Day Sixteen – Dillon to Ennis, MT

Day: 16
Day Mileage: 70.0
Total Miles: 900.2

I woke up early, as I do regrettably. I took my time getting ready. Making coffee of my own with the help of the Bike Walk Southwest Montana’s electric kettle. I sat on the porch for a bit as the temperature was nice with a jacket but it also helped knowing I could go inside when I needed to. I showered once more because I’m taking advantage of all that knowing it may be a day(s) or two before I’m able again. As I was cleaning, packing and loading the bike, Larry, the operator of the lodge drove up. We chatted for a bit and talked what I need to do once getting to Yellowstone. He was super friendly and helpful and it was such a great place to stay and even better place to get ready in the morning.

The first 25 miles ticked off easily with the cloud cover and cooler temperatures. I passed Beaverhead Rock for its resemblance of a beaver swimming in the water. As I pulled into Twin Bridges, I stopped at a bicycle camp that’s set up in a park. It’s known on the maps and I had to see it for myself. After, I pulled into the market in townfor a coffee, sandwich, cookie and root beer (all needed) before heading off to Alder, Nevada City and Virginia City before reaching my big climb for the day. 

Nevada City and Virginia City are old gold rush towns. Larry said once the area panned out (of gold), it was cheaper for the residents to just take what they had on their backs and leave town rather than try to sell or pack up what was in the home. Everything is left as it was and it was pretty incredible. Many tourists were checking out the old towns and shops along the new Main Street were pretty packed. 

After these two cities, I began my short but steep climb up to my one and only pass for the day. It took 50 minutes to climb 3.8 miles but that’s pretty typical at this point. Once I reached the pass, it was literally all downhill to Ennis. My next 5 miles was complete in 9 minutes and 2 seconds with an average speed of 32mph. I reached my highest speed on the trip at 44.5 and it was a “Jesus, take the wheel” moment where if one thing goes wrong…. I did have a great time with it as I dropped into the valley where Ennis sits with clouds that looked fake. What a welcome.It being Labor Day weekend, a fly fishing competition is taking place and there are outdoor vendors along the street with gear and flies available. I’m staying behind a distillery where cyclists are allowed to pitch a tent. Restrooms aren’t available after hours but there is a park nearby plus other bars are open late. I set up camp, went and did a load of laundry as it needed to happen and stopped off for dinner before hoping to stay up late enough to see the Oklahoma State game against Oregon State. It began an hour earlier here then at home and I struggled. I saw two scores and called it a night. 

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