Thursday, July 10, 2008

Glory Days

Yesterday was a perfect day of riding. I continue to be graced with good weather and this corner of Montana is stunning. I rode through valleys, over mountains, beside lakes and rivers. The color palette was all blues, greens, and browns, with a little white on a few mountaintops. This area is a mecca of fly fishing and I passed many fishermen casting their lines in the middle of the Madison River. It's hard to imagine a more idyllic spot to fish.

I rode along the shore of Hebgen Lake and then Quake Lake, which was formed in 1959 when an earthquake triggered a landslide that blocked the Madison River. The drowned trees still poke out of the lake.

Perhaps it was the contrast with the more hectic Yellowstone, but it all seemed serene.

My two possible lunch stops were both closed, so I had to ride an extra thirty miles to Cameron, MT, before I could eat. It turned out in my favor because the KBear Cafe, provided the first noteworthy food in some time. Homemade chips and salsa, fresh baked goods, and quality burgers. My meal fueled me through the final leg of my ride, which included my toughest climb in recent weeks – 2000 feet in about eight miles. The climb provided great views of the Madison Valley below.

After reaching the pass, I coasted into Virginia City, a former mining town that has been well preserved. It was a good day for food, as I had a great dinner at Bandito's, an upscale Mexican fusion restaurant. I ate at the bar and talked with the owner, Scott, about mountain biking, travel, and life in Montana.

My ride today was cut short by strong afternoon winds. I passed several eastbound riders that were enjoying their tailwinds. I called it quits in Dillon, MT. As I walked around town looking for a restaurant or cafe, clouds of dust blew through the streets. I took advantage of my early finish by visiting the local theater to see "Hancock."

1 comment:

Andy said...

2 points of agreement. Cameron did do bloody good food, and that climb over the pass was a real nasty one. It never ended. The descent was cool though!