Day 56 - West Yellowstone, MT to Ennis, MT - Can('t) Hurt Me - CycleBlaze

July 7, 2021

Day 56 - West Yellowstone, MT to Ennis, MT

Road magic, we need some

Today we woke up at our normal time of 6 am and got out of the way of the RV-ers. We stayed next to a guy from Michigan who looked just like jim Gaffigan. Mary and I rode through a drive through coffee spot which had excellent coffee. The drive through coffee is definitely a western thing. By this time, about 730, there was a mega line to get into Yellowstone. It stretched all the way through town, probly about a mile away from the formal entrance.

Yuge lines here
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We got on the road going north towards hebgen lake. We started seeing signs for quake lake, which I had only heard about briefly. There were lots of stops on the road with historical signs to read. We were all fascinated and excited that the route went right by the lake and the visitors center.

The view from hebgen lake. Montana is taking the lead for prettiest countryside
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Hidden valley ranch commercial
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As we rode to the visitors center the traffic was light and we stopped at a few more signs. Approaching the visitors center we passed a couple of people going west bound - Jeremy and panina- who we hadn't seen before. It started raining and I asked if they were stopping at the quake lake visitors center so we could chat. They didn't end up stopping, but we did. The overlook was nice and it was cool reading the history.

The landslide that formed the lake, 1959, I think
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Quake lake still has trees from when it flooded.
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We ate lunch there and let the storm subside. I hadn't drank or eaten anything by that time and was feeling pretty bad, so the rest made it better. The storm had brought a slight change of winds in our favor. We descended from the lake into a valley where we had 30 or so miles to get to Ennis. It was all down hill and we had this new 15 mph tailwind. We flew into town in about an hour. I averaged 23-30 mph the whole time. We caught the new couple, Panina and Jeremy again and they said they were staying with a warm showers host tonight in Ennis. I totally forgot to check warm showers because we were going to just sleep behind a distillery in town. 

The last stretch into town got pretty deserty. We are following that Madison river, which flows really fast from up at quake lake, down to Ennis. Apparently it is a blue ribbon trout stream, so all we see are fishermen
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We arrived in record time and Mary even got a fastest section on Strava. We met up at the distillery and I messaged the warm showers host. The distillery was fine, but there wouldn't be access to a bathroom after hours and no shower. The river was too fast to get in for a shower, so we weren't too excited about sleeping there. Rachel, the warm showers host, responded immediately and we rode right to her house. It turns out that Connor, David, and Tim were also staying there and were going to arrive a little later. We started the shower line and met their dog, Loki. Meanwhile, the 3 guys showed up. Mary and I went to the store for dinner, since there weren't good options to eat. We didn't feel like cooking so we just ate bagged salad and added beans and hummus. We went back to Rachel's house and tried to plan our next few days. If we went to twin bridges tomorrow it would be a nice short day, but we couldn't find a place to stay for the following day that wouldn't be nearly 100 miles. The other guys are going to Dillon tomorrow, about 65 miles and that would set us up for a better next day. We also have a giant 2200' climb out of Ennis tomorrow in only 11 miles. We decided to get to twin bridges and see how we are feeling. We went back inside to socialize with everyone and our hosts shared some beers with us and everyone ate cobbler. We went to bed after 10, which is way too late for tourists, but it was alot of fun talking to everyone. We had pitched our tents in the yard and I went right to sleep.

Mary and loki
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Altitude gain:1400

Today's ride: 72 miles (116 km)
Total: 3,007 miles (4,839 km)

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