6/21/12 Hamilton to Lost Trail Hot Springs resort (6.2 miles past Sula, MT – 44 miles)
Woke up cold, although not as cold as the other camping nights – I think I am getting better at camping, but don’t like it any better.
Our host, Terry Tignor, had the coffee ready – good, strong coffee with 1/2 and 1/2 just the way I like it. Roger was up and packed and off before anyone else. Terry offered to fix pancakes for everyone for breakfast, but we respectfully declined since she had to get ready for work. Randy and I drank coffee and visited with Terry, while Frank and Andrew got ready and left. Before each person left, Terry took their picture and asked that they sign her register. She gave me a hug before I left.
Randy and I stopped at a little cafe/bakery and had breakfast. It was excellent. Then it ws down the road towards Sula. The weather was perfect – clear, blue skies and interesting looking clouds. In the distance were snow- capped parts of the Rocky Mountains. We had a bike path for a portion of the ride, but that soon ended and we were back on the regular highway, which had bumpy and often narrow shoulders.
We met at least 3 new bikers on the way. There was a couple riding from Vancouver through Calgary to Denver. He was from the UK and she was Canadian. We saw them several times throughout the day, and since they are on the TRANSAMERICA route, I will likely see them along the way. Also met a guy named Patrick who was riding from Denver to Seattle. He had a lot of good suggestions re how to get from the TRANSAMERICA route to Denver when the time comes.
The scenery became especially interesting in an area where it was apparent there had been a “cleansing” fire in the surrounding mountains. The mountain sides looked like they had pick up sticks littered all over them. Randy and I stopped for lunch at a state park along the way to Sula and soaked our feet in the cold river. It felt great and seems to be the best therapy for my feet. I had whole grain bread, apple, peanut butter crackers and trail mix. Delicious. We continued on until we saw Roger and Frank at a convenience store, and stopped to get something to drink. We discovered we only had about 6.5 miles left for the day.
Randy and I found a very reasonably priced motel of sorts called Lost Trails Hot Springs resort. I was definitely ready for a hot shower and comfortable bed after camping out the night before, and Randy wasn’t far behind. I think he sees the writing on the wall after the group and I part ways in a week or so, when he will be back to camping with the guys every night. Like I have said previously, I think I gave him a good excuse for opting out of camping on occasion – he likes comfort after a long day of riding the bike.
The last few miles to Lost Trails were a long incline and it was hot. To get to the actual property, you had to go down a steep gravel road for quite a ways. I kept thinking how awful it was going to be going back up the next morning, but rationalized that because it was fairly early in the day, we would be able to take full advantage of the facility. I was right. I took a long hot bath, followed by a nap in a comfortable bed where I was not cold. Then, I headed for the hot springs pool for a little therapeutic water therapy. I met some interesting people there. Then, I sat in the lodge and checked e-mails and caught up until dinner time. Randy and I had pizza and apple strudel while we watched the first half of the 5th game of the NBA finals. By halftime, all I could think of was how tired I felt and that I was ready to go get a good nights sleep before the steep climb tomorrow.