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  • Writer's pictureThomas Delker

Day 22 7/23/21

Over the past several weeks we have had very smokey skies and today we were coming to the cause of it. The Alder Creek fire has been threatening to close this portion of the trail since July 10thish and we weren’t sure if the road was going to be open or if we would have to do a 65 mile detour around it. As we pedaled down the paved road to Wise River, a small fishing town and fire command central, the smoke got very thick and we all were feeling the effects.

At the general store we stopped to get some snacks and word on the fire- the road was open!

And they had Pasties - a potatoe, ground beef, onion center with pastry dough around the outside. But don’t say it wrong like I did as you get funny looks - sounds like ‘pass-tea’ not, well…. They are a Butte original from the Irish immigrants that were brought in to work the mines. And amazing! The kids each got one but Crys and I held off.

After leaving the general store we headed to a small burrito food truck set up for the fire fighters where we purchased three excellent breakfast burritos (andrew’s third breakfast!) and talked with a group of three men from Texas cycling the divide.

Then off for 10 miles down the road that paralleled the fire. The smoke got thick and we could see the fire burning on the ridge line next to the road, but it was generally quiet in the cool morning. After about 7 miles the air started to get clearer and by the time we got to the campsite it was better air than we’d had in a while.

A short day of only 20 miles and we were here by 11.30 am!

It’s been hard for us to plan our days as we are stronger and going faster now but also the climbs are unpredictable for how long they will take depending on how hot it is out and how steep they are. But It was nice to take a ½ day to relax in the woods, bathe/swim in the river, play cards, read and nap. Quiet campground with only 3 site that we have to ourselves.

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