Zen On Dirt

CDT Day 104 – Pass jumping to Ovando on wonderfully known and easy roads

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The shades at the Three Bears Motel are good. Blackout good. Unfortunately, my empty stomach didn’t get the memo on sleeping in and starting grumbling sometime circa 7:30. I was able to put off the inevitable for 30 minutes before declaring: Breakfast time!

We headed over to the Bootlegger to find the two Divide riders already there. We shared a table with them and an excellent meal. Kristy and Peter have been chasing summer for many, many years, splitting their time between being raft guides in Australia and in the US. They spent this past summer in Vail saving up money to go on this trip. Good people living the good life.


The people in Lincoln are good people. Lots of people seemed interested in what we were doing and wanted to talk, a stark contrast to the cooler receptions we’ve gotten in some other small Montana towns. The folks at breakfast were funny and friendly, both excellent qualities.

Back in the room, it soon became apparent that an 11 am checkout time wasn’t going to cut it for us. Noon it was. This was good as both Scott and I had plenty of stuff to catch up on.


At the crack of noon, we rolled out to the grocery store for day-ride food, over to the post office to send some post cards, and then to a neat little art studio/cafe for lunch. Never leave town on an empty stomach.

1pm, we were rolling for our 36 mile puddle-jump to Ovando over Huckleberry Pass. We laughed at how at the beginning of this trip, we did all sorts of stupid things to avoid riding the GDMBR, been there done that, but now we were so happy to have a known quality of riding ahead of us. I’m sure we could have come up with something convoluted to get us north…but not having to stress about unknowns is really nice.


We rolled over Huckleberry Pass pretty uneventfully. I’d only seen it in the dark during the race and was pretty excited to see what it actually looked like. It looked beautiful.


We cruised into Ovando to check out our sleeping options. The teepee had sadly been taken down, so we debated either the chuck wagon or the jail. We opted for the jail for the extra space and the lovely rope beds. And really, I’ve never spent a night in jail, while I could see myself spending a night in one of the chuckwagons in Strawberry Hot Springs some day.


We did dinner at Trixi’s. We played countless games of pinball (Scott kept winning me free games, I kept on squandering them). We met three guys from South Africa touring the Divide. We told them of the chuck wagon and expect to see them at any time.

It was a perfect, much needed, mellow day. Tomorrow, a good number of miles over Richmond Peak and hopefully to a indoor sleeping location in Condon. Easy-peasy. Well, relatively easy.


One thought on “CDT Day 104 – Pass jumping to Ovando on wonderfully known and easy roads

  1. Man! We stayed at the Three Bears in 1998 and ate at the Bootlegger (great burgers) when my wife and I rode the Great Divide. I think that was the first summer the route was open. Glad to know it’s still there. I’ve really enjoyed following your trip.

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