08/01/2004

Day 63 - 8/1
Dillon, MT to Jackson Hot Springs, MT
48 (3741)

I decided to get a late start today because Dillion is home to a Patagonia Outlet store. They opened at 11 and I was right there, ready for some good deals.

After shopping, I bid farewell to gma and took off fully loaded once again. Those packs felt like more of a burden than I had remembered, especially after having gone without them for the last week. Still, it was good to be independent with everything I need strapped to my bike.

The day proved pretty tough. There was a descent climb, but the challenge was dealing with the headwinds. It was the nightmare combo: climbing a hill with wind. I had no choice but to take it very slow.

After a full afternoon of tedious pedaling through very quiet countryside, I arrived at Jackson Hot Springs Lodge. I paid my ten bucks to camp out back. Unfortunately there were no trees, so I had to rig the hammock up in the weedy corner between fence posts. It is still extremely windy, and I fear a storm may be blowing in.

I made a quick dinner then headed inside to use their pool. It's a huge pool, but the trick is that they've pumped it full of hot springs water. It felt great just to soak.

While soaking I was chatting with two friendly folks, Chris and Karen. They live in Idaho and Chris' voice sounds just like Johnny Cash. They invited out to their RVs later for a second dinner if I was interested.

After the soak, I went down to the lodge bar-anything to stay inside from the windstorm. I was pleased to see that they had 3 beers on tap: Fat Tire, Trout Slayer and Moose Drool-all fine microbrews. I had a few Moose Drools while I thumbed through their books researching the hot springs along my route through Idaho.

I then went out to the RV area to say hi to Chris and Karen. They were very gracious and introduced me to their fellow RVers. They also served me up some delicious bratwursts, pasta and fresh pineapple.