Sunday, September 18, 2016

Day 16--Maybe Sitting in the Middle of an Intersection for Lunch is Not Such a Good Idea!

For the first time in several days, we woke to cloudy skies. Derik checked the Doppler, it didn't look good for no rain. We moved rain gear back to the top of the bags. 

We had a couple of miles to get back to the route. Connor saw a snowmobile track and decided we should ride that instead of going back on the highway. It was a good idea, except that there was a steep little hill to get up to the trail. I had to push MC up to the trail. Okay, it wasn't but about 6 feet, but geez, first thing in the morning?

I reset my computer at the beginning of the route. Since we turned the map over, the mileage started again. This way, I'd have a better idea where we were (well, really, where I was, as the guys are usually ahead). My computer is still not set perfectly for the wheel size. It is still saying I've gone further than I have. But, I know about what the difference is, so I can calculate from there.

Although there weren't any major climbs today, there was still a lot of going up. We also had some nice flatness like this part at Cottonwood Lake.
So far no rain.

We were also high enough to look down on the valley below.

Finally I got to go down down down. As I was flying down, Derik was going back up. Crazy guy! Pretty soon, he was coming up behind me. I tried to stay ahead of him, but I started laughing.

We got to the intersection where we would turn to head to Ovando. We decided it would be a good place for lunch. We leaned the bikes, and then looked for a place to sit. Connor suggested in the middle of the intersection. Well, okay.

See? It's kind of a big triangle. It was a good idea until this happened.
Then it was a little dusty...

After lunch we headed on into Ovando (about 7 more miles). It was a nice wide gravel road, mostly going downhill.
The scenery was really changing. Now wide open grassland.
Ovando is a cute tiny town. The gal who runs the little grocery said she had a guy in three days ago who was doing the whole Divide.

From Ovando, we headed out of town on pavement. The map said to turn onto unsigned gravel Dry Gulch Rd. When I got to what my computer told me was likely the turn, the guys weren't there. I stopped for a moment and thought about just waiting until they figured out that they had gone too far, but instead I continued on down the road. At the bridge, they realized their mistake. Considering this is the first time we've missed a turn, and it was only a couple of miles out of our way, I figure that's not too bad.

We came back to where we were supposed to turn. The road was rather washboardy, but it was nice scenery.
This took us back to the highway where we didn't miss the turn (right after the end of the guardrail). Now we were on really awful washboard. It's kind of like when you are in a traffic jam on the freeway. You change lanes, only to find that now the other lane is better. Same thing with washboard. Consequently, you zig zag back and forth on the road. Going slow is awful, but going downhill fast on MC is really quite fun. It's like going over a speed bump fast--you don't seem to feel it as much. However, if you are riding a Disc Trucker such as Derik is riding, he reports it's like riding on an ice rink! This is where MC shines! Good thing Derik is skillful! 

We continued toward Big Nelson campground. It was mostly flat and still washboard.
Heading for those mountains.

As we came to a cattle guard, we could see a van with a bunch of horses around it. 
Finally, the guy had to get out and shoo them away from the van so he could go. When he went by, I told him they must love him!

Finally I made it to the campground. The guys yelled for me to come on down. They had found a good spot. Although this campground is called Big Nelson, it's not very big--just a few sites. In fact, four other cyclists (doing two days from Seeley Lake to Lincoln) had to hunt around for a site. At our site, there was still a fire burning in the fire ring.
Connor designated himself the "fire boy". Derik wanted to get a big fire going, Connor said no. What a party pooper! The lake is Cooper Lake. 

After dinner, we were sitting by the fire, and a fox trotted by. He hung around our campsite for awhile allowing us to take many photos of him.

This isn't the best, but it shows how close he came.

The rain has finally shown up. Fortunately, we are in our tents. The other cyclists said it's supposed to rain overnight, then quit by morning. Let's hope so, because we have to go over Huckleberry Pass tomorrow.

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