Day 18: Saturday, June 12, 2015
Stop to Stop: Great Falls, MT to campsite near Roger’s Pass
Underway: 6:15 am Off Bike: 4:20 pm Ride Time: 7:51 hrs Stayed At: Stealthsite
Miles Traveled: 89.2 Total Miles: 1,275.9 Weather: Sunny and nice
First Things First: First stealth campsite.
Mile to Mile: Rabbits, deer, antelope, prairie dogs, pheasants and cows….and incredible scenery. That’s how my day went. I made a quiet and easy escape out of Great Falls – I did’t have to run the gauntlet of strip malls that is my memory of downtown. With perfect riding conditions the miles just ticked by. The wind stayed calm for the first 75 miles and let me enjoy the solitude and peacefulness of rural Montana. I stopped at mile 50+ in Augusta for an early lunch and found a bustling little town with 3 or 4 choices for a place to eat. Many places are losing there only restaurants for miles around. Even bars are closing due to lack of business if you can believe that. In 10 years it will be harder to make a trip like this with fewer or no services for long stretches. Also makes the trip less interesting.
The last 14 miles were another test today. There were camping options back in Augusta but that was too early to stop. I planned to get to an area at about mile 92 where there is some U.S. Forest Service land to stealth camp. I ran out of gas just short of my goal. As I write this I hear a little stream gurgling into a tiny pond about 300 feet off the road through an open fence. Someone has a private little pond here complete with a swim platform. It doesn’t look like it’s been used in a while. I am surrounded by pine tree covered hills and only have to listen to a car pass every 5 or 6 minutes. Hopefully nobody cares I’m here for the night. All in all, another memorable day on the great Bike Adventure.