Friday, June 24, 2016

62: Cool streams and hot springs

This was just a long day. There's not any way to get around that. We left Matt and Maryellen's after a nice breakfast, and headed east, and eventually turned north, and there we were.
The roads go on and on!

Well, there we were - after nearly seven hours in the saddle!

We had about 3000 feet of climbing to do, so there's that. And we sort of stretched the day out by stopping several times to get into the stream to cool off!

But if you are going to climb, as Roger said, this is the way to do it:  through a forest, with a stream, at 1 to 2%. A very pretty ride up to the summit, which like others here, is not marked. So we don't get the "summit shot" - the picture of the top of the pass with the bike and the sign. It's the Deep Creek Canyon, though, if you are ever up this way and want to ride it. Truly beautiful, and tops out about 5800 feet.
Beautiful road through Deep Creek Canyon

We had checked out the route ahead of times, and knew that between Townsend and White Sulphur Springs, there wasn't any food or water. So we had a great second breakfast in Townsend, and carried extra bottles and the Camelbak bladder. By the end of the day, the water I was drinking was hot enough to brew tea. Not particularly appetizing, but it does the job!

In Townsend, we met Amber at the cafe. As we usually do, we asked her if she was from Montana. No, she is another of the recent arrivals. She was raised in Portland, living in Spokane, and used an on-line dating service to meet her husband - a rancher and rodeo cowboy!  Who knew that the cowboys were going on-line?  It made me think of the old TV show from long ago, about the brides that were brought to Seattle during the gold rush days.  Also at the cafe we met her husband's uncle, who was also a cowboy, competing in the rodeos. As we talked, he expressed appreciation for the trip that we were taking, and said he didn't think he could ever do something like that. And of course, I told him that there was no way I could imagine ever getting into a ring with a steer and trying to get him tied and down! So I guess we each make choices about the wild and crazy things we are willing to do, and look at others' choices and think, "wow - I could never do that"!

Townsend grain storage building
I love these crazy grain buildings!  I don't know how they are used, but we see them in many towns. They all have the same general shape, so there must be specific purposes for the various levels and angles. I'd love to get a tour of one some day.

This pool was 105 degrees. Yikes!
When we got to White Sulphur Springs, we had time to take a soak in the springs. Man, are they hot! A little trip in the way-back machine, as there was something about this place that reminded Roger and me of someplace we've been - although clearly we've never been here before.

A brilliant sky and raging sunset, and then bedtime. We have found that as we move east, the sun is at least setting a little earlier for us!

The day's report:  Helena to White Sulphur Springs, 76.5 miles/2949 to date

Sunset at White Sulphur Springs

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