Thursday, July 1, 2010

day 54. gallatin forest, mt to twin bridges, mt. 90ish miles.

First I'm gonna back track a bit and fill yall in on the remainder of day 53, which i finished after my initial blog post.

i walked into a shop called freeheel and wheel, a bike shop and coffee joint. i used their pump last week and wanted to show some love and buy some coffee. i ended up there for over an hour chatting with the gal behind the counter. she invited me to an evening game of ultimate frisbee but i declined stating that i still had ground to cover.

i departed around 7pm with no destination in mind. in montana there is light till about 10pm. i must give props to the madison arms resort in west yellowstone as they were going to put me up for free. to my dismay they were 5 miles in on a gravel road and i have developed a phobia of gravel. so i pressed on.

the weather beautiful as the sun lit up the ground around me and warmed my skin. i biked along a long lake for miles. houses built sparsely nearby and small resorts offering lake views passed in my peripheral. as the sun sat and the day began to wind down i found a small campsite off the road. in the gallatin national forest it costs $14 to camp for a night - perposterous i say! a storm rolled in just as i set up camp and secured my food from yogi. it rained, and lightning flashed all night.

when i awoke the next morning it was still storming so i slept in. i awakened to voices and sunlight and began the move to dry off and pack up. welp, just as i started to tear down the camp the rain moved in again. i just barely got everything secured in waterproof bags before the rain started to pour.
i sat behind a tree waiting until i decided the precipitation wasn't going to let up. i should have just slept for another hour. in no time the sun was out and i was cruising into a valley without any wind.

i pulled into ennis, mt shortly after noon and sat down at a local cafe. there i consumed a chili cheese burger, the best ever. i used the library for some net needs, stocked up on a few supplies and took off.

the first 10 miles climbed 2000 feet, the wind blowing and a hint of rain filled the air. during the long descent dark clouds loomed in the distance exactly where i was headed. i stopped to eat again at a local cafe in virginia city as the sky opened up and poured for an hour. as soon as it cleared i was off again, full and happy. within minutes it was raining again and i pulled into a small cafe in nevada city for coffee, ice cream and a cookie. these small towns pride themselves and exist purely for tourism. back in the day they were thousands strong because of mining but now they have dwindled to the 100s.

the rain finally cleared up and i pushed out the last 30 of the day to twin bridges, mt. at the local rest area and to my surprise a bike camp was set up. what i mean is, there was a unique shelter built just for touring cyclists. there is a bathroom, shower, tables, benches, a rack, pump and clothesline. everything a cyclist could want.

inside another person's gear was strewn about. as i got comfortable, jon, the owner of the gear, strolled in. he was from logan, utah and was on his way to kalispell, mt. we shotheshit for a while before 4 more cyclists joined us. these guys were riding from banff to denver. definitely nice to see other folks out there. one surprising thing about all of us there that night is that we are all in our 20s. usually i find that most touring cyclists are retired and are finally fulfilling a life long dream. for us, we are just banging this thing out early, leaving room for more adventures on down the road.

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