Day 13- 13 August 2010 Bozeman ,Montana to Big Timber 64 miles (104 Kms)

Today was Friday the 13th, so like any horror movie  I woke up to a puncture and stormy weather 50F weather. Again we were taking the I-90 as there was no alternative.

At first the rain was merely light droplets but before long it became so heavy that it was starting to become so difficult to even maintain proper control of the bike in the narrow hardshoulder.We were literally drenched as if we had just swam in the river which was shadowing. Just as the forecast predicted the storm had most definitely arrived and we were smack bang in the middle of it. There was no respite ,no shelter and without any coverage to call the support team we were forced to keep cycling through the difficult conditions with difficult visibility continuing along the interstate. For a period of the road it was so treacherous that just one slip, one lapse of concentration and you were to fall into the path of oncoming trucks.

After pedalling for 1.5 hours in tough conditions we finally made it to the first stop along the road Livingston where we stopped at a garage for some shelter and grub.

We tried contact the support team whom had bought us some hot food but with network coverage down communications were broken down there was no such luck of a fresh pair of clothes or even to try ourselves off properly so we went back onto the  dreaded I-90 to complete the final 45 miles or so without a break. Barely a picture was taken fearing the camera would be destroyed under the conditions. We had a number of the usual puncture problems which is no fun. I keep telling young Kerwin and McNamara if they want a break just ask rather than feigning a puncture and slashing their tyres to get a break but they simply won’t listen.

As is typical of our luck of late, the storm cleared just as we approached the small town of Big Timber.

At 2pm we had made it, finally, freezing cold and drenched to the bone, in great time due to the pace we had pushed ourselves and the lack of just a couple of punctures.. Support team driver young Donal Lucey was on hand with the hot food warmed up.We then loaded the bikes onto the back of the car to drive upon the gravel road to get to our stay that night.

Our lodging for the night was “The burnt out lodge” a 7 mile trek down a dirt road through the mountains in a big, log cabin ( )

Never seen anything like it before,it was unreal.With it being Friday the 13th ,I had thought the scene was set for a great story. The cabin was  isolated surrounded by the mountains and wildlife and great view. It was difficult to find even in the light. It was the height of comfort and luxury and Ruth and her husband could not be more interesting and accommodating. Was intrigued by their stories of wolves, mountain lions and bears which they have come across down the year. We made the 10 mile journey back along the dirt road for dinner together in Big Timber and made sure to make it back before darkness fell for safety purposes.Even young Robert Shiels wouldnt risk heading out for a night out in Big Timber and walking home 7 miles in the cover of darkness among the bears and other wildlife that surrounded the Burnt Out Lodge

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