Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ennis, MT

Day 38: Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Virginia City to 19 miles past Ennis: 33 miles

Wind. Rain. That was yesterday. I shouldn't have bothered mentioning them. Today was a doozy.

The Chicago Three and I pulled out of the Virginia City campground around ten. That was our first mistake of the day. Of course, it was nice that we were already a quarter of the way up to the first pass. Just three miles to the top, and it was a steep one. But the view from the top was great, and the downhill into Ennis was steep and fast. In spite of that, the slow Old Coot was left behind.

the downhill to Ennis
Ennis is down there somewhere.
Photos like this never do justice to the magnificent view.

Ennis is one more town with an old-timey western-themed main street. But before I made it that far, I spied the Pit Stop Pizzeria. They served excellent calzones, handmade, with handmade crust. Other cyclists had their pizza, and declared it equally good.

calzone in Ennis
Lunch: a delicious calzone in Ennis

From Ennis, it's a slow ascent along the Madison River valley the entire 50 miles to West Yellowstone. The Chicago Three caught up with me on the way out of town (their lunches are longer than mine), and we thought we could come close to making that distance. We didn't count on the wind. I should have read my 1981 trip notes.

The Madison Valley is known for its excellent flyfishing and its strong down-river winds. Soon after we left Ennis, we were fighting 30-mph headwinds. After four hours of doing battle, we had made only 19 miles headway, and we were bushed. The map led us to a campground which was posted No Camping (we should have checked the map addendum), but we camped there anyway. Our intention was to wait until the wind died down, then do some night riding. In the strong wind, I didn't bother setting up the tent: I just laid it out, stuffed my sleeping bag in through the doorway, and slithered inside. Mistake number two.

dinner alee the latrine
The Chicago Three enjoy dinner alee the latrine

Well, we would have tried some night riding, but it began to rain. And stayed raining pretty much all night. I found that my tent isn't very waterproof when it's used like a bivvy sack.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I remember that windy day too, Bret. We had finally reconnected with Rick and he and I had gone ahead after you had flats. The headwinds were killing us, so we pulled into a campground (the same closed one that you found, I believe). We put a flag out for you guys to see, but it blew away! We had to ride hard next morning to catch up with you in West Yellowstone.


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