Saturday, August 8, 2009

Day 10 - Jct 200 & 141 to Townsend, MT - 95 miles

A brisk morning made for good sleeping and when Todd came by at around 7:30 with the food I had stored in his pickup truck (grizzly prevention), I was still in the tent. We chatted for a while before he went off to do whatever needed to be done – there’s no such thing as weekends for farmers – and I packed up for another day of riding into the inevitable rain. So far I’ve been stuck in an 'anomalous weather' vortex. I keep hearing “it’s never this hot here” or “it never rains this much in Montana”.

The first 33 miles were to be through a fairly treeless area with very little protection to hide under when the rains hit. I was hoping to make it through this stretch unscathed at which point I’d stop to get something to eat and to take shelter if necessary. The one hard part about ‘winging it’ as I am –in terms of the route I’m taking – is that you never really know what you’ll find when you get to a town. Well you can imagine my disappointment when I got to Avon after the initial 33 mile leg to see this sign hanging in the only shop in town – “Closed Saturday August 8th for Jo’s birthday – gone huckleberry picking!” Well the nerve of some people! Fortunately there was a small café on the road leaving town and I was able to get some pancakes and hot coffee.

The rains still hadn’t come when I reached the summit of McDonald Pass and I began an awesome descent that took me 17 miles (!!!) all the way into Helena. And to top it off, the warmth of the sun in town feltamazing after a blustery ride down the mountain. Felt so good, I went another 35 miles before camping along side the road in the town of Townsend.

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