Sunday, May 24, 2009

Continental Divide

Day 16: 72 miles - We headed out from Hamilton on a pretty busy highway following the Bitterroot River south. This section of road was especially annoying with high speed limits and increased holiday weekend traffic. We stopped in Sula, MT for some lunch before the big climb of the day, and fortunately, by then, the traffic had thinned out considerably. From Sula, we gained another 2800 feet over 14 miles, clearing Lost Trail Pass at 7014 feet and then Chief Joseph Pass at 7241 feet. This climb wasn't really as bad as I had antcipated and the temps were warm, but we still got to see a lot of snow. For the 3600 foot gain, most of the grade was gradual. This was our highest point of the trip so far and our first crossing of the Continental Divide. From there we descended about 1000 feet and cruised 25 miles across a huge plain to Wisdom, MT.
Also today, we caught another rider heading for the east coast. He is doing a charity ride to raise money for a cause that helps children in Honduros. He said that he had been able to call up a bunch of hotels on his route and had a free place to stay pretty much every night. He also had his wife driving a van with all of his gear and a back up bike. Really not a bad deal at all.
Tomorrow we're planning on riding about 62 miles to Dillon, MT.

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