HELENA TO MORMON GULCH CAMPGROUND – 44.7 miles

Have I mentioned yet that we are having the time of our lives and are enjoying the trip thoroughly? Even on bad weather days, days when we are tired or our climbing legs are spent, everyday on the GDMBR is a gift!

Now on to the riding…we started on the regular path as outlined in Day 21 in the book Cycling the Divide by Michael McCoy however we traveled through an area where there were many homes on gravel roads. Drivers were not slowing down and caused a dust storm when they passed and after 6 miles of this my allergies kicked in. At this point we opted to take the alternative route on the interstate instead of the normal route which had considerable climbing and unrideable single track (trail report from other riders). The ride on the alternative route was efficient but boring. The 80 mph interstate was safe but very hot! The days temperature was 92 degrees.

The most interesting part of the days was staying at the Merry Widow Radon Health mine. For a fee visitors can enter a cave to get a small does of radon. The radon is supposed to stimulate the pituitary gland and cure ailments such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and the list goes on. We did not enter the cave  but we did drink the spring water which was purported to provide endless energy according to the care taker of the mine. I probably did not drink enough water as I did not have endless energy the next day.

The other interesting part of our stay we met Amish or Menoniteor Fundementalist Mormans. We are not sure of their backgrounds and meant to gently ask but the opportunity did not arise. The men wore overalls and the women wore dresses with their long hair in a hair corset. They also had a distinct accent and manner of speaking which we unfamiliar with. They drove cars, ATVs, and had RVs and appeared to be living at the Merry Widow. The adults would ask where are you when first meeting us and the children would stare unabashedly. The adults visited the mines and the children rode the ATVs endlessly through camp.

I’m still learning how to use my new camera and managed to delete all of the pictures from today’s ride. Sorry! The picture below are from Erika’s iPhone.

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