Brianís Cross-USA Bicycle Tour

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© 2001,

Day 20 - Saturday, July 7, 2001
Alder to Cameron, MT
51 miles

I was packed and ready to go by 7:30, but Ed at the KOA was having an all you can eat breakfast at 8:00, so I stuck around for that. Most of the same "regulars" were there and were helping with the preparation. I was the first one served to pancakes, sausages, and eggs. Ed said that would hold me over until noon, and it did. Good hospitality, I'll have to drop them a postcard before the end of the summer. 

Next it was on to the old mining towns, Nevada City and Virginia City. Nevada City is a ghost town that has been restored to its old look and feel - some old buildings from other parts of the state have been moved there. Virginia City 's original buildings are still standing, many of them have been converted to tourist shops. 

Then it was a climb up to Virginia Hill - although it's only about 800 feet higher than Virginia City, the 7% grade makes it tough. Finally, it was all the way downhill to Ennis, which was a good lunch and resupply stop. 

The route then turns south onto US 287, which follows the Madison River valley into West Yellowstone. There's a slight continuous uphill - 5000 feet to 6600 feet in about 70 miles. 

Once again, the same spoke likes to keep loosening itself. I have to retighten it daily... 

The normal weather pattern has been cool in the mornings, then quickly warming up and getting hot in the early afternoon. Mid-afternoon, the clouds roll in, and by late afternoon there is anything from a brief shower to a downpour. Today was no exception, as I could see the dark clouds forming in the south. Being in a valley with the clouds to the south meant that I had a continuous headwind to deal with, in addition to the uphill. 

As I was riding into the wind, I was recalling one of the e-mails I got, jokingly suggesting that someone could make a "made for TV" movie about my trip. We had figured my role could be played by Tom Cruise. What about some of the other roles? I'm sure Kevin Bacon could play something - maybe he would make a good pickup truck driver? Oh well, anything to keep the mind off going uphill into a headwind! 

I'm not staying in the "town" of Cameron - which is just one building that is the saloon/restaurant/store/RV park office - but in a primitive campground about 15 miles south. It was the only way conveniently split the mileage/climbing to West Yellowstone between today and tomorrow. The "no showers" thing makes it challenging to clean up after a day's ride. No payphone either for the second day in a row (to send this update).

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