Up at the crack of dawn, here is a picture to prove it.
We were on the road again (imagine the song playing quietly in the background) by 7.20 eeek that is early. It was not as cold as it has been, dropping to 2°C in the night.
The first 3 miles were on very soft sand, we were in gear 2 (equals very slow) and being careful. After this we were on a more traditional gravel track, still a very poor cycling surface.
It was hazy everywhere the smoke from all 5 fires had settled in the valley (remember to picture a valley as 50 miles long and 10 miles wide). Also a co-conspirator in this was the rush hour traffic (5 or 6 trucks) kicking up an jncredible amount of dust, without any wind to blow it away it hung there like an early morning mist but without any of the nice cool comforting feel.
We did pass a local creek, I could not resist a photograph, I did notice a lot of cars on bricks close to it.
Shortly after that we saw the next fashion accessory, which is all the rage with the ladies in Montana, and will be hitting shops near you soon, blue personalised earings.
There was even a bridge which needed us to one at a time across it, for safety reasons.
The quality of the track continued to vary, there were good sections and some particularly bad gravelly sections.
It was here we saw our first snake.
We passed through Lakeview Town, around 10 houses and no services of any type.
At last (after 25 miles of cycling) Upper Lake Campground was here. This is a massive wildlife reserve, home of the Trumpeter Swan. They were all away for the weekend so there were none for us to see, but I believe them to be very impressive.
There is a lovely natural spring here, the water tasted lovely and proved to be excellent at removing dust from any parts exposed (and some definitely not exposed) during todays cycle.
As we are now back in bear country all food and smelly stuff has to go into a bear proof bin, by the time our smelly stuff goes into the bin there is nothing actually left in the tent!
We are just having the compulsory rest when another cyclist shows up, Marcus from Germany who is on a tour from Alaska down to South America. We got talking about the Rohloff hubs we were all using, his has the same leak which Janet’s has developed. He reassured us it was nothing his does the same, he even gave some of the special oil you use to top Janet’s up.
Eventually he filled up his water bottles and wants to get a few more miles done so went on his way. Again thanks to the generosity and kindness of a complete stranger we are all oiled up and ready to go again.
Lastly I thought I would throw in a wildlife photograph.