Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lincoln, MT to Helena, MT -- 56 miles [via Flesher Pass]

The ride from Lincoln, MT to Helena, MT was absolutely gorgeous. The riders rode up and over Flesher Pass, elevation 6131 feet, and is also on the Continential Divide. The scenery was unbelieveably stunning. I think the view just below the summit was even better than the view from the summit.

The Continential Divide National Scenic Trail runs about 3,100 miles between Mexico and Canada. It follows the Continential Divide along the Rocky Mountains and transverses five states: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. In Montana, it crosses Triple Divide Peak which separates the Hudson Bay, Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean drainages.

The riders on the Cross Country Trip will only cross the Continential Divide in Montana. Most of the waters on the west side of the divide drain into the Pacific Ocean and those on the east toward the Atlantic Ocean. A question was raised by an unnamed rider who pondered: " If I pee on the continential divide which way will the pee flow?"

After that profound thought, the riders continued down the pass toward Helena, MT and most stopped at Canyon Creek, MT, a small Mom and Pop establishment which had the friendliest of dogs. His name was Indiana Jones and he managed to mooch food from most of the riders...Keith E lost almost half of his PBJ to his new buddy and of course, me, the biggest pushover in the world when it comes to dogs was relieved of most of my oatmeal raisin cookies. "IJ" melted my heart when I arrived by crying like I was a long lost friend who finally returned. How could I say no?

After saying goodbye to "IJ" it was onto the really nice town of Helena, MT. We stated at the Best Western Great Northern, and it is the newest and largest hotel in Helena right in the middle of the historic district. What a great place to stop. Maybe next tour will make Helena a Rest Day...

Jeff and Sue M, hail from Helena and they were most kind to host a Brats BBQ at their home. Jeff organized a convoy of friends and neighbors to shuttle the riders to his home. Once there, Jeff and Sue put on a wonderful party introducing the riders to friends and neighbors who all welcomed us with open arms. Jeff and Sue even managed to arrange some music entertainment. A group of Bluegrass picker and singers serenaded us with a wonderful selection of songs. It was a toe tappin, hand clappin wonderful show!

Before long it was time to leave and once again, the caravan brought us back to the hotel, but not before showing us some of the highlights of their great town. The pride of the residents is unbelieveable and not something I see much of on the east coast. I am very jealous, but I am grateful for the opportunity to experience it. I know I will have a different attitude when I return home. Thanks Jeff and Sue and all of their great neighbors and friends! :-)

The morning has us packing up and departing Helena, MT enroute to Three Forks, MT.

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