We left Jackson, MT fairly early from what I can remember given the big day we were planning. Originally we thought we would make it to Alder, MT, instead we pushed on to Virginia City.
The trip out of Jackson, MT took us up through Big Hole Pass (7,055 ft) and then Badger Pass (6,755 ft), on our way to Dillon. We passed a group of bike tourers headed the other way and chatted for a while. It was nice to hear about someone else’s adventure. The climbs on the way up to both passes weren’t terrible, I would go as far to say they were enjoyable. I growing to love climbing, which I know sounds nuts, but it’s the most rewarding when you get to the top of a pass, have exerted all that energy, and know you are going to get to cruise downhill. On our way down from Badger Pass we all set speed records on our bikes with Ryan topping out 54.6 MPH.
When we left Dillon we picked up what was most certainly our most heady tailwind of the trip. We’ve had so many days with the wind in our face, our thoughts were maybe we were finally going to have the shoe on the other foot.
From Dillon to our next city, Twin Bridges, was 28 miles. We headed out at well over 20mph but quickly got nervous as we could see two very nasty storms on both our left and right seemingly moving to converge right over us. We peddled hard, essentially attempting to shoot the gap on our way to Twin Bridges and covered the 28 miles in just over an hour and ten minutes. We got to town and waited for the storm, but it never came, seemingly just passing us by.
So we headed out to our final destination of Virginia City, which involved a headwind and climbing. We passed through a sort of ghost town on the way, which was very cool. It was a long day, but we finally made it.
Virginia City is a very “Western” looking town and we swung into the local restaurant to grab dinner where our bartender/ server, Matt, turned out to be a warm showers host! We had some steaks and beer and hung out until he was off his shift. It rained that night so it was great to have a roof over our heads.
After Matt’s shift we headed to the local watering hole to grab a quick night cap, where Ryan ran into a girl he went to high school with in Wellsville, NY. Probably our most “what a small world” encounter of the trip.
Miss you Muppet