So many things have happened since my last blog post on July 2! And since I am a born list-maker, here are some bullet points of our adventures since our last post....
*Instead of hitching a ride with Heaven to Jackson to fix my bike seat, Cowboy Jim, who works maintenance at Lava Lodge, fixed my seat with a simple bolt. He is the great-great grandson of John Wesley Hardin, gunfighter that killed 22 men. Read more in the book, Life and Times of John Wesley Hardin.
* For the second time in two years, we got to cycle around the Tetons. Same area as the photo on our website. Downhill and gorgeous!
* Spent the Fourth in the town of Ashton, Idaho. Great parade—went down mainstreet, turned around paraded back! Lots of kids, no tanks.
* Arrived early in the day at the hotel in Lima, Montana, and watched marble-size hail fall outside of our room. Jack and Dink show up in the hotel room next door! Next morning, rode ten miles to eat at the historic Yesterday’s Calf-A, a cafe with home cooked food, housed in a former one-room schoolhouse. Started the day with cherry pie.
* Camped at the Bannack State Park campground. Bannack, Montana, is a well-preserved ghost town. I love abandoned buildings and really enjoyed walking through the houses, hotel, and Masonic Lodge.
*Next day, a short ride (26 miles) to the Elkhorn Hot Springs. We stayed at the lodge, with complimentary entrance to the hot springs and breakfast buffet the next day. The hot springs was basically a big concrete pool and we loved it. And guess what! Steff and Quentin showed up in the room next to us. Funny how you can stay with the same lovely people throughout a tour.
* After next morning’s great breakfast buffet at Elkhorn, we tackled Fleecer Ridge on the GDMBR. Someone said a 38% incline. As Adventure Cycling says on the map, a ridiculously steep hill. John and I had to throw off our panniers to get our bikes up. I was literally moving my bike four inches at a time. Process: plant feet firmly in sandy soil; use arm strength to push bike four inches uphill; continue. Don’t look up to gauge progress too often. Cuss frequently and well. At times I couldn’t push hard enough to get my front tire over an inch-high rock. Steff and Quentin were also going uphill and as true Trail Angels, helped us with our panniers. Quent even pushed my bike a bit. Ridiculously steep, indeed.
*And now we have a day off in Helena, Montana. I really like this town. Beautiful buildings with stonework; good bakery; cheap hotel with bathtub, fridge, and microwave.
* And things have changed a bit for me, mentally. Really enjoying the trip and will be sad for it to finish in 600 miles. I really believe I could live this cycling life for years as long as I had the opportunity to see family and friends. Missing loved ones.
Looking forward to getting back on the bike tomorrow to ride to Barbara Nye’s Llama Farm! We have the cabin reserved and everything! Xxoo