Tour Divide – Welcome to Yellowstone
As we left Montana, ( the land of beef – so said a waitress when I asked why fish was rarely on the menu despite Wise River being famous in USA for fly fishing ), the never-heard-of-before storms stopped, the weather improved and concerns of hypothermia subsided.
Headwinds made the journey slower and adding to the challenge of Bannock Road, a bike push through gravel for 5 hours but peaceful all the way!
Our last evening in Montana was a stunning, rolling ride, passing a wildlife reserve but when looking for a place to camp for the night there were endless fields of cattle. So we camped with the cattle anyway!
Bellowing cows were our morning alarm call. The morning was fresh with much condensation on the tent and I was hoping my water purification tablets would be sufficient to make potable water from the stream. I was regretting leaving the water filter that I had bought especially for the trip at home so i also filtered the water through my buff.
The morning’s ride over Red Rock Pass into Idaho was also very, very stunning and we all “whooped”as we passed in to the next state.
We only rode in Idaho, (apparently the state of lightning strikes), for part of a day and the first few miles in Wyoming flew by as there was a fair bit of road to catch up on easy miles. Views of the Tetons were beautiful. We had a quick lunch stop for some slightly more substantial food at an all too frequent “Subway”! but before we went in to grab another burrito and sweetened ice tea, we all draped our wet tents and sleepingbags over a fence in the car park to dry in the sun. Less than an hour later, we were on our way again but first, a petrol station stop to top up on nuts and energy bars as we will be wild camping again tonight. I do love that simplicity!
The next day we rode over Togwotee Pass at 9500ft where there was still snow to push our bikes through. Where it had melted, it was mud made of peanut butter that stuck to your tyres and pedals. I had to pull it off in chunks for my wheels to turn. When we arrived at Mt Lava Lodge for a shower and bed for the night after 15 hours on the bike, it had just closed as there was a sewage problem. Oh! We did persuade the owner of the petrol station there to sell us some frozen burritos (really the best available option !) to microwave, one for now and another for breakfast. Yuck but those 800 easy calories needed.
We keep seeing online that so many riders have “scratched”, (quit) the ride due to the weather, ( mainly), earlier this week.
Looking over the GPS tracker this morning it seems that Lewis Ciddor has finished! Amazing speed! As we ride further south, the route becomes less technical with less bike pushing, less mud and the weather is warming.
Philippa’s photos and written by KMB.
RVs camped at the South End of Union Pass:
Written on June 23rd, 2018 by Staff Minion