Cross Country Recumbent
Monday July 28, 2003. Twin Bridges MT to Ennis MT
Today was very nice. Chris gets up later than me and we had
agreed to ride separately, since it didn't seem likely that we would
have the same pace. From Twin Bridges the route climbs
deceptively quickly 30 miles to Virginia City. It took a bit more
than 2 hours (not counting breakfast in Sheridan) to get there.
Virginia City is an old mining town, whose primary reason for existence
nowadays is cultural preservation. It is truly interesting to see
the town and read about the mining life in the mid 1800s. A lot
of people made a lot of money (mostly the outfitters), and a lot of
peopel went broke (mostly the miners). Now Virginia City trades
on tourism. Here is a shot of a local horse drawn tour:
I rested in Virginia city for several hours, until Chris had caught
up. The pass out of VC climbs up 1200'. As expected Chris
passed me pretty handily on the uphill side and then waited at the
top. There is no summit sign, but the map shows it as over 7000',
which is the highest I've yet been (I would've done 7000+ over chief
Joseph if I hadn't had to detour). You can see Chris here at the
We had heard from many westbound riders how bad the pass to Virginia
City is; after having gone down the other side, I can see why. It
is a solid 2000' feet down to Ennis, in less than 10 miles. I let
the phantom strut its stuff as I hit 50 and left Chris behind :).
I never said I wasn't competitive. This is the last reasonable
size town before Yellowstone so we decided to stop here. This
works good for me since I needed a break after yesterday's long ride.
While trying to work out a place to stay we ran into Jeff, westbound,
who is doing the TA one third each year in order to match his vacation
time. He is flying!, averaging 90 mile days, and plans to hit
Florence on the 9th of August (I thought I was going fast!).
Anyways, the three of us are sharing a camp site at an RV park out of
town. The RV park lacks charm, but it does have an internet
connection, showers, and laundry.
No passes tomorrow, just a gradual climb up to the edge of Yellowstone.