I was really lucky with the with the weather today, it had been forcasted to rain, but I spent all day enjoying blue skies – It was cold though, not getting above about 10°. I had a steep climb up a mountian pass first thing this morning, but while steep it wasn’t too long and the panoramic views back down the valley made it worthwhile. The scenery today was epic – I spent the entire day surrounded by mountians, and fertile valleys filled farms and cattle. It makes a nice change to see some human impact on the land after nearly a thousand miles of barren rocky outcrops and windswept plains.
I hit another major landmark today – I have now cycled more than 3000 miles! It came at the right time – no sooner had the odometer ticked over than I started the tough climb over Pipestone Pass. Unlike this mornings climb, this one was long -I had to tackle a 7% grade for 8 miles. When I finally reached the top after nearly an hour of hard work, I only had a couple of miles left to go until Butte – all of them downhill.
In its heyday between the late 19th century and about 1920, Butte was one of the largest and most notorious copper boomtowns in the American West, home to hundreds of saloons and a famous red-light district. Now it just comes across as a seedy town past it’s best, with the huge open-cast mine casting it’s shadow over the city. I must have been more tired than I thought, as I spent most of the afternoon asleep, having drifted off in front of the TV – I have a short day tomorrow, so hopefully I’ll have a chance to rest a bit more.