North to South Tour - Day 23

07/17/2008 13:00:00 by Administrator

From: Sula, Montana
To: Jackson, Montana
Today: 60 miles - 1254 miles total

We had breakfast at the campground cafe in Sula. IT WAS GREAT. The Rear Admiral had her Lumberjack special, and I had the pancakes with peanut butter. It was going to be a climbing day, so we stuffed ourselves...and the cook made sure we were well fed. The 12 mile climb up Lost Trail Pass was a steady climb, but not bad. We didn't stop until the top (border of Idaho and Montana), there is very nice rest stop. It was a beautiful climb, and the traffic on 93 was very light.

We then turned east on Rte 43 (another very quiet road) to cycle over Chief Joseph Pass, and within a mile and a half we were up and over. By going over Chief Joseph Pass, we crossed the continental divide again (our fourth on this trip). We then went down into Big Hole Valley, it was not a very steep down. About 10 miles from Wisdom Montana, the Rear Admiral DEMANDED something to eat, so we pulled into the Big Hole Battlefield National Monument. Oranges and an energy bar seem to do the trick. We took very little interest in the Battlefield, where in 1877 our army waged war on the Nez Perce indians. Why we honor something like this, I have no idea. Basically you look out into a acres of sage bush, valleys and mountains and just feel sad.

Imagine being in Milford and being able to see Manchester (or any other two places 20 miles apart)? As SeeMore crossed the 20 mile width of the Big Hole Valley (from west to east) you could see the other end. We also traveled through 3 different habitats. We started off in the pine forest, then sage bush and pronghorn antelopes, and finally in cattle and hay ranches. On the East side (and at the end of Rte 43 for us) is Wisdom. We had lunch at the Big Hole Restaurant; since we were in beef country the Rear Admiral had a cheeseburger, and I had Rocky Mountain Oysters.

We then headed south on Rte 278 through 15 miles of assassin mosquitos. Some how those Milk River Montana mosquitos moved from 2006 trip to this stretch of Montana. These little buggers wait until SeeMore is climbing a small butte, and attack with force. As long as you are going about 15 mph, no problems. But as you can imagine....SeeMore is no Tour de France participant. We finally got off SeeMore and sprayed each other with bug spray.

Tonight we are in Jackson (population 38), at the Hot Springs Resort. We are living semi large at the Jackson Hot Springs Lodge and Resort? where Mary opted for the trailer rooms. Yes you got it ,we are in this modular affair with dark panelling and decor from the 70's. It's pretty clean, only a little sketchy, possibly one of those nights where we should have opted for the tent? We have enjoyed the hot springs, an ice cream cone from across the street and nice hot showers. We are staying in Jackson setting up for tomorrow morning's climb, which will be two passes, Big Hole Pass (7360 ft.) and Badger Pass (6760 ft.). How bad can a mountain pass named Badger be?