Day 55 – Gone With The Wind

(89 miles)

We set off early again, aiming to avoid the winds as much as possible (little did we know what we were riding into!). At West Yellowstone we entered our eighth state, Montana, and promptly celebrated by having a McDonalds breakfast and some much-needed WiFi.

Montana - Big Sky Country

Our ride continued quite pleasantly for 20 miles or so. We stopped at a convenience store to grab some snacks for the road. It turns out this was a magical store. When we entered we had a nice gentle tailwind. While we were in the store I glanced outside and saw what can only be described as a mini-sandstorm. On leaving the dastardly magical store we rode off into a ludicrous headwind. We crawled alongside Quake Lake, which was created when an earthquake in 1959 caused a huge landslide which blocked a river. At times we were straining to do 4mph up a slight incline. At one point I looked up and saw Pat riding perpendicular to the road, unable to turn his bike back into the wind! We stopped near the end of the valley and just stood there in silence – the ridiculousness of the situation and the realisation that we still had 45 miles to go had left us speechless.

Fortunately our route turned shortly afterwards and suddenly the wind, still howling ferociously, was behind us. I tell you, we FLEW through those last 45 miles. I probably averaged 30mph all the way. And I maxed out on my gears – I was in my top gear and could have gone faster but I couldn’t pedal any faster. And this was on a nearly-flat valley floor.

We found out later there had been a severe weather warning in the area about the winds. It was blowing at 40mph with 50mph gusts. If we’d been travelling the other way up that valley I think we would have turned around and tried again the next day!

I should also mention that Matt had a nightmare afternoon with multiple flat tires, the first being caused by a massive rusty screw we found embedded in his rear tire. His view of the afternoon’s ride was totally different to mine!

After some more library and ice-cream action (not at the same time – not even Montana is that cool), we got some dinner and then set up camp at Ennis RV Park, a mile outside town. Really nice place – well worth the fee to camp there.

My very own ice-cream flavour! (The bottom one 😉

Chex Mix could possibly be the Worlds Greatest Snack - I have at least one a day!



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