Helena Butte Montana

The man who sleeps on the floor never falls out of bed.

Bedouin proverb

Some nice riding.difficult easy hot cold rest in Helena.

Rest day was good nancy and Jeanne went shopping which took much longer than anticipated, 4 hours for Costco and grocery store.  James called me at 4:40 to ask if I could pick up his and Nancy’s bikes as repair shop closed at 5.  Dave and I arrived at 4:57 just as they were poring the beer to end the day.  James had tubeless tires installed and Nancy’s brakes adjusted and new pads.  I had also put on a new front pad on hers and the rear was replaced in whitefish.  She and nancy tend to ride the brakes going downhill as not used to gravel and steep.  Ok.

And a good conversation with Joe to update him and compare rides.  He asked if as hot (no), how early we left (8:30 usually), and if bikes holding up.  Nice to say hello and compare different trips and remember.   Warren had to return to Boulder for some work stuff and Jeanne now driving truck, which seems ok with her.  Heat and she does not have the drive to ride like we do.  She just wants to have fun.  Ok. 

Enjoyed watching nighthawks fly overhead as we ate dinner at outside restaurant. Have ever seen them before. 

departing Helena going by civic center of Iranian architecture
J. R. departing Helena

And we were able to leave  by 8:40, James and Jeanne having to drive around due to rough road we would travel.  We climbed for 7 miles, down 5 then began what, for Joe and I was the worst due to heat, climb 7 miles of 5 to 10 % slope, but temps were a balmy 90 degrees and we survived. Made it to where Joe and I camped by lunch at the little creek.  Then on and soon off the little forest service road to a rough 4 wheel drive off-road route for 3 miles.  Very rough and walked a very significant portion of it up and down.  I told the others Joe’s advice: “keep the rear wheel behind the front wheel”. Not necessarily that easy.

climbing lava mt.
a reprieve at the top of lava mountain
nancy ascending lava mountain
lava mountain trail
descent of lava mountain
constance nearing the end of three miles of lava mountain trail forest road 544

Shortly after lava mountain we met James riding up to us.  We still had about 16 miles (25 k) to go but theoretically mostly smooth and downhill.  Jeanne was waiting a short while later and they were a bit concerned at our lateness.  But all good.  Arrived camp about 6 pm exhausted a 47 mile (76kilometer) day with 5300 feet Of climbing (1760meter).  We were tired. 

And a mile from the end the trail diverged from Joe and mine. Used to parallel the interstate and the six miles of downhill riding on interstate into butte. Now the route although 20 miles farther is delightful with campgrounds all along the route.  We stayed at Mormon gulch an old unfunded site, which was delightful.  I slept outside for first time on trip to watch the Perseid meteor shower, but unfortunately my eyelids refused to open for most of the night.  But stars are always nice to view.  I do like looking at old friends in the constellations and discovering old friends.  

Then into Butte arriving about 1 pm and the new route ride right through town which is delightful.  An old historical mining town. Shortly after sowers and a bit of rest we will walk to the Berkeley put which closed in 1982.  Almost two killed meters across and as one book described it an open gaping oozing wound on the earth.  Old mines drain into it a toxic conglomeration.  Apparently nets are over it to prevent birds from flying into the water, as the do not leave.  Ugh.

above butte

And a thought on cattle guards.  They still scare me. Dozens a day at various speeds and wonder when a rail will be missing, or loose, or a open area. But they are always interesting. 

Addendum: discussion of next big town on route. Looks like pinedale wyoming, although will have visits with people in victor Idaho Wilson Wyoming and a rest day somewhere. But Internet will be questionable. 

13 august ride profile

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