Day 17 - Skidway to Ryegate - C2C - from Westport, Washington to Sandy Hook, New Jersey - CycleBlaze

June 19, 2016

Day 17 - Skidway to Ryegate

A century - fully loaded.
Of course, the nice tailwind certainly helped.

Took a while to get started because the campsite was in the trees and the temps were on the chilly side - no ice this time, though. Not to mention, also, that the campground is a steep climb from the highway.

Still a Little Snow on the Belt Mountains from Skidway Campsite
Heart 0 Comment 0

Anyhoo, I had just a mile more of climbing before topping out. I had expected, at least, a modest downhill, but there were roller coasters - then finally a killer to Ninemile Junction. And then - and then - it just got better and better. Blue skies, cool crisp morning, the Crazy Mountains looming in the distance, and wildflowers carpeting the side of the road.

Crazy Mountains in the Distance with a Wildflower Carpet by the Road
Heart 3 Comment 0

The back route, Highway 294, had a short killer climb, but then there was twenty miles of downhill with a tailwind. Oh.My.Gosh! It was awesome. Zero traffic. Not just taking the middle of the lane, but the middle of the road. (There was the need to dodge cow pies, but hey.) Perfect day. Flying along effortlessly. It's what touring is all about.

Zooming at the Speed of Cool Blue Light
Heart 1 Comment 0

I was wondering whether anything would be open in Martinsdale. The last train came through in 1980 - when they pulled up the tracks. Amazingly enough, the little hotel cafe was open on Sundays and was packed. I had a great meal topped off with fresh Rhubarb pie.

The Crazy Mountain Inn in Martinsdale - Welcome Oasis
Heart 0 Comment 0

Then it was back on the road, although this time it was US 12 - light traffic, but not empty. Absolutely flew the 24 miles into Harlowton. Sadly, there is little left - especially to downtown. The old State Theaters sits derelict on Main Street. No roof, no windows - the only guests are pigeons.

The Abandoned State Theater in Harlowton - Once So Very Elegant
Heart 0 Comment 0

I debated whether to stop at 75 miles or go on to Ryegate. Meanwhile the flags flapped furiously in my favor. I didn't debate long, but hopped on my bike again. More traffic - still not too much - and good shoulders made for a carefree ride. The Musselshell River is bordered mostly by private land with little public access, but you are able to gets glimpses of its meanders every now and then.

A Fleeting View of the Musselshell River
Heart 4 Comment 0

Finally pulled into Ryegate at 7:00. Grabbed a steak dinner at the cafe/bar to celebrate an easy century and wrote out this page as the full moon rose in the east.

The Ryegate Grain Elevator at Sunset
Heart 1 Comment 0

Today's ride: 103 miles (166 km)
Total: 975 miles (1,569 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 2
Comment on this entry Comment 0