Friday, May 29, 2009

Day 7 –Jackson, MT to Ennis, MT 120.79 miles

I awoke in the morning yet again with my mouth hanging open without a drop of moisture. There must be a remedy for it. I hit the road at 9am with the intention of taking it slow to help the knees again. I was really worried the prior night that I wouldn’t make it to Denver. Images of me buying or renting a car entertained my mind. Fortunately, the knees were fine. I took more and longer rests while coasting longer down hills and it seemed to help. The pain is due to the rotation, not putting pressure on it.

I had 3 passes today. In Montana they don’t bother putting signage with altitude at the pass, I presume because they consider them hills at a paltry 7,000 +/- feet. I think the west to east route is an easier route to take, I probably coasted for about 40 miles today, which would have been a long day going the other way. The wind was with me today, and not a cloud in the sky.
I stopped for lunch in Dillon at a diner and picked the chili hamburger under the sandwich section. Unfortunately it came out looking kind of like a cheesy brown Salisbury steak without the gravy. It did the trick though, presentation aside I devoured every bit of it. From Dillon to Twin Bridges was actually mostly flat, for 28 miles. I finally saw this Beaver Head rock outcropping too, the namesake of so much national forest around the area. I’m never much good at making out our animal contrivances of nature’s rock formations but this thing actually looked like a beaver head.
The wind was with me again and 25 mph was the norm to Twin Bridges. Between Twin Bridges and Ennis I got my first finger from an oncoming motorcyclist. I laughed because he had work gloves on and his indignant motion was caught up in the glove fabric so it was awkward and took some time to get it done right. When it finally came to form the glove made the hand so big on such a little dude that it looked like Mickey Mouse. Why wear work gloves and no helmet? He must have pretty hands. The laugh from me was not the reaction he wanted I suppose…

Highway 278 is a road I’d like to spend more time on, there’s a lot of history here with some cool little towns. I got chased up the last pass into Ennis by a storm brewing so I couldn’t take a lot of pictures. Usually on a downhill my max speed with the load was 43 mph, the storm winds were 28 mph which pushed me to between 55 and 60 down the hill. Not cool with the occasional crosswind beating at the front wheel. It reminded me of the motions of recovering after hitting someone’s back wheel in a race.

Uneventful dinner at the sportsman lodge, I asked for an end piece of the special smoked prime rib. It tasted like a giant piece of jerky which was unique. $54 for a cabin was good too. If I planned this trip better I would have found more places to put up a tent, but getting mileage is the priority at the moment.

Early to bed this evening for an early start to beat the winds into Yellowstone. I can’t decide where I’m going to stay, since it’s Saturday I’m expecting that it’ll be tough for me to find something. Plus all the RVs on the road will make things interesting. It seems like the park caters to RVs. Randy from Hamilton told me to stop in West Yellowstone at a local shop there. Need some new bartape. I’m looking forward to the rest day with all the bison.
Calories today were 3 servings of Endurox, a whole lot of water, the chili burger and 2 fountain pepsis, 2 clif bars, the prime rib with clam chowder, side salad, and mashed taters. All good here.


  1. Yeah James I am Boots' not crazier than he is Messenger friend. He is right, stop in (un)Fairfield Iowa to see Jordy, that dude will help you out plus I think you guys may already know each other...
    Keep up the effort and rest when you can!

  2. James, keep it going man, dont let those thoughts of driving off into a dismal return to charlotte...aka THE JAR (per Billy Fehr)...stay in your brain long enough to register. Youre just tired, thats all. I dont know what your schedule is, but if youre ahead of it, find somewhere to take a day off, and just chill. SOak your legs in warm water, then just keep them unweighted as much as possible, youll feel like a new man! Happened to me on that trip i was telling you about.

    Hows the rig doin? YOu need anything when you get back, hit me up, you know where.

  3. james, use churches. "planning schmanning!" the very nature of a church can't kick you out (lest you be excommunicated!) pitch your tent in the lawn, wake up with the sun and get out of there before they try to feed you sausage. but seriously, churches are the refuge. look at this, a boots/billy/jordy comment day!

  4. Jordan Moore - I haven't seen that guy in a while - what's he doing in Iowa?

    I keep eyeing the churches for water stops but the instant guilt washes away all the want. Besides, they wouldn't want to talk taxes and spandex anyways :)