Week five of our GDMBR adventure started somewhat lazily in Bozeman. We had grand plans of getting back to the route and making tracks early, but we were overly ambitious with our to-do list. That being said, we knew we could cover miles late in the day as the temperature dropped and shade grew, so we joined Jim & Jeanette at church then got some amazing donuts from Granny’s Gourmet Donuts . Back at the house, we took our time eating lunch, packing, and using the computer, then left Bozeman at 3PM. J&J took us back to the top of the hill in Butte, and we said goodbye for our 3rd (and final) time of the trip. The rest of the week took us from Butte through southern Montana, over the corner of Idaho, into Northwest Wyoming. We had a daily mileage to maintain in order to arrive in Wyoming in time for our friend Shannon’s wedding at Grand Targhee Resort. Once we had a few good days of riding under our belts, though, we decided we would continue to push a little further every day in order to have extra rest days in Jackson and the Tetons. We also reached a new high of 7,900′ in this section.
We, Jim and Jeanette, aka Rachel’s parents, spent 6 days riding on the GDMBR with Rachel and Chris; we laughed, we cried, it moved us!
Chrachel has given you a lot of the details, so I will just focus on a few odds and ends from the trail.
We spent 6 days and 6 nights on the trail with them and covered 240 miles, which was way more than any of us expected. A huge key to this was my cousin Sydney Anne, who dropped us off and then picked us up, removing all issues around, “How do you get back to your truck?” She and Jack also fed us delicious meals for the 2 days after, assuring our fast recovery.
This old ball and chain might be irreplaceable, but our bike chains are definitely replaceable. Once again, I’m very grateful that I’m doing this bike trip with a guy who knows bikes like the back of his hand… or at least, he knows them a lot better than I do.
Our 4th week on the GDMBR began at Holland Lake and brought us to Butte. As was the case with week 3, we had rest days on both ends of the week. We have been fortunate to take so many rest days in Montana with Rachel’s family. Although our riding began and ended in Holland Lake and Butte respectively, we technically began and ended the week in Lakeside and Bozeman, thanks to Sydney, Jack, Jim, and Jeanette once again for extracting us from the route to their rather posh accommodations.
On our cross country trip, we stuck to drinking only water until we reached Barstow, California, where a trail angel pulled over to give us frozen water bottles and Monster energy drinks. That initiated an energy drink addiction for the rest of the trip!
On this trip, we have had a few interesting items that we have added to our water. At a cyclocross race this past year, I won some Skratch Labs apple cinnamon drink powder that is supposed to be consumed with hot water. For the first week or two, while Chris sipped his coffee, I sipped that. Additionally, for Christmas, Chris’ brother, Casey, gave him some Skratch Labs mix that was lemon and matcha flavored that is supposed to be consumed with cold water. It took me some time to get used to that particular flavor, but Chris loved it. He added one scoop a day to one of his water bottles until it was gone.