Day 20: Saturday, July 11, 1981
Big Hole Pass to Sheridan: 77 miles
Ants are nowhere near as bad as mosquitoes. The wind on Big Hole Pass, and the lack of water, kept those pesky airborne critters away. I missed sunrise - darn! - but we were on our way by 7:30, and enjoyed a beautiful downhill almost all the way to Dillon. Bannock was the first territorial capital of Montana, and a gold mining town. It is now a ghost town that has been turned into a state park. I wanted to stop, but it was four miles down a gravel road, and Jack and Guy were more interested in racking up mileage.
We made the 38 miles to Dillon in time for a second breakfast, and showered at the seedy Metlin Hotel and did a laundry. Patti's Bikecentennial group was also in Dillon. They had seen Rick - said he was half a day ahead of us, and was wondering when he would ever catch up!
|Name these flowers!|
After Dillon, it was 28 miles NNE to Twin Bridges, then back SSE. We played cat-and-mouse with half a dozen thunderstorms, and managed to stay mostly dry. But my front tire gave out today. Luckily, I had just bought a spare in Dillon. Guy stayed with me during repairs, but Jack decided to mosey on. After the wheel and all the gear were back on the bike and we were all ready to take off, I couldn't find my helmet. After a ten-minute search, we gave up looking. But - miracle of miracles - it appeared again ten miles down the road! I had set it on top of Jack's load, and he had ridden off, never realizing it was there. The helmet had budged not a whit all the way to Twin Bridges.
|We played cat-and-mouse with thunderstorms.|
We met the Bikecentennial group again in Twin Bridges. They had decided to spend the night there, but we moved on to Sheridan. The town park is very nice - except for the mosquitoes. In Sheridan we picked up another biker, Frank from New York, who is just traveling around and happens to be sharing our route for a while.
|We decided not to look for the pot o' gold.|
I'm sitting in the john to write this - no mosquitoes!
It was a good day today, except for the combination upgrade/headwind from Twin Bridges to Sheridan, and when I inhaled a puff of cotton from a cottonwood tree.