The day started not with my phone alarm but from the coyote’s yipping and the cows mooing around our tent. We packed up as usual and started our day with a few unexpected steep climbs but then a wonderful descent down the mountain we climbed last night.
We knew all about the huge challenge ahead of us with the 10 mile climb up Fleecer Ridge, and the bigger challenge of descending the other side. This part of our map offers an alternate route to bypass Fleecer, but that is not the way we roll.
The climb was not too bad for the first 9 miles. We also got to see Butch on his ATV twice during our climb. He is local to Butte and comes RV’ing with his family. He was out for a 17 mile drive this morning in the mountains. He warned us what was at the top of Fleecer, and said don’t even try to ride down the other side, it was at least a 30% grade down and totally washed out. So we made it to the top after a “hike-a-bike” up the chunky, too steep last .25 mile. Time for the fun (not). With both hands on the brakes, we started the descent. It reminded me of wrestling a steer down a mountainside. I was never so happy to get to the bottom. The rest of the decent to Wise River was much deserved.
As we rolled over the actual Wise River, we stopped to chat with a fly fisherman who told us about the forest fire six miles away. The town was on alert for possible evacuation. It was definitely a smoky day for us but extra smoky in Wise River.
We stopped at H & J Saloon for pizza (Butch’s recommendation and finally connected to WiFi to open up our forest fire app (thanks Dan). We were going 13 more miles south which seemed safe from the fires.
Prayers go out to those up on the mountain fighting this fire to keep it out of town. Thirteen miles later we found our campground named 4th of July Campground. (Since we started our ride July 4). We found the perfect camp spot along Wise River, a perfect place to take a dip and get cleaned up from a very trying day 😁👍
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