Day 1. Saturday, July 11 – Missoula to Ovando, Montana

Saturday 11 July 2015

Go West; they said, It will be warm and dry compared to last year’s ride. Well, not exactly.  We stepped out to a steady drizzle and 60°, but we were prepared from our UK experience. IMG_0012 It was actually a beautiful morning, the hills were covered in cloudsDSCN3116 and the rain and cool temps kept us from getting overheated, as we began our climb through Hell’s Gate.  DSCN3117We pedaled up the crystal clear Blackfoot River;IMG_0020where yesterday we had planned to take a dip to cool off, certainly not necessary today.  It was a continuous wet climb,IMG_0013 the clouds concealing the highest of the Rocky mountains from our view.  The scenery remained stellar,DSCN3135the luscious smell of the Tamarack pine (hemlock) filled the air and the cloudy mist added a mystery to the hills,DSCN3136 not often seen in the summer.  We rode along the Lewis and Clark Trail through the Potomac Valley,DSCN3151 steadily climbing.DSCN3158About 30 miles in, we had an unexpected and much appreciated downhill.  Not a mind-blowing down, but a couple miles of leg rest before the climb kicked in again.

Sage brush, reminiscent of the dessert, seemed out of place on this cold afternoon.DSCN3162Scenery continued to delightDSCN3164 and surpriseDSCN3181 as we slowly pedaled along; the trees became more sparse on the hills that rose beside us. DSCN3167

 At 40 miles, we found a rest and fuel stop.  It was what we needed to manage the climb of our remaining miles. DSCN3193 Just shy of 54 miles, we reached our stop for the night.DSCN3190It had been a very tough first day.  Though the grade was gradual, the climb had been continuous (with the exception of the two miles of down).  Never before have we had a single day of a 50+ mile solid climb.  We are looking forward to our legs springing back to shape before our long ride tomorrow.

Dinner was not remarkable, but on our (half mile) walk back to our lodging, the clouds were leaving and Montana gave us a taste of “the Big Sky country”.DSCN3197Still waiting for our legs to feel better!

7 Responses to “Day 1. Saturday, July 11 – Missoula to Ovando, Montana”

  1. Morgan Says:

    Hopefully this is only one rainy day and the rest are sunny! Unlike last year in the UK. Have a great trip!

  2. KIm Says:

    Jerry probably wished I was riding so I could talk to him during the climb, lol.

  3. Bill House Says:

    Good first day start….rain here….and breezy. Wine is doing OK

  4. Doug Carter Says:

    So – are you stopping to take this pictures or just what? Keep the pics and posts coming! 🙂


  5. Bill Says:

    The start off looks like the Uk where “misty clouds in beauty veil the storm clad peaks of Borrowdale.” Find comfort while climbing that what goes up must (ultimately) come down.

    Ride on, ride on, in majesty !

  6. Joann Sautter Says:

    Hope your legs are bouncing back???? Love the pictures

  7. Cheryl Says:

    Enjoying all the pics and words describing them….thinking and praying for the both of you…

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