Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Thursday, August 22, 2013

White Sulphur Springs, Montana to Belt, Montana Aug 10

August 10----77 miles in 6:41----I got a late start today after sleeping in some, and putting a new back tire on the bike, after my flat yesterday. I can't remember when I put that tire on, but I got my money's worth out of it. Finding a campground for tonight became an issue, because we will be going through the Lewis and Clark National Forest, and they have plenty of campgrounds, but.....we are either too big, or there is tenting only. I didn't want to kill myself today after yesterday's race against the storms, and 77 miles wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. My first 20 miles were a gradual climb, as I followed a stream, upstream. I gained about 1000 ft before Pam and Buddy caught up to me, and Buddy joined the ride. He did about 53 today. Outside of White Sulphur Springs, there were signs for road work over the next 20 miles, and they were doing chip sealing. Fortunately they were done with the main work, and were brushing the extra chips off the road and painting lines when I went through. The pilot car wanted me to put my bike in the back of the truck again, but this time I just said 'no', and he said 'oh---ok '. The chip seal actually wasn't as bad as the old road with a crack caused by freeze and thaw every ten feet. That beats up my butt after about ten miles of that. When Buddy joined me, we had chip seal all the way up our summit for the day. I had started at about 5100 ft, Buddy joined me at about 5950 ft, and we summited at 7400 ft, right next to the Showdown, Montana Ski Resort. We actually passed a pile of snow on the way up the mountain. The climb wasn't terrible, but both of our legs were tired from yesterday.
We had a sweet 6% downhill for about six miles, when we came to our first town. It was an old silver and lead mining town called Neihart, and we stopped at a little store there and had a snack. Buddy got a can of Chef Boy R Dee ravioli and a plastic fork and ate it cold, right out of the can. As we rode through town, we noticed remnants of the old mines, and old mining houses that were in various states of repair and disrepair. We traveled on a downhill grade most of the rest of the trip, as I ended up climbing over 3700 ft today, but I descended about 5100 into the town of Belt, Montana. There were miles and miles of beautiful log homes that were seasonal, for fishing, hunting, skiing , or whatever these people want to do. There was everything from small, nice cabins, to huge million dollar log mansions all along a small stream, that grew and grew as we made our way towards Belt. 
When we got to the campground, we cleaned up and headed a few miles into the main section of town. It is set off the main highway, a little hard to get to actually, but had a few nice places to eat, and some very historical downtown buildings. We had some of the best 'Montana' rib eyes and all the fixins for cheaper than you could buy them in a store. So far, Montana beef is better tasting and less expensive than Texas, Wyoming or any place else we've been. That's just my opinion.

It's our understanding that Meth is a big problem with the kids on the Indian reservations and in the small Western towns.  White Sulphur Springs had a few anti-Meth murals painted on walls.

"Montana cross" alongside the road.  These crosses are placed by government to remember a vehicular death.

Guard rail????

Old mine equipment

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