Rain

20/05/2010

I was definately still in the wilderness when I set off this morning – I had to stop twice during the first 20 minutes or so to wait for bison to cross the road. Beleive it or not, they are the most lethal of all Yellowstone’s creatures, especially when protecting their young – so I was sure to give them a wide berth.

The first part of today’s ride took me past two awsome lakes, the giant ‘Hebgen Lake’ and the smaller ‘Quake Lake’ formed by an earthquake in the late 1950s which caused an 80 million ton landslide daming the Madison River, and killing 28 campers. It looked like rain right from the outset this morning, and before long I was being hammered. It was a shame because the landscape I was cycling through this morning was awesome, and I think on a nicer day it could have been one of the most picturesque days yet. The rain was cold, and as it seeped into my gloves and socks, it formed icy pockets that made for an uncomforatable ride! I was going downhill for most of the day, and had a slight tailwind, which meant that I made quick progress. I must have looked quite a sorry figure through, as I had a guy in a truck pull up alongside me at one point and ask if I wanted a lift in to town – I declined, I think I’d rather die than cheat at this stage! A warm shower has never felt more welcome at the end of the day though, and I spent the rest of the afternoon in the warm watching the storm outside.

By this afternoon, the weather had passed and I went out to expole the town. The countryside is truly spectacular here, with mountains rising on all sides, lining a fertile valley – this kind of landscape seems to be wasted on the Americans though. In England there would be trails and walkers everywhere, but here the goal seems to be to keep yourself hermetically sealed from the elements. Even those on ‘outdoors advneture’ holidays confine themseles to RVs, only getting out to plug in the water and gas lines at the end of the day.

The name Montana is derived from the Spanish for ‘mountian’, and the state definately lives up to it’s name – while I’ve been able to appreceate the mountains from the valleys so far, I’m climbing again tomorrow and have two mountain passes to contend with.

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6 thoughts on “Rain

  1. Glad to see that you didn’t cheat…you do know that you would have been sent back to the start if you had accepted that lift!!!
    Mountains look beautiful despite the cloud cover, but like you I am surprised that there are no walkers about, but perhaps they just get lost in that huge landscape.
    Make sure you mention the town you are in tomorrow so I can plot where you are! ly mum x

  2. Hi Ed,
    We are glad you have done 2,800 miles.Grate your more than halve way. Where are you Ed?
    from Kerenza and Rose

  3. HI Edward sorry to hear you are getting wet !!! but Grandad says we are all water proof we never see any people about when you do see some one ask them to take your picture with this fantastic scenary.Grandad seems to have lost you now onthe map !! so could you give us the name of the next town!!!is it Missoula ?? Keep band in nick !!! its an old yorkshire saying it means keep going Take good care we love you Nana & GrandadXXXXx

  4. Wow again,Edward – what amazing landscape you are going through, and making such good progress in such cold! Although down hills sounds better than uphill, I wonder if that can also in a way be very challenging? Thinking of you and best wished for good progress.

  5. LOL…ok i have to defend my fellow Americans. You wont catch us in Montana walking about because we have WAY better places closer to home to walk about, plus look how cold it is there…we have the Sierras, and the Cascades which in my humble opinion are more suited for recreation. Keep up the great work Ed, PEDAL POWER!!

  6. ed I’m glad to here that your into your next stait.What your doing is troly outstandig.

    from Oliver

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