Day 22 – Helena

Start: Priest Pass (Divide crossing #4)
Finish: Helena, MT
Today’s miles: 15.6
Total miles: 627.3
Splats: 0
Divide crossings: 0

Last night, as I set up my tent high on the divide line, it began to rain lightly. Just as I was about to doze off, the back of my eyelids lit up a bright blue soon followed by a clap of thunder. As the lightning became more frequent and closer in proximity, I became nervous. When my ear on the ground suddenly started ringing, I wasn’t sure if it was random or if it could be caused by a build up of charges in the ground. I wasn’t taking any chances. I got into something like what I remembered the ‘lighting strike position’ to be. I discovered, however, that my previously hurt ankle couldn’t support my weight in this position. I abandoned the defense and went to sleep.

Last night’s storm ended up not being that bad, but I did awake to rain in the morning. I packed up quickly and headed down the mountain. By the time I arrived in Helena, the rain ceased. I was super excited to find the farmers’ market. It reminded me of home. I bought peas and carrots, zucchini bread, and coffee. I consumed the bread and coffee immediately and continue to munch on the veggies.

At 10:00 I wandered over to the Great Divide Cyclery and the accompanying service shop, The Garage. Chad replaced my brake with a new one which is very exciting to me. I can’t wait to have a reliably functioning brake again! I ended up spending most of my day rotating between the above mentioned bike shop, Big Sky Cyclery, where I picked up a pair of liner bike shorts to potentially replace my bibs, and The Base Camp, an outfitter where I searched for a new loose fitting shirt to replace my jersey. I also wandered the pedestrian mall and got myself a fish burrito from Taco Del Sol, as recommended by Ed on my Facebook page. It was, without doubt, the best burrito I’ve had.

I’m staying at the Lamplighter hotel tonight and debating what to do tomorrow. I feel antsy to get back riding, but was up and about all day long. I need to sit down and figure out some logistics for the upcoming few weeks. Tomorrow’s post will likely be made from the Lamplighter as well.

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