After breakfast, going to the UPS store and hitting Walmart for a few supplies, we didn’t head out of Butte until around 9:30.
JD here – I experienced a first today when we were only about 5 miles from Butte, riding along a county road shoulder when I ran over a sharp object of some sort that punctured my rear tire. By way of background, both of us are riding on tubeless mountain bike tires. Such tires have a liquid sealant that sloshes around inside as you ride. So when I ran over the sharp object my tire immediately began to spurt orange sealant – even spraying Buck, who was close behind. But after a couple minutes the puncture was fully sealed as the sealant did its job, plugging the hole. There was even no material drop in air pressure – despite the hole being at least 1/4 inch in size. I am sold on tubeless tires!
After leaving Butte, we started climbing immediately- initially on pavement and then on gravel roads of variable quality…
After a 20 mile climb we crossed the divide again! We then were on a roly poly road on top for about 7 or 8 miles, riding into a fierce headwind. Sometimes we were on level ground, in our lowest climbing gear, and were going < 5mph. Sheesh!
We eventually started a 3,000′ descent and had a wild ride on loose gravel over hard dirt- it’s like riding on marbles…
We are at a very nice campground on the Big Hole river in Montana. After bathing in the (very cold) river, we washed clothes, set up camp and then cooked dinner. After dessert we had a wee dram of bourbon and a small campfire- lovely evening!
Daily totals: 45 miles and 3,100′ of climbing (89 miles and 6,400′ of climbing in the last two days) Trip total: 682 miles
We rode through the Beaverhead National Forest- 3.5 million acres and 50% has been killed by beetles:
The road on top of the summit- straight into a screaming wind:
Right before heading down on a steep slope with loose gravel into a screaming wind:
Midway down our descent:
An extremely large, prehistoric looking mushroom like fungus:
5’sies at camp- what a bartender!