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.