Dodging Bullets

Hank – We knew we’d be riding in the rain today so we expected the worst and hoped for the best. The temp was 40 degrees when we left St Anthony and the wind was blowing hard. Lucky for us it was a tailwind. Regardless, hats and gloves were needed because of the rain. We made good time covering 15 miles to Ashton where we had a late breakfast. When it came time to leave the rain picked up. But the wind stayed to our backs. The on again-off again rain kept up while we climbed for about five miles. It was a long slog but it went pretty well. Kathy needed to stop about every mile or so because we’re at altitude and it affects her more than me.

We showed up in Island Park, ID just before 3:00 pm. The city sign says Island Park has the longest Main Street in America. Wikipedia says the main street is 33 miles long. Apparently the long, slender city along Hwy 20 was incorporated by a bunch of resort owners to get around state liquor laws regarding sales outside of city limits. Smart thinking.

We parked at the Trouthunter restaurant and five minutes later the hailstorm arrived. Whew! Dodged another one.

We ordered food and drinks and decided to wait out the rest of the rain before covering the last five miles to the campground we plan to stay at. Curtis, a young man working at the restaurant, took an interest in us and our bikes. He was excited to learn about our adventure and thought we were inspirational. So maybe there’ll be a new bike tourer out there some day.

Around 5:00 or so we decided to head to the campground. We still had rain on the way but we got the tent up before it got bad. The camp hosts invited us to come back and warm up by the fire. Kathy got ready for bed and was staying in her sleeping bag. I went back and sat by a toasty fire with Ken and Casey who also treated me to a beer. We told stories and hung out. That’s two more nice people I’ve met on this adventure. Back at the tent I put my woolies on. It’s supposed to hit 30 degrees tonight.

Kathy – So today we climbed, completed 45 miles with over 2,000 feet of elevation. It was only 40 degrees, but with the wind chill I’m sure it was colder. We could see our breath often throughout the day. We were bundled up with our riding gear, jackets, additional rain jackets, wool hats and thick gloves. We stayed nice and warm during our ride, but got really cold with any stops.

The ride up the mountain pass went on forever, but it was not hard. My legs remained strong. I only stopped here and there because of the altitude. Spokane is around 2,000 feet and we are over 6,000 feet now. I would stop for about a minute then go back to riding. I am pleased all the climbing is getting so easy now. I’m slow going up, but I do not hurt during the climbs or after anymore.

We did not hit the Continental Divide today, apparently after some more climbing tomorrow we will hit it. Tomorrow we ride to West Yellowstone entrance.

Looking forward to more time in Yellowstone and happy to find that all the storm activity will move out of the area tonight. Supposed to be sunny and in the mid 70’s the next few days. Good timing to travel around Yellowstone on the bikes. I may even work on evening out my bike clothes tan lines. 🙂

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  1. Rode JayP’s Pursuit out of Island Park a year ago at Christmas. The day’s high was -27F.

    Stunning country any time of year. Wishing you well.


    1. Thank you, Dan.


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