Day 23 – wind part deux

Day 23 – wind part deux

5/9 Day 23

54 miles Twin Bridges to Cameron Junction MT

It’s been a long time since I’ve had to get up out of my tent to check to see if everything is staked down securely. I have done it twice now in the last hour.

I’m camped behind a bar at an RV park. Everything here is an open plain and the wind has been going nuts the last few hours. Rain has been mixed in as well. Oh well at least there is wifi!

I dallied leaving twin bridges – it was just so nice. But once I got moving I again faced the wind all day. Straight in the face mostly. The miles were slow and agonizing, and even flat terrain felt like a climb. I stopped in town to pick up some more snacks and got drawn to the little cafe across the street advertising biscuits and gravy on special. The gravy needed more pepper but was quite delicious.

The climb was of course into the wind but at the base I met up with a pair of TransAm racers I’d eaten breakfast with in the previous town. Rod (Staines) and Ryan (Henry) had been leapfrogging with me all morning. As we cleared the climb and crested into the next town a “dot watcher” rode up and pedaled with them for a few miles. Then the final big climb for the day and they were off.

I made it into Ennis which was the “big” town of the day and hunkered down in the library for an hour. I didn’t want to go back out into the wind and fight the losing battle. Eventually though I did (the library was closing) and I pushed hard. 11 miles in an hour and a half. Miserable. About halfway in I saw two cyclists in a field next to the road. Guess who? Rod and Ryan had laid down to try and rest while the wind kicked up again. I broke wind for a few miles for them and then we out ran a huge rain front coming in to a bar.

It’s always something scary to look over your shoulder and just see darkness and the line of advancing rain. The wind was still nuts and you could see the curtain of water coming closer and closer to you. You know safety of a porch is only a mile ahead but it feels like forever as the wind pushes you back.

There were several other racers at the bar. They waited half an hour for a break in the weather and the wind to die down to nothing before heading back out. I had enough. I stayed. My whole upper body was exhausted, more so than my legs for the first time ever. Fighting with the bike the whole day just to stay in a straight line left me drained.

And now I sit in my tent wondering if the wind will die down. I’ll check the stakes and lines one more time and then blissfully fall asleep. The next few nights are going to be cold – mid 30s but luckily I think it’ll be much more sheltered areas, unlike this windswept cold valley. 

One Reply to “Day 23 – wind part deux”

  1. “It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.” Andre Gide

    “Heroism consists in hanging on one minute longer.” Norwegian Proverb

    That was very nice of you to be the wind break for the racers. You are a good man Charlie Brown…… Just think instead of out biking a wall of rain you will be soon out running tornadoes. I see Yellowstone is about 2 inches away on my map. I had the best time there. Be careful of the moose. Yellowstone will be a ton of fun for you. Lots to see but never enough time. You are making good time. Just be safe and listen to your gut. So proud of you.

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