SEA TO SHINING SEA: In a county bigger than Delaware

A ranch in the Big Hole Valley with the Bitterroot Range in the background.  These ranches are isolated affairs.
June 14, 2013

DAY 31 - June 13, 2013 -Sage brushing across America. The road was just about flat between Jackson and Dillon, a distance of about 48 miles. On either side of us were vast meadows and pastures, endless clumps of sagebrush, narrow rivers and creeks and mountains of the 7,000 to 9,000-foot variety. Most importantly, we had a tailwind of about 25 mph pushing us along at about 23 mph.  The same tailwind joined with gravity to push us down the backside of Big Hole Pass at more than 40 mph. Too fast but the bikes felt good and it was nice to click off more miles.  We made 67 miles on this day. We never would have made Dillon without the tailwind. We turned into the wind to make the last five-mile push into Dillon.  That made us appreciate the tailwind we had much of the day even more.  With it in our face on flat ground, we were barely making 7.

We averaged 10.1 over the 67 miles including getting up and over two passes and total ascent for the day of 3,534 feet. Our total now is 1,214 miles

The manager at the KOA Campground told us we're in Beaverhead County, Montana.  "The county is 110 miles by 70 miles with fewer than 10,000 people."

"That's bigger than out entire state," I said.  And I thought, Delaware has more than 800,000 people.  It's big out here.  Open space and sage brush go on forever.

Nice people.  And the Orioles beat Boston last night in the bottom of the 13th.  First game of a four-gamer series.  Oakland beat the dreaded Yankees, also in extra innings.  A good weekend for baseball.

Train whistle blowing in the distance, steady rain falling on the fly of the tent, and a rooster crowing on the other side of the Beaverhead River. Writing this propped up against bags inside the tent.  38 degrees outside.  Glad those threatening thunderstorms back east didn't cause much trouble.  If this rain stops we may start heading toward Virginia City.

Hope everyone has a nice weekend.

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