Quote of the Day: "Sometimes ya just gotta do what ya gotta do".
This is the cabin I had at Chick's Motel in Alder. It was outstanding! Thanks again Randy.
I am aiming to get to West Yellowstone (it's a town) today which will be a day earlier than I had planned. It is about 90 miles, most uphill and my progress will depend on the wind. Also there is a 40% chance of thunderstorms.
Almost all the agriculture in Eastern Oregon, Idaho, and here in Montana and for that matter many other of the western states is focused on one thing - beef cattle. Beef means hay and hay means irrigation in this arid part of the country. Every area seems to have their own variation on harvesting and storing the hay and the irrigation as well.
The first village I came to was Nevada City. Here are some of the shots of the town that at one time was a ghost town and now is kind of touristy.
Notice the cactus on the roof:
The next village was Virginia City and it too was quaint but filled with tourists:
Antique gold mining equipment:
This is Will, a westbounder, cycling from Florida up to Glacier, Seattle, and then to Portland. We had a nice roadside chat. A few days back I spoke to a woman named Kelly also on the west bound track and she spoke of how bad the traffic was in Yellowstone. Will confirmed this and told of a French woman on a bicycle that was queued in traffic behind an RV. Suddenly the RV backed up crushing her bike. Luckily she was not hurt. This is not the first time I have heard of this summer traffic overload. In fact Adventure Cycling recommends not being on the road between 12pm to 5pm. Perhaps September would be a better time after school resumes.
This is the view down into Madison Valley:
The town of Ennis is the first stop in Madison Valley. I had a good lunch at the combined Pharmacy, Soda Fountain, and Restaurant:
Here are some great shots of a thunderstorm boiling up:
The thunder reverberated across the valley from one mountain range to the other:
I came across this " fortress compound" type of place. Notice the stockades around the houses and the crosses on top of the buildings.
I thought I was going to be able to outrun the T-storm but that didn't work out so well. The rain came down and the wind went crazy throwing the bike all around. It became dangerous so I had to get off the road. As luck would have it, and you have no idea just how lucky that is in this remote area, there was a boat launch that had an edifice that provided shelter about 1/8 of a mile away :):):). Some fisher ladies took my picture as they were escaping.
The thunderstorm continued for a while so I broke open my emergency rations. Packaged salmon and corn tortilla chips. By my estimation I had about 43 miles yet to go to reach West Yellowstone and unfortunately the storm was moving that way. Also by this time it was 8pm and the light was fading fast due to the storm gloom.....
....... So sometimes "ya just gotta do what ya gotta do". Yep I hunkered down there for the night.
Now before you get all freaked out this bathroom was very new and I have never been in a latrine that didn't smell but I can honestly say this one had zero odor. Just to be on the safe side in case the wind changed note the white plastic bag I trapped under the seat to create an odor seal. Plus this place has a lock to keep the para-military types out that lived in that neighborhood (which also made me reluctant to go knocking on doors and asking for help) and the bears out - I saw one today. Well I bet it's a story that you'll never be able to tell your grandchildren!
Using the new homemade bike lamp:
I hope to get on the road very early and get well into Yellowstone before the traffic becomes a problem.
The Usual Disclaimer:
And finally please remember the cause - soldiersbestfriend.org I will go into this in more detail and perhaps some level of haranguing later on, but for now here is the link .... and an additional link for donation SoldiersBestFriend - Donate Please :):) Oh and I would be a lot more comfortable if you use the "honorarium" option vs the "memoriam" option - you'll understand when you click on the link:):).
As you donate please enter my name in the "In Honor of Spot" so the folks at SBF can tally the results to encourage me and let me know WE are getting something done TOGETHER. I recognize we are really trying to honor the Vets but this is the only way SBF can tally the results of this drive (tour).
I will be inserting this call-to-action in all of my blogs so I hope you don't mind.