I cannot remember why, but before I went to sleep I was worried about bears checking up on me. I slept soundly anyway, but woke up pretty sore. I didn’t have much of a breakfast, but the 1000 feet of climbing to Ovando wasn’t really a problem.
After waiting, what seemed like an eternity, for the food to arrive at the little café I stopped at in Ovando, I demolished a full cooked breakfast and full stack of pancakes (Retro- this would become a normal breakfast- If I could find a café that was open).
I telephoned in for the first time from the bar up the road, and continued off under overcast skies. It hadn’t rained all morning, but Mother Nature made up for it on Huckleberry Pass. I was climbing at 5 miles per hour, fully clothed, into snow driven by 40 knot winds at the 1900m summit. As I descended, snow turned to sleet, sleet turned to rain. The road was hardpack dirt and holding up well, except for the corners. Deperately trying to lose altitude and the weather, a couple of short climbs on the descent were demoralising. During lunch in Lincoln, the wind picked up even more. I had planned to make it to Helena by nightfall, another 62 miles and 5000 vertical feet (1500m vert) away, but with the previous nights events and the weather report of high winds and rain (most probably snow at the 2000m+ altitudes of the trail) I decicded to find a motel. I phoned in for the second time, disappointed at having covered only 62 miles (or half what I needed to) in one day.
(Retro- Bruce Dinsmore, Steve Wilkinson and I suspect some others rolled into Lincoln at around 8pm but leave at 7 the next morning whilst I left 2-3 hours earlier).
It's Alex Field and it's, what, 11:30 or so on Sunday, and I'm in Ovando. So, uh, I guess I'll be in Helena by sometime tonight. And I'll give another update I guess tomorrow. Thanks, bye.
Alex sounds really tired. -Tom P.
Audio: GDR Episode 3 12.05-12.25
You guys can be the judge of weather I sounded “really tired” or quite normal.
It's Alex Field again. I got to Lincoln a couple hours ago and realized I didn't have enough time to get over the mountains to Helena so it looks like I'll only be doing 60 miles today... (garbled) And then hopefully, the snow and the 40 knot winds will die down by the time tomorrow morning comes around, and I can try to get to Butte or Basin by tomorrow night. But we'll see how it goes.
Audio: GDR Episode 3 12.28-13.13