Tour Divide – Stormy Weather
It’s been a difficult few days due to the weather. Heavy storms are predicted to continue for a good week to come. Lightning and thunderstorms are a worry due to forest fires also. Yikes!
This event is a fair challenge and there’s a long way to go! My cycling buddy Chris, (whom I wouldn’t be here without) requested a rest this afternoon so I found myself at a Grizzly Exposition and a Wild Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Montana.
I am now covered in mosquito bites despite the Deet repellant and I’ve been taking antihistamine tablets to help. Still scratching! They’re monsters!
Last night, just before dark, we found the best ever toilet to camp in! (Really it wasn’t smelly and it was warm.) It will save us putting up tents in the rain and also taking down, then carrying a wet tent.
We woke up warm but we are currently at over three times the altitude of Skiddaw. At least when moving, we can keep warm. The worry is, if there is a Bike mechanical issue, stopping for a period of time may reduce body temperature to a risk of hypothermia here and now. Also descending makes your body colder as you are not working so hard and there is much cooling from wind chill. After a seemingly long descent we reached the town of Basin and an open cafe. Welcome! The waitress switched on the fire in the corner where we hung out dripping clothes and had our mugs repeatedly filled with coffee. Our first American pancakes. Yummy! On the plate there were also many fried things but “biscuits” which are like our scones, covered in “gravy”, all for breakfast. It was quite a carb load but when you are this cold, warm stodge is welcome! I am dreaming though of my own yummy porridge with fruit and yoghurt!
After three and half hours at high altitude in snow, we found a café. The owner was so kind to allow us to drip by the fire as we drank our 7th cup of coffee with more coming. We are soaked to the skin. All our kit is soaked and totally water logged. And it’s cold! At the café the pancakes didn’t touch the sides. Looking at the bad forecast and the altitudes we need to climb, there are going to be a hard few days to come.
Three buckets of coffee later we still haven’t moved from the cafe’s fire. It will be good to have a proper room again though and a bit of recovery time.
A good nights sleep helped as did the buckets of coffee but the storms continued as we pressed onward. As you can see in the photo I’m not wearing my Keswick Bikes mitts, too cold for those sadly. I’m using my home made bright orange mittens and they are working like a charm! It was another wet day and last night was spent sleeping in a lake side toilet. See the picture, an actual toilet, well, “outhouse”! Nearly everywhere around here has “Basin” in the name, and it feels like that basin is full of water. To hide from the continuing thunderstorms at 6500 feet, the sleeping in the toilet was necessary. It was an amazing scenic toilet as you can see, really the best!
The following day the rain started to break. A wet morning but we did get a nice dry camp for that night as you can see. The dry camp has raised spirits so eager for tomorrow!
Philippa’s blog created by KMB.
Written on June 17th, 2018 by Staff Minion