Friday, September 23, 2016

Day 21--The GDMHR!

After taking photos, and saying goodbyes, we set out from Helena in misting rain.
Bene and Griffin
Me and Griffie
Griffin took this of me.
Yvonne and Andy. Yvonne rode with us for awhile, before she had to head back to work. 

We climbed for a long time, but it wasn't too steep. Because it continued to rain, and we just kept climbing into the clouds, there wasn't much to see.

I caught up to the guys where we had to turn and go up a steep and rocky trail. We ate some lunch sitting in the cold (even though I had my full rain gear on, I was chilled). This next bit of route is why they developed the Boulder Alternate. This part said it was one of the most difficult sections. Yay! Before too long, the trail started its nastiness. I was walking.
Tricky business
Steep and very rutted

Derik and Connor would ride up to a flat spot, then come down and help me with MC (I hauled her up quite a bit before they would come back down). Well, really, they would just take her and go on up. I would come trudging along behind. This went on for a very long time. In fact, I was beginning to think the route should be called the Great Divide Mountain Hike Route! 
Connor and heroes!

In that whole section, I think I was able to ride about 200 yards. The map said it was about two miles, but I think it was longer than that. Even the downhill was really tricky. Derik would just come back and ride MC downhill I continued my GDMH. At one point when Derik had taken MC, I was walking along, and two British guys, Antony and Alex, came up behind me. They asked why I was wearing a bike helmet, but had no bike? Seems they started slightly before us, but Alex had to fly back to England for 10 days. 

We finally got to the main road. There was still more climbing, but it was much easier. It was getting late. Fortunately, the last 5 miles or so were downhill. We pulled into Merry Widow Health Mine campground at 7:00. Apparently, there is a radon mine here. Of course, all we had time to do was set up our tents and cook dinner. Antony and Alex are here too. While they cooked steak and mashed potatoes, we had a hodgepodge of small amounts of food. I made a "soup" of pasta, quinoa, ramen, and dehydrated veggies. Derik cooked up his backpacker meal he's been carrying since Banff. We also had quesadillas which did wonders for warming our hands!
Pasta, ramen, quinoa, and veggie soup. It was pretty good.

The rain is supposed to continue tomorrow. At least the climbing is not supposed to be as bad.

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