We were once dead legged then we became bicycle gods.
Pizza for dinner and a good night’s sleep led us to believe we would be recharged after the last week of climbs and headwinds.
It soon became apparent that our legs were not interested in our beliefs. We knew that today would be a long, downhill ride. We neglected to notice that the first 30 miles was more or less level. We pedaled hard but couldn’t maintain a decent speed. We stopped at a convenience store and complained about our sorry state.
We were riding around Hebgen Lake. Big surprise: it’s beautiful.
Roadside signs told us about a massive earthquake, 7.5 on the Richter scale, that hit this area. This is the biggest recorded quake in the Rockies.
The quake pinched off the valley and created Quake Lake. We stopped at the Quake Lake visitor center. It was on a hill overlooking the lake. It told stories of people killed and harrowing rescues.
We left the center under threatening skies. Somehow we managed to thread the needle in the storm. The road started tilting downward. Suddenly we were zooming along at 25 mph. We are gods. Then we noticed the grass leaning in waves toward Ennis. A big stinking beautiful tailwind! We were now in the broad Madison River valley.
Aside from some unpleasant traffic (I was coal rolled again) and a stretch where the rumble strips took up all but a foot of the paved shoulder, the riding was bliss. Even the few uphills could not slow us.
We made it to Ennis about 1 p. m. 73 miles.
This was our payback for that awful day along the Wind River last week.
I crossed the 2,000 mile mark for my tour this morning. Last night I started looking into the logistics of getting home. It’s too soon to guess when we’ll be done but 3 1/2 weeks isn’t far off.
We are staying with a Warmshowers host. Unfortunately the town shut off the water to her street, repairing some pipes. Our hosts offered to drive us to a friend’s house to clean up. Nice people.
Miles today: 73.5 Tour miles: 2,067.5