Storm 2: Polaris to Lima, MT

Here’s a picture story from our second storm. It might seem a little tame compared to Lava Mountain, but it felt pretty full on at the time. Suffice to say that it was enough for Robert and Chris, who have only a couple of weeks of their trip left, to cut their losses and head for the southerly sun in Moab, lured by the notion of mountain biking in T shirts. Very sensible…

The day began with brooding skies, but none of the driving winds or snow we'd been promised.

The day began with brooding skies, but none of the driving winds or snow we'd been promised.

After a long drag on the highway, we turned off onto dirt roads once more.

After a long drag on the pavement, battling cattle trucks that whooshed past a razor width away, or so it seemed, we turned off onto quieter dirt roads once more.

Except that the snow and drizzle that was now falling turned the clay-based surface to a tacky mush that sucked on our wheels - gumball, the locals call it.

Cue snow, which turned the clay-based surface to a tacky mush that sucked on our wheels - gumball, the locals call it.

Then the snow started to fall...

Robert wobbles on as the ice forms...

And the winds started to blow...

And the winds start to blow...

I was ready for battle though. Shimano boots, wool leg warmers and odd laces: a killer combo.

I was ready for battle though. Shimano boots, wool leg warmers and odd laces. A killer combo: performance and style.

The derailleur gremlins were conspiring to do their best to slow Chris down.

Chris kept toasty in his new wardrobe of ski boots/trousers/mitts. Those derailleur gremlins were still conspiring to do their best to slow him down though.

We took refuge in Cross Ranch, hungrily eating our food.

With horizontal snow stinging our faces, we took refuge in Cross Ranch, whose owner kindly availed us of his heated workshop for a session of bike cleaning and food chomping.

XXX

The Travel Master's Rohloff revels in these conditions. Very impressive. I really like my Epic Designs front bag too.

Robert and I percevered on the gumball trails, while Chris opted for tarmac and a ferocious headwind.

A little warmer, drier, and with full bellies, Robert and I persevered on the gumball trails. Chris opted for tarmac to salvage his gear system, chancing his luck with a ferocious headwind instead.

Me and my trusty steed, plastered in mud.

A good choice, as the track got worse and worse. The mud slowed us down to a 5mph crawl.

Fancy a drink?

Fancy a drink?

Robert and his Thorn Sterling. Mud extra.

Here's Robert and his nearly new Thorn Sterling. Sticky mud comes extra.

Not very motel friendly, me thinks.

Not very motel friendly, me thinks.

Eventually, we emerged back onto tarmac, following a frontage road parallel to the highway for the final push to Dell.

Eventually we emerged back onto tarmac, following a frontage road parallel to the highway for the final push to Dell.

It was pretty dark by the time we got there, relieved to be out of the cold.

It was dark by the time we got to the welcoming warmth of its one and only mercantile, relieved to be out of the cold.

Which brings me up to date with our night in the characterful Amish log cabin. Robert and Chris are now in Moab, so from here on, I’ll be back on my own again. I’m writing this from Jackson WY, trying to plot my next move – one eye on the map, the other on the weather…

Tough days make accommodation like this even more memorable. Apparently...

Tough days deserve a treat.

2 thoughts on “Storm 2: Polaris to Lima, MT

  1. Tom

    Nope, doesn’t look particularly tame to me…

    Good adventures, continuously awesome photos, and so good to hear about the USA that they don’t write about in the newspapers over here.

    Geek question – how are the Extremes compared to the XRs?

    Reply
    1. otbiking Post author

      Thanks Tom. For this kind of stuff – off road touring combined with unladen mountain biking – I really like them. They’re light and surprisingly grippy; they don’t wash out as much as XRs. YOu can’t have it all though. THe downside is that they don’t roll quite as well as XRs, and they definitely don’t last as long. I’m not my second set now, should get me to Mexico.

      Reply

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