Thursday, June 18, 2009

In Butte

John and I arrived in Butte, Montana, just before midnight Wednesday night after a pretty solid 18-hour day on the bike. It was a tough day, 130 miles with six passes that added up to more than 11,000 feet in climbing. We pushed a lot of the Lava Mountain trail because of mud and huge boulders, but thanks to my GPS and John's memory, we didn't get lost. I was feeling really tired when we rolled into Basin and knew we had 30 miles of boring cattle trail and interstate riding ahead. But I pounded another King-sized Snickers Bar, turned the iPod on my Iditarod mix, and rolled with it. The last five miles into town were my favorite part of the day. It was dumping rain and pitch dark when we crested the pass and caught our first view of the sparkling city lights. After a day working our way through deep woods, rolling meadows and beautiful valleys, it was an amazing sight.

I am having a great time, even at the low times when I am wet and tired. I just checked the progress of the race for the first time since it began. I'm a bit surprised I'm in the thick of it. I really expected to be back of pack. :-) I'm looking forward to the coming days, difficult and daunting as every one of them is.


  1. Jill, sounds like you are having fun, so it sounds like it's time to start reeling them in. ;>)) Good luck and enjoy the journey! Paul

  2. Sounds like you're doing really well. I rarely post but have followed your race progress over the past year or so. You're a true inspiration!
    Happy trails!
    Andrea in Canada

  3. I grew up in Butte!! I found your blog a couple months ago and have been riveted ever since--great stuff! Happy trails!
    Shannon in MN.

  4. Mike In WI say's

    Looking good Jill!
    Grab a few hours of shuteye and get moving.

    Great race updates and yes you are doing great!

    I may get a Spot just so I can follow myself LOL.

    Mike in WI

  5. I wanna come ride! :)

    Keep inspiring us all!


  6. Keep up the great effort Jill! I found out about you last year via Fatty's blog and regularly read yours. Barring disaster, don't give up even when you feel the lowest. This is one trip I am adding to my "Must do" list. You have much to be thankful for. -E

  7. You're doing great Jill! I've been following along! Keep it up!

  8. One state nearly down, and three to go, keep it up, the reward will be a lifetime of memories.

  9. Jill,
    I have been reading your blog for about 6 months now and I am increasingly impress by how strong you are. You are an incredible woman!!! It sounds like you are having a good time out there. Butte is way more impressive at night than during the day. It is my favorite part of the drive between Helena & Butte. Keep up the good work girlie!!!

  10. Keep it Jill, I just came acroos your blog and have in under my favorite section... Someday I would like to do the TD, but baby steps first...

  11. You're doing great!

    It's been cool following the Spots. To zoom all the way with satellite to a spot were you were just 9 minutes prior really makes us feel like we're in the thick of things ourselves.

    In the three summers I lived in the Tetons I never got a chance to ride the Ashton-Flagg Ranch road that splits Yellow Stone and the Tetons. I hope you get a chance to soak in a hot pot or frolic in a hot spring fed stream while you're on that stretch but I suspect you'll be all business.

  12. Butte doesn't get the respect it deserves- No swimming in the Anaconda mine though!

  13. Jill,
    You know best, but, I'm thinking you should keep it steady as it goes, not ramp up a big campaign at this point. Mexico is a long way off.

  14. Go Jill

    We are glued to the computer to follow the TD.
    Go steady Jill! It's still a long way to Mexico!!

    Greetings from The Netherlands
    Tommy and Yazoo

  15. Every time I eat a snickers on a ride I can't help but think of you, that and gummi worms...yum!

  16. You are doing great, Jill! It is exciting to see you in the middle of things. Keep up the good work.


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