Day 24 Upside down to Helena National Forest wild camp

When we packed up this morning there was a slight problem, a lack of water, it seems as though someone switched off the supply to the taps including the toilets  (a good job we were in there first!). For some reason the sprinkler system made one tap work so all was good.

I had tried the warmshowers site for a place to stop in Helena, there is no campground near the centre of town. It is looking like a motel then, oh the thought of an actual bed for the first time in nearly 4 weeks.

Once out of Lincoln we got onto, go on guess what type of road a) Paved, b) carpeted or c) gravel. This was a steady 12 miles uphill going to 5000 ft.

Ooh look clouds!

It was not without a little trepidation we took a right turn onto a rough track described as extreemly steep. Yes it was pushing time again as the track did in fact prove to be extreemly steep. In fact there was more pushing on this section that any up to yet.

The pass was reached at 6805 ft the highest yet, and not without a lot of puffing and blowing I will add (or subtract, don’t you just love maths?). A really lovely descent through cattle country, which is free of forest and mainly grassland but the cattle are in very small numbers.

We pass a cyclist only campground which does look very inviting, but we ride on by and will wild camp in the forest which is about five miles further on.

A very helpful local lets us fill up with icy cold water, did I mention the heat, just in case I forgot, the heat is overpowering (after the cloudy start). He did remind us the forecast is very cold tonight with possible snow above 7000 ft.

Five miles further on we find some forest and even better a suitable camp spot on a slight slope. If you have not camped on a slope you should try it, or simulate it by propping one side of your bed up about a foot, using anything suitable you have at hand, small rocks, unwanted family members etc etc.

Tom another cyclist passed by, he is on track for 50 mile days, he has been going a week now. “I’ll go over the next pass” he was heard to say, remember this.

By about 8.30 we are fed, comfortable and inside our tent when the rain started, then great peals of thunder and you could see the lightening flashes from inside the tent. For about 5 hours this continued. We laughed in the face of this meterological onslaught (or snored in Janet’s case).

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