Day 6: Sat 7/19, Glorious Montana! 61 miles

Wow there are a LOT of bikepacking cyclists everywhere! That’s so cool! I saw at least 10 today, going both northbound and southbound. Leaving Eureka, I saw a pair of riders who are doing just the Eureka,MT->Polaris,MT section. It was the man’s 63rd birthday today and he recently retired from working at Ohio State Universty. Cool! What an awesome way to celebrate a new chapter of life 🙂

One of the two guys I met yesterday in Eureka (Landon and Nick) was having knee issues so he was going to road ride into Whitefish or hitch in. So I set off on the trail with Landon. The first part of the day was riding through ranch lands.

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As we gained elevation we went back into the forest. I liked that better.

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There was some snow left up at the passes. It got cold!

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But gosh, Montana is so glorious! 😀 The scenery is so awesome. And I can see the west end of Glacier National park!

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I got Trail Magic today! Thank you Gil! He originally followed my PCT 2012 hike blog, and he lives in Whitefish which is the town just down the mountain. So he and his wife drove up over the pass to bring me treats (and pick huckleberry). Yummy!! That was sooooo awesome! 🙂

I’m at a campsite by a lake and it’s pretty darn beautiful.

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There’s a bunch of locals camped here, and they are all really fun people. They have puppies too!! 😀 The last stretch of riding I did before I got to the campsite was a steep climb. It was raining too so I was coooold. But, I have now officially used every piece of gear I brought including my cold weather riding gloves that I never thought I would need. Lol! Good to know I’m not carrying dead weight 🙂

Yeah. Elevation, cold and windy rain, cold temperatures (by my standards) mountain passes; I am so totally out of my element. Lol! But its all good, because it’s so much fun! I could never live here though.

Later on in the evening 3 more divide riders rolled in. Cool! It’s tough, because on one hand I reeeeeeally want to just be alone and not talk to people, but the problem is, everyone is so interesting! Haha. So I don’t end up sleeping til almost midnight because everyone has such an interesting and fascinating story.

This ride in general is pretty easy compared to thru-hiking. In a sense that, it’s quite luxurious. You’re in towns so much more often, so you don’t have to carry as much food (which is a huge part of your packweight). Plus you pass by so many official “campsites” that have amenities like picnic tables and pit toilets. It’s crazy! Lol. I personally try to avoid official campsites, and I much prefer to camp elsewhere, especially if I don’t feel like seeing other people. Plus, animals tend to be attracted more towards places that people frequent. But I do go to established campsites, if it’s geographically convenient to where I want to stop riding for the day. Like today. 🙂

Happy fun times! I’m stoked!! 😀 tomorrow I only have to ride 30 miles into the town of Whitefish. And it’s all downhill yay!! I’m going to take a rest day; let my body recover, do some gear reconfiguration, and figure out logistics of a side trip I’m taking I Glacier National Park. Whoop whoop!

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