Leaving Helena it started to rain and it didn’t let up for hours. I was soaked and cold for most of the day. The climb was pretty long outside of Helena and little did I know that the hardest part of the day was yet to come. I climbed up to Park Lake and turned off a decent road onto 1878-D1 a ridiculously steep and rutted out road, here I pushed my bike uphill over down trees and ruts so big I wouldn’t even of taken of Toyota 4Runner on that road. I’d push my bike up a few feet, my feet would lose their traction, I would slip and my bike would fall down, the peddles would cut my legs and rip my pants. At one point my bike fell and slid 20 feet down, I sat there crying, seriously considering just leaving my bike and hiking out. It was insane, for 3-4 miles I did this. Eventually, I got to a downhill section, but it was too steep and rocky to ride down. I was exhausted and just wanted to get onto a rideable road. About 3 miles later, I came out to a rideable road and began my descent into Basin. It started to rain again. I was enjoying the downhill when all of a sudden I was thrown off my bike and on the ground. My new tattoo was scrapped off my arm, it was bleeding and bruised and my helmet was dented. I was defeated. I was exhausted. Cold. Wet. Ugh! I got back on my bike and continued to ride down past all of the mines. I have never been so happy to see an interstate as I was to see I-15. I rode into Basin and went straight for the saloon. I cleaned my arm off and texted my tattoo artist worried I had destroyed my tattoo that honored my sister, Martha. He told me how to care for it and that we’d need to see how it healed up before we talked about touching it up. I was so devastated to ruin my tattoo. I ate a ton of food, talked to some locals about what I was doing, what was going on in Basin and decided to stay inside the community center for the night because the rain was not letting up. Being inside is a welcomed thing when you feel alone and exhausted and it’s wet and cold outside. I was grateful to be inside that night.
The next morning, I woke up and packed up. My goal was to get into Butte, which was about 39 miles away. The ride was pretty moderate into Butte. The sky was very hazy from fires and the day warmed up a lot making the last miles into Butte rough. I stopped for a break about 11 miles from Butte and apparently, I invaded a badgers hangout spot, he was very upset with me. He stood in front of me flaring his body up and down at me. I had never faced off with a badger and decided to just leave and get away from him. The damn thing really freaked me out. I rode the last little hill down into Butte and walked through uptown. The architecture is very interesting in Butte and I made my way through uptown enjoying the old buildings, shops and even a stop at Pita Pit for lunch. I also stopped at the local bike shop to have my derailer checked out. After all of my errands were finished, I checked into a hotel for the night.
In the morning, my auntie Karen picked me up in Butte and drove me to her house in Bozeman where I stayed for three days. Karen is hilarious, she has a small sedan that I was concerned about fitting my bike into. She instructed me to shove my bike in the back seat. I was super hesitant, but we did get it somewhat inside the back seat. However, my bike was stuck and hanging half way out of the car. I am not a bike person and admittedly didn’t think to remove my front tire and when I tried to I wasn’t used to the new quick release thingy so struggled to figure it out. There we were two women trying to shove this beast of a bike in her little car, then we got the bike stuck and it wouldn’t move in or out. Karen was inside the car trying all she could to push it back out and I was outside trying to pull it out. NO LUCK 😦 She then told me to go inside the hotel and get a man!!! I did, he came out and within minutes the front tire was off and the bike was inside her back seat. Karen now has a permanent hole in her car ceiling from my bike 😦 it was a hilarious adventure getting my bike to fit. Karen and I drove back to her house and I had a great few days off my bike hanging out with her, my two cousins Mark and Matt and her adorable dogs. I ate and sat around and ate some more and just enjoyed my time with family. There was a ton of laughs, a ton of food and a ton of laziness 🙂 perfect for me!!