After a fantastic nights sleep at the Hildreth Livestock Ranch and some dreary purple gruel for breakfast we headed out from the ranch. But then the Hildreth family: Donna, Chuck and their son Lane all came out to see us off. And then Lane started showing us his rock collection… and 1/2 hour later we left after discussing rocks and minerals the whole time. What a nice family- the Hildreth ranch, by the way, is one of the oldest continuously operating cattle ranches in Montana- it has been operating for well over one hundred years.
So, we left the ranch at 09:45 and took a shortcut through a freshly mown hay field. We then had about a 900′ climb, quite steep at the top, before our downhill started. We had an absolutely stunning 25 mile gently winding downhill ride through a series of beautiful canyons. We kept stopping and saying Wow! and other equally expressive and articulate exclamations. We both agree this was our favorite day so far.
And, while we had a headwind for most of the day, we were going downhill and it was just strong enough to help keep us from overheating in the intense sun. Then the last 7 miles, uphill to Lima, we had a strong tailwind! It was the frosting on the cake!
Daily totals: 44 miles and 2,000′ of climbing
The cabin where we stayed on the Hildreth Livestock Ranch:
The road to the top:
The view from the top- it was a screaming downhill!
We were riding on the old Bannack freight road established (and last graded) in 1862:
You can see the road we will be riding way down below…
Some pretty flowers today:
Some of the canyon roads we rode today. Beautiful, and remote:
Big Sheep Creek:
This is the bank in Lima: