Day 67: Butte

Up ahead in the distance we saw a blinking light coming at us. It was a lone cyclist on his morning bike ride. He stopped to say hello. When I asked him where he rode from, he said his house is 3 miles down the road. I jokingly asked “what’s for breakfast?”. He said “I can make you cappuccinos”. We jumped at the offer. John lives down by the river (but not in a van).

We had a great visit with John and his wife and dog. He’s a pastor at a church in Whitehall. Their flock is 44 and growing.He moved here from Burbank last year. Our coffee got upgraded to sausage and egg breakfast and Brent even got some special oatmeal to go.

The ride into Butte included a mountain pass over the continental divide. We arrived in Butte in time for a late lunch at Sparky’s Garage. The whole town of Butte is on a slope and we rode to the top to see the infamous Berkley pit. Butte’s slogan is “the richest hill on earth”.

While looking at the mine we met Susan, who grew up here. She said the story of the 90ft statue overlooking town depends on who you ask. She said a man promised god he would build a statue of Virgin Mary if his wife survived a disease. In any case most call it “Our lady of the Rockies “. She said currently the town is struggling.

We chose the KOA in town and met a nice couple from Switzerland riding the divide. (Note to Chris M. – they laughed at the Swiss flag joke!)

Tomorrow we ride to Philipsburg.

Campsite at Caverns built just for cyclists
Eagles nest near John’s house
John and Kelley’s house near the river
Thanks Pastor John and Kelly
Pastor John’s church in Whitehall

Summary: we rode 50 miles and ~3000 ft of climbing from Caverns to Butte mostly on highway 2.

Summit showing continental divide

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