Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ride Day 99

Today I rode from Hamilton to Wisdon Montana, 74 miles and 4500' of climbing in cool overcast to partly cloudy conditions that threatened rain all day but never let loose. Last night I stayed with a family in Hamilton and really enjoyed my stay. They served pizza for dinner which was good since I need calories. We talked a lot about biking and life in general then I camped in the back yard although I could have slept inside I wanted to camp. In the morning they offered me breakfast but I just had a cup of good coffee and hit the road. The ride was not too hard starting out mostly flat while climbing 1000' without a hill. Then came the big grade to 7241' Chief Joseph Pass. That grade was gentle, long and slow. I was surrounded with snowy mountain tops and big black clouds were threatening me but I just spun along not worrying about the weather or anything else. I was going slow so I was looking for wildlife by the side of the road but other than eagles and hawks and songbirds there were no big game animals to be seen for me. Lots of beaver dams along the creek/river that ran along part of the road but beavers are nocturnal so I did not see any. Just near the end of the ride I had an antelope run right at me as I was riding along. It stopped short of ramming me on my bike and then ran along beside me and just in front of me for a long ways before it turned around and ran away. I don't know what that was all about. I think it had a fawn and was trying to get me to chase her or something like that. Then I started to see some other birds that I do not know the name of that had a yellow head, black body and some white colors on the wings. The males were showing off for the girls and it was very entertaining to watch them jump around and shake their feathers and tails while chirping loudly. I looked the birds up and they were called yellow headed blackbirds. Next I saw some sandhill cranes that were also very noisy. I watched them for a bit then went on my way to Wisdom where I had a good juicy burger and a couple of brewery beers to wash it down. Now I am off to do some free camping tonight. Spent too much on dinner to pay to camp. More later...

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