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Day 68, Darby, Montana

75 miles, 3,081 total

This day made it into the top five as far as scenery and beauty.  I started out in the flat plan of the Big Hole Valley, where I had the company of furry and feathered friends.

This skunk had his tail up should I become too friendly.

An osprey feeding her chicks.

Before entering the Bitterroot Mountains, I stopped in at the Big Hole Battlefield National Monument, where in 1877 Federal troops attacked retreating Nez Perce indians, slaughtering over 80 in a pre-dawn advance.  Many of those killed were women and children.  Another sad example of our country’s early treatment of native Americans.

I then turned to climb into the Bitterroot Mountains.  Quickly the landscape changed to pine forests and  rushing streams.

Trout-filled stream

This does not mean flat terrain! (Plus putting chains on bike tires is a nuisance.)

Not too bad a climb, compared to others on the route. Just 1,000 ft elevation gain (but another crossing of the Continental Divide)

The ride down the other side through the Bitterroot Mountains was spectacular!  The drop was over 3,000 ft. and going the other direction would be an ordeal.

Whole route to Darby was among canyons with sheer rock walls on both sides of the road.

Looking up, up, up next to the road.

Came upon this bed and breakfast a little ways south of Darby and noticed the Hello Cyclists banner.  Usually that means motorcyclists, but the logo of Adventure Cycling caught my attention.  I turned in and found that the owner does cater to bikers, although the $80 rate was more than I wanted to pay.  Turned out, too, that she and her husband owned the Jackson Hot Springs lodge for 18 years (where I stayed the night before).  The bed and breakfast is very nice (hot tub and all)!

I slept in a little campground in Darby ($9/night!).

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2 comments on “Day 68, Darby, Montana

  1. Appears you are making significant progress. You certainly have captured some wonderful shots. Thanks for sharing with us. Are you traveling alone or hooked up with someone? Look forward to your daily shots. Montana looks to be very scenic. Good luck to you!!

  2. Beautiful photos and big climbs. Too bad those little places want so much money. But maybe you should treat yourself now and then. Hard to see when you would be back there again.

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