Sunday, June 27, 2010
Day 5 Big Fork to Fatty Creek
An "easy" day of 34 odd miles, with a 6 mile climb in the morning to 2800ft. What could go wrong? Initially I was 2 miles from the route, and the pavement inevitably turned to gravel FR. Another obnoxious climb was conquered by bike and foot. A quick photo lead to a half hour talk with a very hospitable retired cattle rancher, hailing from Missoula. The downhill passed through Swan Lake Wildlife refuge, and as one switchback lead to another, another lead to a bear. I have seen bears both in the wild and at the zoo, but having one 20 yards infront of you gets the adrenaline pumping, he or she was quick to retreat and I was quick to pass by. A few animal bones along the way also added to the paranoia. As I approached my intented Fatty Creek campsite, I was tired and ready for the day to end. Whilst being swamped by mosquito's I accidentaly sprayed myself in the eye, and then found that the previous tenant had left their trailmix everywhere. Time to relax, calm down and sit peacefully overlooking the thunderstorm in the near distance. O wait... another bear, seemingly okay with my presence, just foraging a few 10 yards from my perch on the bridge. The golden brown of his hide made him look very cuddly and of course would look great as the background for my computer, unfortunately a the picture came to mind second. I knew there was lodging down the road, although unsure of whether there was a vacancy, i was willing to risk the 15 miles, possibly 25 to the next town. The risk payed of even if it turned into a 50 mile day, and I was safe for the night...
Also recent news flash...RIP to Dave Blumenthal who had a fatal crash on the Tour Divide