I was camped on top of the hill at the Lead High School last night. Now what is special about this is that you are away above all of the other lights and of course Lead being quite small doesn’t have many lights, so the night sky is unbelievable. About 2:00 Am I crawled out of my tent to have a look and was totally amazed. There was the Milky Way and billions of other stars. I remember the sky looking like this when I was a kid growing up in the country. Seems like something we have lost.
Today’s ride was only 64.4 miles however it had the third most climbing of the entire tour at 5245 feet. The ride started out by riding back out of town and up Terry’s Pass and then down a side road. This was almost due south and the wind out of the North whisked me right along. However at mile 19 the road turned to a gravel road. The gravel road had some extremely steep pitches in it and you couldn’t put any torque on your rear wheel or you would spin the wheel and tear up your tire. Slow grind was the order of the day. To make it worse a grader was working the road and it had bladed the one side making long tears in the surface where rocks had been pushed along. The other side had a wind row of loose material. Let me tell you I was so happy to see the end of that gravel at around mile 30.
At mile 46 I came out to a very busy road however it had a good should and with the wind made good time until I picked up a huge staple and got a flat. It was easy to see and pull out without too much damage to my tire. New tube and away I went. However the new tube had a slow leak so I had to stop again and change tubes again. Its ok as I only have 5 miles to go.
I rolled past the Sitting Bull Monument. They wanted $5 and it was a huge climb up to the visitor center. At this point I just wanted for my day to be done, so I took a took a picture and rolled on. I get in to camp safe and sound. The showers are good and the campsite is a very nice field.
Tomorrow is the 4th largest climb day on the tour and then we are done with the climbs.