08/02/2004

Day 64 - 8/2
Jackson, MT to Hamilton, MT
93 (3834)

The day started out easy enough. There was hardly any wind but the air was chilly. The roads were quiet and peaceful. I arrived at the Big Hole National Battlefield where a lot of Nez Perce and a lot of soldiers died. I rode on depressed, thinking how unjustified war can be.

Immediatetly after Big Hole I entered forest, the first in several days. Boy do I love a good forest. I saw a coyote and several deer. I also began to climb to Chief Joseph Pass, the highest point I 'd reach for awhile. It began to rain a bit on the way up, but I trudged on knowing that a rest area and lunch awaited me at the top.

The rest area had become the impromtu staging area for a local forest fire. As I ate my lunch I watched helicopters load up their water buckets and douse the nearby fire.

From here to Missoula, it was all downhill through the scenic Bitterroot Valley.

As I was riding along I spotted a moose and her baby calf just off the road. There was quite a dropoff from the road down to where they were, so none of the other cars could even see it. It was one of those times that you really can see more from a bike.

I'm camping tonight in a secluded spot along the Bitterroot River. I was able to enjoy an evening of NPR and I got some laundry done. I have an amazing view of the sun going down behind the jagged Bitterroots.