Within 6 miles of Butte we were out of the city limits and back into prime state forest with access to trails and creeks within a short walk of the roads. We climbed a surprising steep road on pavement to the ridge above the Butte city water shed where we had good views of Butte and the forest. The road turned to gravel and we traversed gravel roads for the rest of the day. We crossed the Continental Divide (#6) and enjoyed a great view of the Pioneer Mountain range. After lunch the fast rolling terrain on rutted roads and a steep descent commanded our attention. We road our brakes and maneuvered around the holes, ruts, and rocks. Some riders in our group had a confrontation with cows grazing freely about.
The last push to the camp site was steeper than we had expected and we hiked with our bikes over a one mile section. Camp tonight was just Erika and I as Sue had opted for the alternate route. Tomorrows route includes a famous section “Fleecer Ridge”. Famous for a steep climb and a steeper descent connecting the Beaverhead Dearlodge National forest. Maybe we are silly to attempt to ride it but I had read so much about Fleecer Ridge that I felt it was calling my name.