Day 15: Mon 7/29, 2 mile push, Basin, Butte, 60 miles

Oh maaaaan I’m totally getting my butt kicked! Lol! This morning started out with a pretty steep climb, but it was ok/doable. It was quite pretty. Slightly overcast which made for good uphill weather. 🙂

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Then there was a 2 mile section towards the top of the pass that was gnarly! It was rutted out and super rough and loose, and steep! Not a good combination. Haha. I ended up pushing most of that 2 mile section which took forever! It was around noon when I got to the top of the pass, and I hadn’t even gone 15 miles yet!!But that’s ok. I am grateful it wasn’t raining cuz that woulda totally sucked! Here’s a pic of one of the nicer parts of that section.

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The last couple days felt like one gigantic continuous climb. Lol! It’s ok, i like to think it’s just toughening me out 🙂 it was a steep decent into Basin. Yay! Downhill! My brakes are squealing like crazy. I gotta call Glenn when I get into town to figure out how to remediate that. I’m pretty gross, I haven’t had a shower since Whitefish. And the streams are so cold I’m not particularly enticed to jump in. So what I do before rolling into town, so that I’m not super nasty, is I wash just my shirt in a stream, and then I take a baby-wipe and clean off my face. Get all the dirt/sweat/sunscreen/dead Mosquitos off my face. Lol

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Basin is a WEIRD town. I swear it was almost like a ghost town. It’s an old mining town from the early 1900s; at about a block long, with a post office, bar/cafe, and pizza place, and that’s about it. The really trippy part is, there was NOBODY around. It was kind of eerie. I went into the PO to pickup my box (map of next section and real rain pants) that Glenn sent me, then I went into the bar to charge my phone. Yah for cheap Montana beer! I had 2 microbrews and my tab came out to a grand total of $5.75. That is so awesome 🙂

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Oh man I was SO TIRED. My legs felt like I needed to take a meat tenderizer to em. It was only about 25 or so miles to Butte from Basin, but I was seriously wondering if I would make it. My legs just weren’t working to well and my butt hurt. Lol. But much to my delight, it was very easy riding! A gentle climb towards my next divide crossing. Yay!! I was riding next to the I-15 freeway the whole time, on an old railroad grade, so it was gentle. Plus, i got to ride through a tunnel that was built in 1911. Cool! DOUBLE YAY!! 🙂

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After a while the road turned to pavement, and as much as I generally *dont* like riding pavement, I was quite grateful because it made the riding waaaaay easier. I had about 10 miles of pavement before I had to ride on the shoulder of the I-15 freeway. But it was easy riding. Maybe I’ll make it into Butte after all! Yay! Things were looking up. Plus, I rode by a sign that had a CDT trailblaze on it, and I thought about Kyle and all my friends hiking the CDT right now. That made me happy 🙂

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Here’s my 4th continental divide crossing in the last 48 hours. That makes 5 all together (my first one was my 2nd day out, in Canada).

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Cresting the Divide, it was a gigantic downhill into Butte. There’s a gigantic white statue called “Our Lady of the Rockies” at the summit of the divide. It is a tribute to women of all race, creed, and beliefs, who helped shape the community to what I is today. Not sure if it’s visible in the pic. Reminds me of a smaller version of that huge Jesus statue in Brazil.

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Here’s a panorama of the valley Butte is in. It’s a big city, 32,000 people. Kinda overwhelming actually. Crazy tho, cuz in the early 1900 when mining was booming, the population here was about 91,000!

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I rolled into town about 7pm. Wow I made good time! Both bike shops were closed. Bummer. I was hoping to find another cyclist to split a room with. But this town is so big I don’t even know if there are other cyclists here, and if so I would have no idea where to find them. Lol. I stayed at Eddy’s Motel which was the cheapest place in town, $65. A lot more than what I wanted to pay, but I just needed somewhere to shower and situate myself and all my stuff. Plus it’s the first motel stay I’ve had this far, so I don’t feel *too* bad about splurging. The cool thing is, the motel is single-story, so I didn’t have to carry my bike up any stairs. Yay!

This town is honestly kinda weird. I dunno how to explain it. I’m considering taking a full rest day tomorrow because my body kinda needs it, but honestly I don’t really want to stay in this particular town. Lol. Oh well. I get to Skype with Glenn today yay!! 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Day 15: Mon 7/29, 2 mile push, Basin, Butte, 60 miles

  1. Hey Keala – You go, girl!
    Been following you since the article in the Star Advertiser. My bike and I are living vicariously through you. Your solo adventure is so inspiring and I am sending lots of good wishes that you have tail winds and safe travels.
    Much aloha to you!
    Donna

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