Spring Gulch to Wisdom Montana - overall distance 69 km/41 miles - Chief Joseph Pass - 16 km/10 miles for 900 m/3000 ft altitude gain. Lots of rest stops on the way up, but I made it! Then a long downhill and straight roads to Wisdom Montana pop 109. Mam says this is smaller than one of her family reunions. Wisdom's other claim to fame is 2 billion mosquitoes - sleeping indoors tonight.
Hamilton to Spring Gulch Campground near Sula Montana - 60 km, staging for Chief Joseph Pass tomorrow. Nice ride, some climbing near the campground as an introduction to the pass.
Great campground on the Bitterroot River, getting used to USFS campgrounds - water, vault toilets, no showers.
Lolo to Hamilton - 60km - half way to the staging point for Chief Joseph Pass, a 10 mile climb. Paved bike route the whole way. Steady side winds bringing all kinds of wonderful pollens into my throat - antihistamines tonight.
In mountain country for sure now, the Rockies have been visible since early morning. A preview of the uphill climbs to come for the next few weeks.
This was the key ride to determine if I could do this trip - Lolo Pass. Turns out, as most events in life, the anxiety exceeded the difficulty, and although it was difficult it was rideable. It appears that most passes on major hiways run 5% to 7% grade maximum. While Lolo was 4 miles of climbing, I took a few breaks and easily arrived at the rest stop at the top.
The downhill was a thrill until it dropped to about 1.5% at the bottom and the afternoon headwinds came up.