After spending the night at the bike camp, Quinton decided to take a zero. My next stop would be Jackson, 75 miles and two mountain passes away. It was a long and uneventful day.The thirty miles from Twin Bridges to Dillon went by fast. I stopped there for lunch, potato burrito and a 2 Litre of lemonade. The temperature got to the mid 90’s and I started to feel it after leaving Dillon. I ran out of water on the first pass, which included my two 20 oz bottles on the frame and my backup 32 oz bottle. I knew there would be water in the river valley, but not sure how much further to the water. I already passed a couple dry creek beds before I came to a sign for Bannack State Park. Seven miles to Bannack or 20 miles to Jackson. I sat at the crossroads for probably 10 minutes trying to decide which way to go. I opted for Jackson and pushed on. I found a creek just a few miles up the road. It was in a cow pasture and the creek bank was covered with cow tracks and patties. As I was filtering the water I was reminded of Molly-Molly, a hardcore thru-hiker that never filters her water.
I crawled to the top of the second pass less than an hour before sun down. About 10 miles to Jackson and it was all downhill. This area is known for having large square hay stacks, the size of houses. They are made with these giant moose trap looking devices. Just outside of Jackson I spotted a moose and her calf grazing with a herd of cows.
The main reason I pushed on to Jackson was so that I could take a day or half day off at the hot springs there. Unfortunately, it was closed, along with most of the rest of town. It would take less than 30 seconds to ride through town. The Bunkhouse Hotel had a sign out front for a “Cyclist Campsite”. I set up and then went inside to sign the guest book and read the policies. Most of the free camps have some sort of guidelines you are supposed to read. There was nobody around so I took advantage of the shower, bathroom, wifi, and microwave before going to bed. It was a cold night and I tried out my new wool baselayer in conjunction with my minion blanket, silk sheet, pad, sleeping bag, and emergency blanket. I was still cold all night.
Miss those dark skies.