Day 1 7/2/21
The first day is one of excitement and expectations. The unknown is in front of us: Can we do this? What will it be like? How many snicker bars do I need? Did I bring enough?
We were up at 5.40 and started breakfast of bagels, avacado and boiled eggs that we had packed from home to make our start easy. Then loaded up the bikes with our gear and off we went!
A short easy mile up the road to the trail. Then we were cruising down a paved backcountry road for about 6 miles enjoying the thankfully cool air and easy peddling. We were greeted by a lady working in her garden who wished us luck in the heat and not long after that we saw our first bike packers, their gear exploded across picnic tables at a pavilion at a campsite. Pretty nice place to have spent the stormy night last night!
The road switched to gravel and the grade continued to increase. A 3200 foot climb over the 17 miles seemed pretty doable. We took a few short breaks with snacks as we tried to outrace the heat. We turned off the well maintained gravel road in to a fairly rough forest service road for the last 5 miles to our first crossing of the divide. Sara had some challenges with the long climb but soon it was over and we were cruising down to tuchuck campground complete with bear boxes and pit toilets. We were here already at 1.30 but are taking it easy today with 22 miles. Tomorrow it will be longer with 30 miles and 2700 ft of climbing at the end of the day.
Montana is beautiful back here in the woods and the crystal streams are amazingly cold and plentiful!