Day 36 

Connor, MT to Lolo, MT – 67 miles 

Stayed in a motel/bar along the highway, even the clerk warned me it wasn’t the Ritz.  It really wasn’t bad and the friendly people there helped piece my ride back together.  I went to the bar hoping my packages to repair the nine had arrived and brought my broken cleats with me in.  A couple bar patrons offered to help put couldn’t get the cleats off my shoe.  Finally the cook who has a workshop in back went to work on them and with sparks flying got them removed.  He also cooked up a good bowl of spaghetti.  Finally, the Levine family rescue packages arrived and dare say I now had a fully functional bicycle. Thanks everyone! The ride ended up being one of the smoothest easiest days so far, steady down to around 3000ft with a tailwind. Temperature was much milder also with the day between 40-65f. 

Sunrise not bad at all 

Becca’s future home more bitterroots, end of the Rockies, onwards to the much more intimidating Cascades Becca’s future job Darby, MT

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Day 35 – A Long Way Traveled 

Jackson, MT to Connor, MT – 61 miles 

Another day with a broken down bike.  Temperature on the road this morning was down to 30.7F, and it is July. Tried twice more to patch the rear tube with very limited success.  Today called for the last climb of the Rockies – Chief Joseph Pass the Nez Perce who was one of the last free Native Americans to be captured and forced into a reservation by the US government. “I shall fight no more forever” I believe was his memorable line.  I figure I’ll fight one last day over this pass on a flat and single working pedal.  

Top of the pass, it was about 3000 feet of descending on a flat after this 

Forrest Gump road 
Selfie 1 

Bitterroot mountains 

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Day 34 – Rough times in Montana 

Sheridan, MT to Jackson, MT – 85 miles

Today was a low point.  Really struggled with the conditions.  Started late due to cold rain and snow showers in the area.  Wind was really rough after the first 10 miles but expected that I was turning north out of it all day, should of checked the map more clearly. Once the wind became really bad I got a flat. No problem, I carry 2 tubes and can handle this just fine. Actually, one tube was lost along the way. Still, no problem, just don’t puncture the tube as you put it on. Shit.  For some reason, and I never thought I’d need it I actually brought a tube repair kit. So I got to work on that in the 30+ mile hour wind on the busy highway.  Eventually got it on and everything packed up and going up the large mountains for the day with one working pedal,  serious headwind.  Then I notice the tire still does not hold air.  Every 3-4 miles stop and move off the side of the road, detach the hand pump, pump till my arms are numb, reattach, bike, repeat.  Finished at 7 pm, tire and pedal situation still up in the air, hopefully resolved soon. ​

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Day 33 – Eureka! Gold Country 

Hebgen Lake to Sheridan, MT – 85 miles 

Not excited to start at all this morning.  Power was on and off all night in our cabin and then got poured on as soon as I started.  Started shivering and shaking until I found a rest stop about 20 miles in.   Tried to dry my stuff underneath the hand driers to little avail. Finally was rescued by Becca and warmed up in he car for a bit. Weather started to clear and rest of the day was pretty nice actually.  One really big climb (2000ft) from Ennis to Virginia City with my cheerleader parking the car part way up to yell at me to keep going. Virginia City and Nevada City were both really cool old mining towns.  As I neared Sheridan a large storm showed up on the horizon and just barely beat it to the hotel for the night.  All in all a bad day that turned much better.  Losing my support crew again, hopefully I’ll see her in 10 days at the end! 

Cold wet start Earthquake lake near where we stayed, I did not sleep well. Some old combine type of thing

Becca guesses that it’s a helicopterTop of the mountain Virginia City Strange house in Virginia City Hail about 30 minutes after I was done 

Becca claims I’m down there somewhere

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Days 31 and 32 – Yellowstone 

Dubois, WY to Headwaters Lodge, WY – 82 miles 

Headwaters Lodge to Hebgen Lake, MT – 92 miles 

From Dubois to Grand Teton National Park there was a large climb taking me up over 9’500. On the descent the Tetons came into view. They are for sure some of the most impressive mountains I’ve ever seen.  We stayed at a cabin right outside of Yellowstone that was kind of neat.  Going into Yellowstone there was a large climb out from the Snake River which again had some awesome views.  Eventually we met up at Old Faithful which teased everyone and I was decided I was going to call it old splash for the little burps of water it put out.  Finally it did go off and was worth the wait.  The wind eventually started picking up again and my left cleat broke.  It was kind of a low point. We rolled into West Yellowstone to get it fixed, no avail.  Becca and her dad tried to arrange to get a new cleat set out here but it looks like it’s going to be a few days considering it’s the weekend.  

Over 72 degrees colder than highest high temp.tetons coming into view best view so far did diner at a little pizzeria here Snake River Valley headed into Yellowstone Lewis Lake old splashy Next generation Schilling family photo Hebgen lake 

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Day 30 – I wonder why they call it the Wind River?

Lander, WY to Dubois, WY (6900ft) – 75 miles 

Last night Becca flew into Jackson Hole and drove three hours arriving in Lander a bit before 1 am.  We woke up at 5:30 and got an early breakfast at the inn before I headed out for the day.  The day started out uneventful until about halfway the views really started to get nice.  I rode down into the Wind River valley thinking nothing of it until Instarted climbing back out with a 20+ mph headwind.  It made the last 15-20 miles really drag on.  Yellowstone tomorrow. 

Beccas flight into Jackson Hole

Mountain lake  valley one Sacajawea’s gravesight – photo credits Becca Schilling strange rocks red rock Wind River 
Valley of the awful winds 

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Day 29 – Road to Yellowstone 

Rawlins, WY to Landar, WY – 123 miles

What a day. I saw the wind was going to be brutal again and made the intelligent move of a 1:30 am wake up.  Was a little slow to get moving due to some intimidation of the day ahead.  Short little roll to Debby’s dinner for a good wary breakfast and was on the road a bit after 3.  Was a bit strange being so isolated in the dark but was totally fine, maybe a total of 5 cars before first light and was well light and headlamp could see plenty. Crossed continents divide for the 3rd or 4th time, not even sure which side in on now.  Made really good progress till mile 83 when I went around a curve and the wind became intense.  Beautiful huge descent into beaver creek canyon, lots of terrain but more down than up (1500 feet lower than start). Was a bit of a slog after 100 miles with wind and tough terrain.  Support team arrives tonight so looking forward to that. 

First lightsunrise colorful sunrise Split Rock, one of the visual markings on the Oregon Trail more Split Rockpictures don’t do it justice I think this is why it’s called Split Rockmotel in Jeffery City.  Almost stayed here last night.  There are no motels for about 70 miles in either direction. Found out it was an abandoned uranium mining ghost town. Had good reviews but saw a pic like this.  Took the short day/long day decision instead snow capped peaks/Mesa in foreground beaver rim, again picture doesn’t do justice not in Florida anymore very cool colors 

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