Day 13 7/14/21
How a day ends out here can be so different from how the day transpired.
The morning was a 6 am wake up and pack and over to the breakfast place in town. Then the ride started with 23miles and 3000 ft climb. It seems pretty standard and we’ve done those stats many times. But the big difference was the concentration of those verticals feet - almost all here in 3 miles up and over poormans pass. It was sole crushing like no other climb we had faced. Once we crossed over the top we tried to shake the impact it had on our confidence with a fun down hill. As we rounded a corner we saw the biker only lodging we were staying at - they had a huge bike painted on the roof of the barn!
As we pulled in we were greeted by John, one of the two people running the farm. He gave us a quick tour, showed us the cabin we were staying in (a converted shed with everything a biker needs, including a sink, food for dinner, a propane burner, and 4 bunks.) Then he invited us up to the house porch where he showed us the fridge of sodas, sandwiches and beer. “Take as much as you want! Please don’t leave any money, but do pay it forward to someone, some way, in the world “ After lunch, I had several bike Mainenance chores to take care of. Andrew had broken a bolt off on his rear rack in a fall. With a borrowed drill, I was able to drill it from the opposite side and get the bolt to spin out! I used a spare water bottle attachment bolt to replace it, so it’s all set.! Crys bike needs a derailleur adjustment and also the ‘dork disc’ removed as it had come totally loose (dork disc = the plastic disk between the cassette and spokes on the rear wheel). I think I got her bike shifting better, but I suspect the rear derailleur hanger is bent. I’ll see if I can get the bike shop in town to help straighten it with a specially alignment tool it I can. Then relubed all the chains as they were quiet dry.
After those chores, we all took an outside cold shower (wow! Cold!) that felt great! Then we were playing some cards and relaxing on the front porch when John came up “ would you like some ice cream bars?” We couldn’t imagine someone saying a nicer thing!
We went off and cooked dinner and then went back to the porch for an evening beer. When John came out we asked about camping options before Helena as after today we were concerned about what the 38 miles and 4800 ft tomorrow was going to bring. John said it was mostly private land, but that he could take all our bags in to town if we would like? Wow! What an offer! We took him up on that, and it should make the miles tomorrow feel much more achievable for all of us!
And then he brought out the chocolate chip cookies from the oven. John - I can’t even express how much gratitude I have for you helping us so much!
Did I mention the cute alpacas all around here?