Wednesday, July 2, 2014

We made it over Marias Pass

Wednesday, July 2nd
38 miles
Glacier Haven RV Park (west of Essex, MT) to East Glacier, MT
1500 foot elevation gain.
Day 21

We got started about 8 am to get ahead of the RV crowd. We had a nice shoulder and the day stayed cool until about 11 am. We didn't climb very much until Essex which was about 6 and 1/2 miles into the ride. Even after Essex it was a steady climb instead of steep grades.
It was so apparent that we are in far better shape than when we were in the Cascades. We were definitely panting but our legs felt strong instead of burning and we only walked for a short time, once.
We reached Marias Pass about noon. The name Marias is in honor of a niece of either Lewis or Clark. Why it has no apostrophe is anyone's guess especially since just like northern MI, apostrophes are used here to make something plural. (A little pet peeve of mine).
So, riding across the country with one pass under our belt. Woo hoo.
I found some gorgeous little white orchids when I stopped for a "comfort stop". I told Dave to remind me to bring my camera when I go into the woods because I find the most wonderful wildflowers that way!
The landscape is much more arid beyond the pass. It opens up into rock escarpment and looks more like ranch country. The Blackfeet reservation extends for many miles from here both east and north.
We are still at 4800 feet here. Tomorrow we will be riding to Cutbank (and maybe beyond to Shelby) which is at 3800 feet. We do have to ascend a line of hills that are east of this town, but afterwards it should be "all downhill from here!" How many times have I heard that from Dave?
Dave's shoulder continues to be sore, mostly affecting his ability to find a comfortable position to sleep.  The waitress at this restaurant found him a zip lock bag and some ice for his shoulder. Prayers for healing for this would be appreciated.
We're still hanging out with Lorriann and Dale. We made it to the Pass at roughly the same time and are now camping at a pokey little campground; the Lazy R.
Well, hopefully I can upload a few pictures using WiFi at Luna's restaurant. We will be heading back soon for an early bedtime although I find it hard to sleep when it stays light so late here in the north.

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