The camping area at Fatty Creek is very unofficial but it is on the map. Last night when I pulled in some people were already set up by the river, which was a very beautiful spot, so I set up about 100 yds back up the road to what looks like a parking area for the fishermen.
Setting up my tent under the pavilion the night before, I left the rain fly off. Essentially I can lay there and look through the mosquito netting and admire to cool timber construction of the pavilion. With my feet pointing to the east I woke just as it was getting light and lifted my head to see an orangish sky. Immediately I remembered the little saying taught to me by my grandparents: “Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in the morning sailors take warning”. Just as I finished saying that little ditty out loud, I hear a crack of thunder off in the distance behind me, to the west.
Was up early and as I stepped out of the tent the morning dew was very heavy. That meant packing a wet tent and several other things that got wet too. I let my camp partner Justin know I was heading out and he had about an hour before anybody at the businesses we camped behind would be arriving.
Hopes that the railroad tracks next to my camping spot being lightly used were utterly shattered. Had about half of a dozen trains come through last night. Needless to say, I did not get a great nights sleep. Then there were the cattle that decided to come through my camp about 6:00 am
Took my time to get going this morning, taking advantage of ‘civilization’. Before doing much of anything it’s back to McDonald’s for some breakfast. As I rode up noticed there were three bikes leaning up against the wall, but only one with bags. The bike these bags were attached to was more of a road bike, definitely not a fellow Divide rider.
Woke up with the morning sun shining on my tent, hate to leave this idyllic camp spot with the wonderful view. Once I’m on the road, within a few miles of starting I’m on a very rocky and rutty path that requires more of the dreaded hike-a-bike… Even on the downhill portions, I’m off the bike pushing. Back home this would be a fun challenge but out in the middle of nowhere, with 70+ pounds of bike and gear, not risking going ass over apple cart and breaking something… On me! This went on for several miles.
Damn cattle waking me up trying to come through my camp again! Once I had those shooed off was able to get about another hour worth of sleep. Fixing breakfast noticed I my rear tire was flat. It pumped up ok but how long will that last? Has got to be that fricken valve stem again, but thought I had that fixed in Helena.
Didn’t sleep well last night. Had a hard time getting comfortable and falling asleep. Not sure what it is but I had this same problem the last time I slept in a hotel in Helena. Seriously thought about getting out my sleeping bag, pad, tent and climbing in that just so I could get some sleep.
Today’s ride took me over what the guide-book calls ‘Fleecer ridge‘ and is infamous among Divide riders. So Infamous there is an alternate route avoiding it. But my thought is… Hey, I’m here to see the Divide route in all of its glory, I’m doing Fleecer Ridge dammit!