The morning started with the usual breakfast sandwiches but with a BIG surprise. The Donettes stayed in the cupboard as we have a dozen doughnuts with Apple Fritters! The Higgins brought a variety back and if that was not enough, Skip made coffee with the jet boil. An amazing start to the day. Helena Here. We. Come.
The ride was really nice. We started on HWY 200 with light traffic but after 12 miles we turned southeast on to HWY 279 where traffic was even lighter. Skip and I were able to ride side by side for most of the ride up to Fletcher's Pass. Oh Fletcher's Pass. I didn't look closely at the route before we left and after about 16 miles the road turned up.....and up.....and up. Not expected. But as has happened multiple times so far, you just keep pedaling, (albeit a lot slower!) and
While Cheryl and Betty were waiting for the two mountain pedalers (it was a long wait), they saw a herd of sheep being moved across the highway. Hundreds of them. complete with horses, sheep dogs and flaggers. It was a THING. Yep we are in Montana.
We had no time to waste as we had to get to the airport to pick up Craig and Jack. As Skip and I pulled up to passenger loading area I see Jack and Craig and only one bike. I'm pretty sure I told them that this particular ride requires each participant to have their own bike. As it turns out, Jack had a tight connection in Seattle and though Jack made it, the bike did not. Hmmmm this is a problem. OK, so here's the plan, Jack rides the spare bike tomorrow and after the ride to Townsend, we dive back to Helena and get his bike then drive back to Townsend and pick up where we left off. BOOM! Problem solved. Of course that assumes Alaska gets the bike here tomorrow. Big assumption. Can't control that so let's get a beer!
We stopped for a beer at Lewis and Clark Taproom which has a fun atmosphere. We then headed to the Brewhouse for some dinner (and of course another beer). It was so much fun having us all together laughing and learning more about each other. It just so happens both Craig and Skips families have roots in Choteau MT (population 1710) and their parents know were in the same class! Skip even shopped at the local five and time store Craig's Dad owned. I have to say it.....small world.
Skip's friend from Montana State, Bob, was very generous and allowed us to stay at his house even though he is out of town. He has a terrific house with acreage so it is very peaceful and has plenty of space for us including the RV.
Tomorrow the four of us rife to Townsend around Lake Helena. Should be a beautiful ride. Can not wait to get started will the new members of the team.