August 22, 2001

8/22/01 Deadman's Creek

30.2 / 6562 miles

The deer must be a problem around here. Last night I saw six deer munching the lawn in front of the taxidermist (ironic isn't it!). Then, last night I almost bumped into several as I tried to walk through the dark to the bathroom.

Just a little chilly this morning. I got up early so I could work on the bike, changing my almost bald rear tire and cleaning the chain. Because it was cold, I made some hot cocoa. My alcohol stove had a little trouble starting with the low temperature. Probably means I should get a new stove tomorrow too.

A bunch of us ended up back at the Lincoln Log Restaurant. At first I thought we were just buying these huge cinnamon rolls. But then everyone sat down and ordered breakfast too. Huge portions again.

We left camp at 10:45 AM. Mike and I almost laugh at how each day we leave later and later. At first we were on gravel roads, but then we turned off onto a primitive dirt trail. Had a few stream crossings and I did 3 out of 4 gracefully. Almost fell in the last one. With the temperature already rising, it was good to be in the shade.

The killer came during the last miles of our climb to our first crossing of the Continental Divide. The road was in poor condition and was steep the entire way. No heading off places to catch your breath. I ended up pushing the bike the last mile or so. It was just too steep for my legs to pedal.

At the top, we also saw a CDT marker for the Continental Divide (hiking) Trail. After a photo break, we had an equally steep downhill. I know my brakes got a workout today.

Mike find the CDT

The last miles to the campsite were pretty warm. It was as if you passed through a veil and it was 20 degrees warmer on the other side. The campsite is primitive, a fire ring and an open pasture but it's enough for us.

Everyone was talking about the climb and of course, the bear. Mike spotted him, believe it or not, in someone's yard. He seemed confused by our presence. We both got a bit nervous when he took a step toward us, but eventually he just ambled away. He wasn't very big, probably a two-year old.

Bear!!!

The clouds have been appearing and disappearing all evening, so we might get some rain tonight. I just hope I can get Mike off to an early start so we have more time in Helena. We've got two more Divide crossings and then a steep descent into town. Looking forward to some AYCE Pizza Hut if we can get there early enough.