1,704.6 total miles
We got up and said goodbye to our gracious host and headed out for the day. I don’t recall the winds being terrible to start, but once we got to Conner, MT it was time to mentally prep for some climbs. Today had us going through two passes on our way to Jackson, both of which would put us at our highest points for the trip. We started with Lost Trail Pass. When we left Darby we were right around 3,900 feet above sea level, Lost Trail pass would put us just over 7,000 feet. I did the climb which was probably about 2000 feet of elevation change from when the grade kicked in, in 1 hour and 15 minutes. There were some switchbacks where the wind would pick up and slow you to a crawl, only to propel you when you made the turn back. The legs are improving immensely as the previous climbs all seemed harder and to take longer but weren’t nearly as long or nearly as much elevation. Unfortunately while we are the highest we’ve been elevation wise there really wasn’t much of a view.
We pressed onward on a much shorter climb to take us to the top of Chief Joseph Pass. This brought us up to 7,241 feet. We stopped and grabbed some photos and then got pumped to head downhill.
I had no idea what awaited us and also what awaited me. A few minutes later, in a much misguided attempt to turn Erik’s light off while descending at about 20 mph, I crashed my bike hard into a ravine/ large ditch. According to Ryan I performed a complete barrel role and while upside down manage to throw my bike away from me, paniers, camera, shoe, flying every which direction, I managed some small road rash, a dent to the pride, but got up and continued on.
Chief Joseph’s Pass took us into Big Hole Montana and I now understand why the gentleman at adventure cycling loved riding through this area. The sky is big and the views are spectacular.
We stopped for pizza, as recommended, in Wisdom, MT before finishing the ride into Jackson, MT. The pizza was not good and the service was blunt.
Jackson however was great. We stayed outside of an old hotel that is currently being renovated. The owners were super nice and we had a great sunset.
Miss you Muppet,