Day 44 - July 20
Total: 1756 miles
Moving Avg: 8.8 mph
Overall Avg: 6.3 mph
In the middle of the night, clouds rolled in and rain started falling. It was just a little spit, but we had left the fly off our tent. Ville had as well, so we both jumped out in the middle of the night and put flies on our tents.
When we woke in the morning, the sky was clear. It was my intention to wake early to beat the winds which pushed through the valley, but I couldn't muster the motivation to get out of bed. Neither could the other two, so I suppose we needed the rest after yesterday's battle. Everyday a new struggle.
We packed camp and rolled on. About eight miles into the day we passed some perfect camping areas, and were dismayed that we didn't push further yesterday. I suppose that is rather commmon though, to find a better campsite just past the bad ones.
When we rounded a bend, Apricots said "holy cow!" A few yards later, we realized it was just a long black fence, and not a wall of cows, as expected. Then a quarter mile layer we realized that Ville had stopped, it was then that our initial suspicions were confirmed. That giant mass of black blocking the road was indeed a herd of cows. This herd was the biggest we have seen since the border, and it was completely blocking the road and mooing up a racket. We dismounted our bikes and pushed through whooping and hollering at the cows. We got through and remounted for the ride to Lima.
Our ride continued to follow the Red Rocks River through the valley, where it filled Lima Reservoir toward mile 20 for our day. Ten miles later, after a rolling descent, we found ourselves munching mean burgers in Lima. We also picked up a wicked awesome care package from my mom, which rounded out our food nicely.
Back to the trail, I was just beginning to believe that I was in for another few days of arid basin, akin to the Great Divide Basin. Fortunately big Sky country started to let up on the high desert basin feeling late today. We rode into a deep canyon with a beautiful rocky river flowing next to the trail. We watched swimming hole after swimming hole pass by as we pushed to camp, knowing we would have a swimming hole of our own.
Sure enough, our nice campsite, lush with flat soft grass was situated below towering rock walls which plunged vertically toward Big Sheep Creek. We dropped our bikes and slopped through the mud into the rocky area of the stream, enjoying a refreshing afternoon bath.
Tomorrow, hopefully we push the 64 miles to Bannack State Park. One long steady climb followed by a longer descent. If the wind behaves, and the road stays smoothish, we should be good.
Live life at a slower place.