Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride

Friday, July 11, 2008
Ovando, MT to Lincoln, MT
27 miles (5892 total miles)

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.

The welcome to Ovando - note the dogs outnumber people 2 to 1

Scenes of Ovando from the road

Trixi's (hiding behind the trees) - last night's dining spot

Some examples of what Capt. Lewis called the Prairie of the Knobs

Looking back on the valley from a rise - snow on the mountains in the distance

More 'knobs'

The crystal clear North Fork of the Blackfoot River

A creek trying to join the river, dammed up by dead logs

Another marker about Bob Marshall's contribution to the local wilderness preservation
note the last paragraph is identical to the one at the Ovando museum

Working on a roof for a log cabin - a popular house style in these parts


One of the taller hills

The Blackfoot River running alongside the road again

The river does a lot of twisting and turning

The hills keep getting taller

Some cows seem to be considering jumping down the steep bank for a drink

A ranch gate with a stenciled sign saying Coyote Canyon Ranch

Hill covered with trees

The tail end of a logging truck - we see several of them each day

Hills blanketed with trees and trees along the river in the foreground

A glimpse of the river from higher up

More wooded hills ahead

The ever-changing Blackfoot River

Lewis & Clark get their name on everything!

A marshy area

A beautiful view of the Rockies ahead

Approaching Lincoln - a log-cabin style house

A snow-capped peak at the edge of town

Another peak looming over the valley's houses

Horses watch us from one side of the road...

and llamas from the other!

I liked this sign in our motel's office