Day 2. Sunday, July 12 – Ovando to Helena, Montana

Monday 13 July 2015

We swaggered (cowboy style) across the street for breakfast.DSCN3200  Ovanda’s population (71) must have doubled overnight with bicyclists taking cover from the rain; two joined us for breakfast.DSCN3202  In the middle is Mike (Touson, AZ), doing the Continental Divide race and Shawn (Sarasota, FL) is looping the U.S. on an electric bike!  Lots of chatter about our rides and experiences, but we had to hit the road.SAM_1262

The parched earth had soaked up the rain that fell overnight, but the clouds still hugged  the hilltops.DSCN3206  A breeze swirled through, chilling the temps that once again danced near 60°.  Eager to begin our long ride we pulled away, stopping only briefly to meet Aussie’s Lance and Mel.DSCN3203  Though we could not feel it, the roadside grass told us the breeze was at our backs……thank you!

The morning ride was mild ups and downs;DSCN3222 the clouds keeping the sun at bay and the temperature perfect for riding. DSCN3218 It was not difficult to imagine cowboys, indians and wild horses roaming the land.  Except when you found a mile marker showing Jerry’s age.DSCN3263

It was not until late morning that the clouds began to lift DSCN3227and the breeze became a wind, blessedly still at our backs. We continued to bike close to the Blackfoot River, but other than horsesDSCN3258and fishermanDSCN3239we saw no one. Shortly before 1:00 we stooped on the side of the road to eat a quick sandwich we’d made earlier, before our climb  It was here at mile 45, we hit our first hairpin turnDSCN3291 that would begin the steep climb over the continental divide.  The wind gusts swirling in the cove of the mountain severely compromised our upward stability.  Each stretch before the next turn was short, preventing us from seeing the top but offering a magnificent view of the road we had covered.DSCN3301Our flatland legs were screaming, but we were stoked to have climbed the 6131 foot Flesher Pass on the second day of our ride.DSCN3304  Though we were 50 miles into our ride, we still had a long day ahead.  The cold wind at the top defied the warm air of our long downhill; it was delicious.DSCN3313  With the wind at our back we continued to sail through the plains; the hills void of lush trees DSCN3319and further in the distance as we continued our descent.DSCN3320  The day was warming up and our enthusiasm and legs began to falter; thankfully the wind had our backs (pun intended) and the scenery……DSCN3324…..just gorgeous.DSCN3331 At 80 miles we took our turn into town.  The wind now assaulted us from the side and slowed our progress to a crawl.  Our oasis at the edge of town was a chocolate milkshake!  Duckies finally stopped paddling after almost 8 hours in the saddle.  Helena is the capital of Montana with probably much to see, but after 87 miles we found the closest place to eat (unremarkable pizza) and headed to bed.

4 Responses to “Day 2. Sunday, July 12 – Ovando to Helena, Montana”

  1. Ken Says:

    Congrats on going over the continental divide. All downhill from here, right?

  2. MaryEllen Says:

    Awesome pics!

  3. Travis Says:

    Beautiful Western scenery pix notes. Roads look good and traffic light. Is it “Hell n na” or “He leee na” ? Ain’t no mountain high enough for you two.

  4. Justin Says:

    How many times did you ride past the camera on the guard rail before the camera got your picture? Hahaha! Hope you asked ’em why the long face before taking their picture!

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