West Yellowstone, Montana, Mile 730


We made a 20-mile detour to the touristy town of West Yellowstone today. My bike has been making an annoying “click” for the last few hundred miles. I mentioned it to the mechanic in Butte but he dismissed it. It became more persistent and loud since we left Butte. There are no towns on our route ahead with bike shops for several hundred miles so I figured I better have it taken care of. Sure enough, it was what I thought it was: a loose bottom bracket. The mechanic in West Yellowstone at Freeheel and Wheel Inc fixed me up for $20. He’s got a nice little shop just off the main street at 40 Yellowstone Ave.

As to those Nederlanders, Michiel & Margo, with whom we camped several times earlier on – we feel like we’re tracking them. When we had to stay over in Helena to have my bike worked on they got a day ahead of us and we’ve been on their trail ever since. They have tires on their bikes with a distinctive tread pattern so we can follow their trail on dirt roads. We’ve been seeing the telltale pattern in the dirt lately which led us to believe they were not too far ahead since weather and traffic erases the trail within a day or two. Sure enough, when we camped at the Upper Red Rock Lake Campground last night, the tag that was on the campsite we chose was theirs! They had chosen the same campsite as we did – only one day earlier:


Now that we’ve had to detour another day, we will probably never catch the Nederlanders. They read this blog though, so at least they’ll know we’ve been thinking of them. Mary would like to catch them so that we would have someone to camp with. We’re back in grizzly country and, you know, safety in numbers.

By the way, Upper Red Rock Lakes was a very nice campground:


The wind has been a problem for the last few days. Headwinds can be very discouraging on a bicycle. Still, we’ll take wind over rain.

We’ve crossed the Continental Divide six times so far but all the other crossings have been in such remote locations that there was no sign to mark the crossing. Today we encountered our first and Mary insisted on a picture:


We actually crossed into Idaho this morning but have returned to Montana for this detour. We only cross a small corner of Idaho and then we are into Wyoming big time. Let you know how that goes.