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DAILY REPORT: David, John, James and Skip. This morning when we got up to clear skies. The sun was just peeking over the mountains. The temp was a chilly 42 deg and it was predicted to be 74 deg mid afternoon. Thundershowers were forecasted at Nevada City at 8 pm.
So we departed this morning under clear sunny skies. The boys didn't fully appreciate how cold it was going to be starting out at 6000 ft. (ie they didn't wear gloves, skull hat, toe warmers....) After 45 minutes they had warmed up and will be much better prepared for our next high elevation departure (I am sure!)
As we were riding we overtook a pair of self contained bikers who were riding from Portland to Chicago. We had seen them yesterday at the rest station at the top of Gibbons pass but didn't get a chance to really talk. We chatted for a while discussing each of trips and parted ways. They hope to be at Chicago by mid August. They were amazed at how far we had come in only 9 days. Safe biking! Shortly there after we stopped in the town of Jackson for water/bathroom break and hot coco. At the general store I met the owner who was originally from Puyallup WA. It truly is a small world.
Our first major climb was Big Hole Pass (7,360 ft). The overall route wasn't too bad; just long. Skip was at the top handing out water when we arrived. The same was true for Badger Pas (6,760 ft). This was a much steeper climb but shorter. On both occasions John was the first to the top. He is very strong on the hills!!
We ate lunch in Dillon MT. We actually ate on the Western University of Montana campus. Nice shady trees and picnic tables. We were just past the half way point and were keeping our overall ave speed above 15 mph. The key to Dillon was that there was cell phone coverage. The twins were going into withdrawals since they hadn't been able to text anyone for nearly two days due to lack of cell coverage. They were barely able to eat lunch since they were going crazy on their phones.
Then it was on to Twin Bridges nearly 30 miles away. When we got into town we found Skip at the library. Turns out he had spoken w/ the Jackson Hole Chamber of commerce and they wanted some information on our ride. Since we weren't sure about having internet service at the hotel (and we didn't); he thought we should an email there in the library. I'm glad we did because I had the rare opportunity to meet a fellow WWII submariner - Bill Nicholson. He shared a few "sea stories" with us and we thanked him for his service. He was very personable and the town war hero!! I would have liked to stay and chat longer but rain was forecasted and we still had 25 miles to go. Fair winds and following seas my friend.
The boys were less than excited with the remaining ride to Nevada City. We got a few sprinkles and in the beginning there was a head wind. Outside of the small town of Sheridan we had a close call w/ truck towing a large trailer. He missed us by just inches as he barreled by us. I was really pissed and good thing I ten more miles to bike to work off my anger. In general I had been very impressed how drivers here in Montana will give bikers as much room as possible when passing. It is very much appreciated by all bikers. Drivers passing too close run the risk of hitting cyclists w/ a mirror, fender, etc and then it's all over. This is by far my biggest safety concern - other drivers on the road. But I digress...
The boys rode into Nevada City w/ their odometers at 122 miles. This is the farthest that either one of them have ridden in their entire life. I was very proud of their accomplishments!! That was over 8hrs sitting on a saddle. Wow!!
We are staying at the Nevada City Hotel. What a really cool place. It is like you stepped back to the 1800's. The owners were nice enough to provide two rooms for the Riding4Hope Team. Thank you!!
We had dinner next door at the Start Bakery. The food there was great and so was our waitress Anna. The boys ordered the John XXXX which was a HUGE hamburger made w/ a pound of hamburger. Surprisingly they both finished it and still had room for desert. Must have had something to due with the number of miles pedaled today.
After diner we went up to Virginia City a mile up the road. Another town from the 1800's. Also very cool. Unfortunately for us most of the business had already closed for the evening. So Skip will stop by there tomorrow on the way out of town.
Turns out there is no internet service here in the hotel, so if all goes well I will up load this journal early tomorrow morning at a WIFI hotspot in Virginia City. Otherwise you will have to wait until we get to West Yellowstone tomorrow evening.
Thanks for joining us.....ride safely!!
The Riding4Hope Team
(David, John, James & Skip)
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