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Saying goodbye to Montana

Editor’s note: David Freeze is biking coast to coast. His trek started June 10 in Oregon. He’s sending dispatches from the road to be published in the newspaper, at www.salisburypost.com, and on his blog, “Gotta Run” at blog.salisburypost.com/gottarun

Today started from Dillon, Mont. The first part of the ride, about 24 miles, was mostly flat, and I got to see some rich history. Best thing was the beautiful weather. In two and a half weeks, I’ve had just a few really nice days.

I will admit to being a little worn down at the end of yesterday. The flat tire played a big part in that. But for some reason, I got a good night’s sleep and felt much better this morning. A quick stop at the Safeway grocery store got me some essentials for the ride. I decided to eat plenty today, and get my energy back up. Best thing to help was an interesting ride. All morning was along more of the Lewis and Clark trail.

A quick stop for a good breakfast in Twin Bridges helped, too, and a visit to their library got me caught up on messages. Then I got to head to gold country again. I stopped in Sheridan to get some duct tape and some more groceries, then on down to Adler. Adler once had 10,000 residents; now it has about 100. I stopped here for a fill-up on water and two huckleberry ice cream sandwiches. Great stuff, and I wish we had them at home. Samantha Cheff at the Adler Market told me they were good, and they are. In a day of coincidences, Samantha is soon to move to Greensboro. I also met Kate Henderson and Ben Jordan from Denver, who are peddling to Portland and then on to Los Angeles. I really enjoyed talking to them.

Then the history kicked in, and most of it had to do with gold. I saw big piles of placer mining screenings, virtually ruining the land for any further use. Then I rolled through Nevada City and on to Virginia City. Both are restored wonderfully, and I decided to spend the night at a campground near Virginia City.

So far, I am enjoying the history maybe a little more than the national forests. Both are great in their own way, but most of the national forests have another mountain to climb. I start tomorrow with the final ascent on the pass above Virginia City. Then comes a day with no more severe climbing.

My mileage for today was a scant 61, a rest day of sorts.

Now for the big coincidence, I am camping in Virginia City. So is Dick Franklin, but not the one from Salisbury. I thought it was the same one for awhile. Dick had let me know earlier that he would be in the area, but I hope to find him later on the trip. Sounds like there will be some contact with others from the Salisbury area too.

Tomorrow should be my last full day in Montana.

• • •

One mistake I made today, I forget to get a picture of Kate and Ben from Denver. Kate, will you send that to me? We shared a lot about our rides, and I realized later that I forgot to get the picture.

Freelance writer David Freeze lives in Rowan County.

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