Sticks and stones, rocks, roots and rutts

Got a good start out of Helena from Eric and J’s house yesterday. Quick stop in downtown to try and get some cash, but the ATM machine decided to eat my card. Ever onwards, I rode up nice graded roads until I stopped for water and met Nolan and Mekela. We rode together for the day.

Most notable experience – the “technical” section of the pass. Totally unrideable by me. N and M seemed.to levitate right over it. Fortunaltey my fast walking g technique kept me pretty close to their pace. I had to repack after my seat bag kept hitting my wheel. Took a tiny spill.

Saw Gregor, Mark and John – still setting a mean pace! Nice long descent Into Butte with just one seriously wrong turn.

Butte is weird! Old buildings, not many people, lots empty or unoccupied. The cafe open the earliest served me breakfast, but was a card only joint. 2 hours of screwing around later I finally paid. What a waste!

Now: Gamers for pastries and pasties.

The Lost Wallet

The road from Seely Lake to Ovando is really horrible. Baby head gravel, dusty, generally yuck. But, I did meet a few nice folks driving along, and apparently just after that my wallet ejected itself from my pocket.

I did not discover the ejection until about 10:30 that evening, far too late to do anything but panic cancel. I thought: better to look than wait for a replacement.

The next day, Kathy (angler on bikepacking.net) let me tag along as she went back to Seely, checking for my lost goods on the way. No luck. When I arrived in Seely I asked at the restaurant I ate at the night before. No luck. I called Marcie to tell her I was going to cancel my cards and she said “Elizabeth Wick has your wallet”.

Elizabeth was in the truck that I said hi to on the road from Seely to Ovando, and her and her husband spotted my wallet and messaged many of my Facebook friends with the news.

This story gets even longer and weirder, but in the end Liz and her husband found me at a rest stop and delivered my wallet intact.

A lot of things have gone wrong on this trip, but they pale in comparison to the thing that have gone right, and the things that have gone right are because of very kind and generous people like Kathy and Elizabeth. I’m not giving enough credit to about a dozen others who were incredibly helpful. Thank you all, it’s really humbling to be on the receiving end of such good luck.

Happy Solstice – Jun 20 update

hey All,

Long story short – my phones (both) are dead until I can find a way to reliably charge them. My wallet was lost but now is found. I couldn’t have done it with out all of you.

Tonight: Ovando (again), tomorrow – Lincoln?

Father’s day photos

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My hosts for Saturday night.

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Saw Nyla on the trail and she gave me some water. Thank Nyla!

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My m and ms match my Jersey

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The hunters snapped a photo of me

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Nancy was super nice, stopped to chat on the road.

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Trees.

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The Hunters (Garret and Tyler are the kids, sorry parents I spaced your names!)

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More trees

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This is my trusty SKS fender. More beat than me, but doing its one job great.

What I know today

Just random snippets..

+ I love the bird song
+ What ever it is, I can handle it.
+ Bears 1-5, no big deal, but bear 6 still worries me (I haven’t seen bear 6 yet, so he’s just a fantasy bear)
+ Fifty miles a day and good conversation is better than an angry 90
+ For this trip, only take the barest of essentials – then add an extra of everything. You’ll need it.
+ Rain jacket == wind shirt, leave the wind shirt at home.
+ I need coffee.
+ I like people. I like being alone too. Room to think.
+ Bring a wireless charger!
+ Figure out the tent peg situation
+ write it down now or you’ll forget
+ you know what they call gravel that is the size of babies heads? Baby head gravel
+ practice walking your bike
+ practice starting a fire with wet wood
+ My next app will be called “Sugar Hi!”
+ take the Tai chi class
+ Nipple guards, especially for the right one.
+ if you don’t ride the night you don’t need the light
+ My book will be called “posted” after all the no hunting signs.
+ Continue reading “What I know today”

Swan Lake

So swan lake is on my cue sheet, but not right on the route so I overshot the turn by 3 miles or so. The mosquitos were so thick I had to put on feet just to read map. After some backtracking I pulled in at the Swan Guard cabin on the off chance it was empty. It was not, but these lovely people fed me, gave me a bed to sleep on, and kept me entertained! Thank Joe, Erin, Mindy and Kim!

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Miscellaneous T

+ I have a special technique for hills: walk

+ Hey Josh Kato, let’s make right sized hydration bladders.

+ JB Weld in the kit next time. Or at least 2 spare derailleur hangers.

+ practice packing and unpacking. Got it down pat.

+ The sign of a successful day on the tour is whether or not you left something behind. (Knee warmers, fears, etc)

+ Really – this trip has been more about taking stuff out of my kit than putting it in.

+ I have an almost irresistible urge to know what’s around the corner.

+ Why oh why does Montana have such big sky? Really! I don’t understand it but it does.

+ There are fewer convenience stores than you think.

Notes over breakfast

Not arranged in any order, random snippets. Move along, nothing to see here ūüôā

+ I really don’t feel like eating at all, at least not this morning. Food is important but it’s a struggle to keep piling it in. I thought this ride would be about eating, it is but not like I thought.

+ Man my body is beat up – not the parts I expected (legs are sore but not the worst I’ve ever had, thank you squats). Arm is seriously bruised from one of my spills, my hands look like a war zone – it hurts to use either thumb and most of my fingers, my nose is very dry and painful, my right leg is a mass of cuts and scrapes.

The good news is that my quads, butt, arms and neck are all basically fine. Butt issues are a BIG deal, and I’ve probably over prepared but I’m happy to say so far so good

+ This is day 8 in the same clothes. Everything but the socks are doing well. Really like my long sleeved ibex Jersey, and the fancy Rapha shorts I got (spendy, but worth it). The socks will have to be burned.

+ The tour a weird combo of credit card touring and sufferfest. Today looks relatively easy, lots of pavement, hills not as tall.

+ I wonder a lot about the business end of this whole deal – plenty of money is going out (of me), but it’s just kind of
Random.

+ Weird mix of awareness and ignorance about the tour divide among the locals.

+ I look like a bum. Especially in my rain gear.

Day 7 – and where to see what’s new

Greetings loyal readers and new friends. Apologies on the lack of updates. You’d be correct to assume technical difficulties.

The easiest way to see what’s happening is to check my facebook page.¬†https://www.facebook.com/dave.reeck .¬†That really is the easiest way for me to post updates. Not a fishing scam, I swear, and I’d be happy to have you on my list of friends (if you’re not already).

Less frequent updates are here:  https://www.facebook.com/keeppedaling.us

And now, the news:

Day 6: Egress from Eureka (sorry, alliteration is just in my nature)

Woke up and 5, thought better of it, and woke up again at 9. Got slowly packed, and ran into Ralph as he was getting up. Very glad to see he made it through the infamous Connector, since I think he was all by himself and it was getting late in the evening when he tried it.

Rode out of town, got off track. Got back track and found Graves Creek road. Up to HA Brewery where Andy graciously offered me some water and snacks and a life story even though they were closed. Good thing too, I was worried I was low on food.

Father up the trail I rain into the Florida boys – 4 guys from a florida bike shop doing the route in 2 months. Thomas, Kyle, TJ and Matt. No pics, sorry. Tuchuck campground for about 10 min, then onward to an intermediate camp between there and Red Medow lake. Missed the intermediate camp, but got to meet Terry (Crazy Guy Shooting Gophers – sorry if I got your name wrong!), and Evelyn, Keith and Keiler (stopped at Waltz lodge, sorry if I got your name wrong), and found myself headed up to Red Meadow Campground. It was farther than I really thought I should go, but made it just about 9:30 PM. I was honestly worried about meeting Bear 6, as I was the only resident of the campground. But it had bear boxes, a toilet, and was closer than anything else I could reasonably get to so I stayed. Failed to light a fire (tried for a long time, I blame wet kindling), unpacked into a bear box, setup my bivy and tarp and went to sleep about 11.

12:45 I woke to see a cyclist riding through. I found out in the morning it was Nick Wagers¬†who’d decided to join me at the camp ground. Whoa! 12:45! It was kind of a rough night of sleep (no cpap when camping), and at 5:00 I woke up to light rain. Then snow. Then lots of hard preciptation of an unknown variety (I was climbing deeper and deeper into my bivy, hoping it would blow over). It finally blew over around 7:30, and I made my best time packing and leaving, only to stumble across Nick on the way out.

The descent off Red Meadow was longer than I expected, and far less steep/fast than some of the passes. I got off-course for a couple miles (dang!), back on course, and finally down to Whitefish. It was a long haul.

Some BBQ, a stop at the bike shop, and off to the library where I am now. Hopefully they’ll have Clyde my Bike back in good order in an hour or so.

 

Day 7: Whitefish and ?