Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride
Friday, July 11, 2008
The most eventful thing today was changing a flat on our back tire. Pat had been thinking it seemed low and this morning, as we were all set to leave, it was quite soft. So we took everything off the bike again and changed the tire. We had used a thorn-resistant inner tube which seemed to work pretty well so we wanted to try to patch it. Our usual patch kit didn't do a very good job and the innkeeper offered to help. He did an excellent job of patching it and didn't even charge us for it. Given we were going to have a short day, we didn't feel very rushed and we finally set out at about 9. We went out the way we came so we could get a picture of the Ovando welcome sign that we had missed the night before. We also got some nice pictures of the town from the road and some of the "knobs" that had impressed Lewis when he came to this prairie. The knobs, which looked like little rolling hills, were rock piles left by glaciers moving through the area, according to one of the historic markers we read.
The day started chilly and warmed up nicely as we rode. It was still breezy (and still a tail wind!) but not as gusty as it was yesterday at times. Basically, a very pleasant day. We had a little more climb today, taking us up to about 4600 feet according to our map; we'll have another 1000 to go to reach the pass at the Continental Divide tomorrow. It looks like we'll be a bit lower (5610 feet) at this end of the Divide than we were at the other end, outside of Silver City, New Mexico, on April 29th, where we climbed to an elevation of 6230 feet.
The scenery today was similar to yesterday's - the Blackfoot River accompanied us for a good while today, and the Rockies got closer and closer. We passed a wetlands area and another marshy area that might have been part of the Blackfoot River passage. We reached Lincoln, MT by 12:30, not having passed another town along the way. Lincoln, like many of the other towns around here, is situated in a valley with a great view of the Rockies. We still haven't seen any exotic wildlife, just deer (in fact, one sauntered right through our motel this evening as we were sitting here working on the website!), but apparently grizzlies are seen near here occasionally - an 830-pound grizzly was killed at the edge of town in the last day or two.
We managed to get pretty much caught up on the stuff we didn't have time for on our rest day in Missoula, and hopefully we'll be well-rested for our climb tomorrow. We fretted over the route for the next week which had some long days with little to no services ending with 3 days in a row in campgrounds! That just won't do; to fix the problem we decided to add another short day so the days following it worked out better. I hate delaying our return any longer but we just couldn't see any better way around it. We ended the day with a little over 27 miles in a little under 2-3/4 bike hours. Doesn't get much easier than that.