Butte to Polaris: the calm before…

I’m now a stone’s through from Jackson, Wyoming. First though, here’s a couple of catch-up blogs from the lux lounge of the Signal Resort while I camp down the road!

So, to recap. After a night in the opulent Super 8 motel (and prolonged all-you-eat breakfast), Robert and I took for the trails once more. Chris still had errands to run in Butte, fettling with his bike and trailer setup, before investing in a whole new wardrobe of toasty clothes to fend off this unexpected onset of chilly weather…

A long but easy going climb took us to 7000ft.

A long but easy going climb took us back to 7000ft, crossing Continental Divide no 5.

Still snowing up here...

Still snowing up here...

A great address.

A great address.

This one led us down a massive descent where I hit just shy of 40mph, before crossing the interstate hightway onto a backroad.

Then a wonderful dirt road led us down a massive descent where I hit just shy of 40mph. Getting air off the waterbars on a 50kg bike is good fun...

By the way, I think I've fractured my hand in a mountain biking accident in Missoula - riding a lovely ti Co Motion hardtail, I endoed down a concrete flight of stairs. My excuse? The brakes were the American, 'wrong' way round. Anyway, several days later, my hand swelled right up. 'Vitamin I' helped bring it down, and there's now a sizeable lump. My theory? The fractured bone is reforming, better, bigger and stronger! It doesn't hurt too much when I ride, bar the odd stabbing pain when I touch it or put on my gloves. If anyone with medical knowledge could concur with my theory, that would be great!

Poor hand, looking a little puffy.

By the way, I think I’ve fractured my hand in a mountain biking incident in Missoula. While riding a lovely ti Co Motion hardtail, I endoed down a concrete flight of stairs. My excuse? The brakes were set up the American, ‘wrong’ way. Several days later, my hand swelled up like a puffer fish, so much so that I had to coax it into my winter gloves. ‘Vitamin I’ helped bring the swelling down, though there’s now a sizeable, hard lump in its place.. My theory? The fractured bone is reforming; bigger, better and stronger! It doesn’t hurt too much when I ride, bar the odd stabbing pain when I touch it or put on my gloves. If anyone with medical knowledge could concur with my theory, that would be great!

After a shimmy across the interstate, we were back on quiet roads again. Unfortunately, we had to miss out on the infamous XXX, which is currently knee deep in snow. Gutted!

After a shimmy under Interstate 15, we were back on quiet roads again. Unfortunately we had to miss out on the infamous singletrack of Fleecer Ridge, which is currently knee deep in snow. Gutted!

Nothing beats a night of camping after a great day's riding. Unless it's below freezing...

Nothing beats a night of camping after a great day's riding. Unless it's below freezing...

All work and no play is no fun at all. I've had this topcap for ten years, and it's moved from bike to bike.

All work and no play is no fun at all. I've had this topcap for ten years, and it's moved with me from bike to bike.

A word of running to fully loaded Dividers running Rohloffs. Quash your ego and fit a 38T sprocket. The climbs are steep...

Tech Talk. A word of warning to fully loaded Dividers running Rohloff Speedhubs. Quash your ego and fit a 38T sprocket. The climbs are steep...

In the morning, we rode through Divide. As far as I could see, it had one bar and, well, that's about it.

In the morning, we rode through Divide. As far as I could see, it had one bar and, well, that's about it.

I like the way this old truck was parked up randomly in a field, as if it was on a shoot for a 70s brochure.

I like the way this old truck was parked up somewhat randomly in a field to a beautiful backdrop, as if it was on a shoot for a 70s brochure.

If you're passing by, the XXX motel rustles up a behemoth plate of pancakes and maple syrup for 4 dollars. One of the couple who runs it is from Scotland, and used to be a keen cyclist.

If you're passing by, the Wise River Club motel rustles up a behemoth plate of pancakes and maple syrup for 4 dollars. One half of the couple who runs it is from Scotland, and speaks with a curious Scotch/Montanan lilt, he used to be a keen cyclist too.

The climb up towards the pass was lush, passing one beautiful potential campsite after another, each enticing us to stop with these kinds of views...

The gentle 30 mile climb up towards the pass was lush, passing one beautiful potential campsite after another, each enticing us to stop with these kinds of views...

Sagebrush.

These riparian meadows teem with willows, beavers, moose and mallards.

Almost up and over. Ten to eleven thousand feet peaks were all around.

Almost up and over. Ten to eleven thousand feet peaks were all around.

Needing to catch up for lost time, we pushed on over the pass, and after a fast, chilly descent, holed up in Grasshopper Creek. Seems another storm is brewing…

(more on that soon…)

4 thoughts on “Butte to Polaris: the calm before…

  1. Matt

    Cass, looks like a fracture, should heal quickly, just make sure the alignment of the bones in the hand is ok, do this by making a fist and checking none of the fingers are misplaced (overlapping etc, both fists should look the same). My hand looked very similar after crashing into a tree, still got the hard bone lump !

    Reply
  2. RichNYC

    Stunning, absolutely stunning pictures!!! I still cannot get over the fact that there is snow in all the places I cycled a little over two months ago… I’m little jealous, too. I’m a mountain and cold weather ‘goat’;) Love hiking, climbing, biking in snow country…

    Reply
  3. otbiking Post author

    Thanks for the advice Matt. It’s finally feeling a bit better, though I guess an xray would be wise.

    I’m loving the snow. How long this will last though, is another matter…

    Reply

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