it in its tracks. The “Forest Circus” tree in the photo below has been erected in Ovando as a form of citizen protest.
Scenery on the way up to Huckleberry Pass:
At the summit!
Johnny D picking huckleberries: