Cody – Red Lodge, 83 miles

About 5 minutes before 6, we woke up to the sounds of a rainstorm. I plotted all the ways I could stay dry all day. Snuggling until the rain stopped worked out fairly well.

The espresso machine wasn’t working, so we only had the catering coffee. They ran out of eggs just before the domestic partner got to them. Then, just as we were ready to ride out, we stopped to top up our tires, and the stem broke on my front tire. My first flat of the trip. One of the mechanics fixed it, and at 8:17, we were on our way.

We had the wind at our backs as we left Cody, and made it to the first rest stop – almost 24 miles out – in about an hour. Them we reversed course, and it was a struggle to maintain 10 miles per hour. Another water stop, more slogging through the high desert, then lunch, on a collapsed cardboard box in the shade of a truck. We had a stretch with wind not in our faces after lunch and then the climb began. We could see smoke on the hills.

At the Hungry Bear Cafe (at Bear Creek, a depressed ghost town) we had the “world famous banana pie”
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Pie fixes everything. Up the last seven miles of climbing, down the last three into Red Lodge.

Done.

Bike brain. Where’s camp? Dropped off bikes. Remembered my Garmin, but not the mount, and not my pedals.

We could see helicopters coming in to the reservoir to pick up water to dump on the fires.

After a great dinner at the Bridge Creek Backcountry Kitchen and Wine Bar, we wandered around Red Lodge for a while, but turned in early.

At 4:30, I woke up and realized I’d left my pedals and mount on the bike. I rushed back, but my bike was already boxed up. The great folks at High Country Shipping promised to ship them home to me so I’d have them in time for my next adventure…

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