When we woke, the day was very overcast, in fact it was a little chilly. Our day was going to be 20 miles so there was no rush to start. We said goodbye to Cindy and Todd who had camped with us the last 2 nights, they were off to visit the Butte Museum of Mining, although I am sure they will overtake us in a day or two.
We left Butte by a very circuitous route as we had to pass over the Interstate 90. The first part on paved road headed south onto what becomes highway 2. The road was easy cycling with only the occasional car or truck.
It was a further 2 miles before we turned off the highway onto a side road. This became seriously steep (like seriously sharp but you puff and blow more), probably the steepest tarmac road we have cycled on.
Again several very large birds of prey were seen, and despite valiant attempts to photograph them we are still empty handed (or more accurately empty memory carded).
A very nice steel framed bridge, good asthetic engineering, nothing like a bridge you would see today.
Further up we went and plateaued at 6500 ft where there was a small town (well collection of houses, more a hamlet but without the smoking). Then it was upon us the gravel track, steady is a good descriptor for it. We had an egg stop, this time it included yesterdays left over maple sausages yum. At this point Janet successfully (bearing in mind this was the third attempt) lost her cycling gloves, bye bye gloves it was nice knowing you.
As we neared the top, we noted a stream which would be a little way back from our anticipated camp spot, in case there was no running water at the top.
We arrived at the trailhead, a nice tent spot and a composting toilet. Before we set up I weng and spoke to a gentleman called Bob. He said the stream we passed was not drinking water as there is a mine above it which uses some kind of cyanide extraction method for gold. The next one is 1.5 miles up a track, he then offered to drive me there, it would have been rude to refuse so the 5 of us got in his truck, Bob, myself and his 3 dogs. It was 2 miles but lovely water.
On the way he told me about his wife who died last year after a protracted illness, the good old US medical system cost him everything he owned, all he has now is his truck and the 3 dogs, Angel, Abbey and Daisey. He gets his pension of $1800 a month (he is 75 by the way). He came up and “camped” here the start of August and will leave late September. He is living under a tarpaulin.
By the time we were back Janet had set up the tent, camping at 7318 ft the highest yet.
We had a stroll up to a nearby hilltop the views were truly magnificent.
I even tried out time lapse with the sunset, follow this link