This morning's climb up Priest Pass wasn't really epic, it's an easy pass by Tour Divide standards, but the trail was still muddy from the rain and the wind and snow flurries gave things a bit of an epic feel.
I had a massive tailwind for the roll into Helena and parked the bike in front of the Park Avenue Bakery. I guess I was cold, I had a bit of a time getting my fingers unclenched out of my gloves. After a latte and a munchie bar, I felt better. I left messages on Christine and Mark's phones and then hiked across the street to a place called Base Camp, where I bought a sleeping bag liner and some long johns. It's colder this year than usual for this time of year on the Divide.
It's also wetter and muddier. I'd brought spare brake pads (I swapped in my first set yesterday AM at Ovando) but for extra insurance I went over to Great Divide Cyclery and got a couple more pairs of pads. I thanked them again for saving my trip 5 years ago and used their phone to call in my race update.
Now I'm back at the bakery, finishing my soup and updating you all. Thanks so much for your support. This is a slow year for the trail, but I am having a wonderful time, moving as fast as a turtle can. And I'm taking lots of pictures.
I'll continue to hasten slowly southward, rolling when I can, walking when I must. It's a wonderful adventure.
Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson