Refreshments

Keeping the engine fueled and lubricated is important when it comes to long term bike travel. Food and water is stocked on our handlebars to see us through the day. I recently discovered that a peanut butter jar (item of many uses) fits perfectly in my feed bag. I’m sure Revelate Designs meant for this to happen. 

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I’ve always been frustrated by the hard to reach peanuts in the bottom of the feed bag. Teasing me by their presence. The peanut butter jar solves this problem. Now I just dump the food in my mouth as we ride. It’s a faster more efficient way to fuel the engine.

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Love the Combos.

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Pile on those Mashed Potatoes

The open spaces of Wyoming unfold before me. In tune with the landscape, my emotions do the same. Happiness, laughter, anxiety, tears.

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I’ll blame a lack of appetite on the later two.

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My first long mountain bike ride was Resurrection Pass. On that ride, a friend told me that he wavers between loving the trail, and hating the trail – all within minutes. Years later, I  begin to see his point.

Grapes, two apples, a yogurt and a hug from Carmella in Atlantic City help to restore the balance in my little universe.

I think of Jill Homer’s mantra, Be Brave, Be Strong. I think of Lael. I give Tyndall a fistbump and drop in, heading for the Basin.

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We ride late, covering the miles between South Pass City and the A&M Reservoir in a day. The stars are out when we arrive at the reservoir.

In the night a noise wakes us. It’s a mouse, going for our candy bar wrappers. No bears here.

Another day, and we’re in Rawlins.

On to Wyoming

The heat follows us south from Butte. It helps to tackle big climbs in the morning, but I become anxious as I feel it closing in as the afternoon progresses.

The trail winds through southwest Montana. People say this is Big Sky Country. I think the Fortymile area near Chicken is Big Sky Country. This is different. I miss the trees. Only sage brush as far as the eye can see.

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We detour to the Calf-A in Dell. Someone told us they had good sticky buns. The rumor is true.

And then, like that, the heat relinquishes it’s hold. The air is cooler. We wake up to frost and frozen water bottles.

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Southwest Montana gives way to Idaho. The trees return. Quaking aspen and conifers.

It’s Sunday and we’re in Island Park. It turns out Sunday is a bad day to be in town in Idaho. Everything is closed. That’s ok. We roll on.

The trail follows an old railroad grade south. It’s soft and made up of volcanic ash. I deflate my tires a bit, and pedal on. It’s almost like snow biking, says Tyndall.

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Photo by Tyndall Ellis.

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Roadsides are lined with grain (wheat?) and potato fields. Smokey haze obscures the views.

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Our old water filter kicked the bucket after seven years of service. We purchased a new one in Butte. Five days later, and the new one is just as bad as the old. A closer inspection reveals an already very dirty filter. Maybe we should have tried out a Steripen.

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Ashton – Flagg Ranch Road leads us from Idaho into Wyoming.

We decide to stretch some different muscles and hike for a day. We go to Union Falls and Scout Pool.

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The pool is warm enough for a short soak, and the falls are pretty enough to linger for a bit.