Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Butte to Helena Mt.

This was interesting because there are so many places that are affected by the mining operations of the past 150 years. The entire area has been changed and there is some effort to reclaim but there is a lot of work to do because there is so much.

This was the sign at the top of the "ass busting bastard climb" out of Butte, it is called Elk Park Pass.. This is the second time I have crossed the CD and it may happen again, although I have not checked map out yet. I have had visions of taking a pic with the bike leaning on the sign but this one had a fast running stream between me and it.
The first time I crossed the CD was Chief Joseph Pass in the dark and in a rainstorm so I was not looking to take pics of any kind at that time.
Although I was wheezing like Wilford Brimley during the Boston Marathon I felt good in that I was able to keep going the entire pull (except to take a couple of pics). Usually I have to work my way up these climbs a half mile or so at a time. It is probably a combination of fresh legs in the morning, new bike, metal attitude (confidence). Also, I think my body is getting acclimated to the altitude--when I first started hitting the higher elevations on this trip I had real weak wind but that is improving.

The "good frontage road" myth. Right after Elk Park Pass I got on a frontage road that runs parrallel to Interstate 15. The road surface is excellent with very little traffic. I had ridden on a frontage road yesterday and really liked the idea. I rode about 20 miles and then without warning the pavement stops and turns into a rutted dirt track. That's it --there ain't no more. It is where the sidewalk ends, or that bridge to nowhere in Alaska. There is no cell service here so the GPS partb of my phone did not help.
This kinda happens in Iowa a lot --you will be on a nice paved road and then presto it turns to gravel, but that is still better than this. It is a good thing I do not curse very much although this was an appropriate time for it. If stuff like this continues I may have to learn a few more swear words.
To top it off there is no access to the Interstate in this location. The last interchange was 10 miles back. There is a fence between you and the roadway. While it was not as tall as the one from the day before it still is barbed wire and had to be crossed.
I got a little smarter from before and used a bungee cord to lower the top strand. This pic shows the bike after I lifted it over and the trailer ready to be moved. Today's process did not involve as many body punchures as yesterday.
This one of those scenes that you just cannot capture with a camera. It is beautiful and I just stood there and absorbed it. I checked it out with the binocculars for a good 30 minutes and it looked better yet.
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  1. nature is so beautiful in its original form but we seek to create holes in its chest...truly fascinating that such places of beauty exist today in a world which is consumed in exploiting the nature for its selfish gains....am jealous of you for people in this part of th world seldom get to see such sights unless they are going out on an expensive holiday.

  2. New bike looks great and the pics of the terrain are great. When are you adding a pair of dear or elk antlers to the front of the bike. I really think it would tie the whole look together and make a statement of some sort.