Cycling on the 4th July | ben’s game at www.bensgame.com
My 4th July started like you are aware, with McDonalds. I have to say im begining to detest the Mcmuffin but it fuelled me up. I hung about in the town till the parade, the one big surprise at the start of the parade being everyone lining the sides of the road standing to attention with hand over heart as the American flag and servicemen led the way. This was followed by ex service men charities and support groups, then the fire services, with firemen dancing behind the wagon. It was pretty hot and I wondered how enthusiastic the dancing would be by the far end of the parade. There were plenty of entertaining floats and youth clubs, cheer leaders, boxing clubs and more. One thing that stood out was the amount of advertising with dates for events displayed on the side of the wagons. Then the beer companies getting their adverts in, even some mining companies. While the parade was entertaining, it did feel like watching a commercial, all be it a very colourful one. At 1pm I set off. It was hot, with a gentle headwind drying my skin and mouth and causing frustration. It was a long climb up a mundane gravel road mile after mile. Once I reached the divide crossing it felt easier, probably because it was downhill. when I reached the bottom of the next valley i sat under the highway in the shade. It was 5pm, I promised myself I wouldn’t ride through the mid day but its all I seem to end up doing of recent. I decided to take the easy alternate instead of an infamous steep ridgeline. An evening of 18 mile road cycling with a river lunch half way was nice. I rolled into Wise River and grabbed a beer. Then a second beer, then a third beer. At which point it started getting dark. I rolled out to find somewhere to camp.
In the middle of the main road in the town a group of adults and kids were setting off fireworks. They invited me to join them and handed me a beer. This seems to be becoming a theme along the route and one I am getting used too, by nearly midnight the fireworks were over and a lovely old lady who seemed to be grandmother to many of the kid offered the back porch to sleep on, which i gladly took.
5th July- 6am- I woke dehydrated, I said the previous night I would be up and gone early to get some miles in and as promised woke early. As I went around the front of the cabin I realised about 15 yards from where the fireworks were being set off was a fuel pump, it made me laugh a little. Todays ride has been glorious, climbing a pass to 2360m (7740ft) before descending to Elkhorn Hot Springs and covering around 30 mile by lunch. Now I am deciding if I should stop the night. After glancing at the map i have realised Yellowstone is within striking distance. Finally feels like I’m getting some miles in.
lovely cabin that let me sleep on their back porch
awesome gravel road cycle from butte to wise river
dancing firemen in parade
Originally published at bensgame.com on July 5, 2017.