HELENA NATIONAL FOREST CAMPSITE TO HELENA – 40 miles

Today we crossed the Continental Divide twice and as such we climb!  The first climb as it is described in the GDMBR book as respectable was 1,200 ft and the second a mere 600 ft. The first climb was a lovely climb with a steep start and grade of 4-6% about half of it in the shade. We had a 7:00 start to beat the heat. There were some awkward turns so we created arrows with felled tree branches to help other riders navigate the turns. The following down hill portion was some what primitive and it forced riders to choose a line on the decent to avoid ruts and rock. The second climb was under the direct sun with no relief from the sun seemed longer than two miles. The decent to the highway leading to Helena was maintained with smooth gravel.

Today we cross into mining country and pasted two inactive mines in the midst of vast tracks of grazing land. Central Montana from Helena and southwards, is mining country and that’s how many of the towns got there start so we have learned. Helena and Butte included. 

The foundation of Empire mine is all thats left
No shooting in the area bbexause of homes in the area
Large tracks of farming and grazing area. The fences are to keep ATVs out so we were told
Unknown carcas
Train tracks in a desolate area indicates there is something of value in the area. It’s an active mine but not sure what is extracted.

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