Woke up sore. My legs feels as heavy as lead. Last night was nice and warm. My gloves which i placed over the heater was warm and my clothes had dried. Quickly made a cup of coffee and ate a tortilla roll of jelly and peanut butter. Started carrying tortilla’s since they were easier just to transport without breaking. We packed up and carried out bags to the bike and locked up the house behind us. Met with Johnathan and chatted with him for a while. He told us the bear story in detail. Apparently he was walking around the edge of a river and a bear who has never seen a human attacked him. He fought the bear with his bare hands and then when the bear refused to go away he had to hit it with a stone. He used to work in the forest department and here they drop live fish into the river and lakes so that people would come here to fish. Apparently wildlife here is managed and that inspired him to go out into the wild. He was in the process of writing a book about his experiences.
Don packing up after a peaceful night in the Barn
We started riding towards the town of Cameron. Rather than go back into the town for Ennis for supplies we thought we should just ride 10 miles to the next town. Thankfully it stopped raining and seemed like the bad weather had passed. Hopefully it would be a dry day. Slowly towards Cameron and rode to the store. The store was closed, they open only at 4 in the evening. Sat outside and decided to eat a little. As we sat under the porch it started to rain a little. So much for better weather. Someone inside the store tuned on the lights. I knocked on the door and they opened up. They were ok with us buying a couple of things and would open up the store for us for a few minutes. They dint have coffee though. The only coffee was the cold coffee in the refrigerator. Bought some bread and coffee which i heated up. Heating cold coffee isn’t the same as hot coffee. Drank up and left hoping I would find coffee in a little while. Kept riding towards the lake on the way to West Yellowstone. The scenery was nice but just dint feel like riding today. Got to the spot which was called ” night of terrors”. Years ago while people were camping and sleeping the entire side of a mountain came crashing down burying campers. Very few people survived. Just horrible. As we rode on it started to pour. Since there was no place for us to take cover we had to keep riding. Reached a rest stop on the highway and ducked in. We quickly used the dryer to warm our shoes which was soaking wet.
The only store in Cameroon
Rains and lots of it
Kept riding towards the town and came to a few stores on the highway none of whom had coffee. They had a power outage and could not make coffee. My back started to hurt. Its been slowly troubling me for a couple of days but this was intense. By the time i hit the intersection to the road that took us to the town which was about 15 miles away my back was still hurting. Stop on the ride of the road to stretch it out. Maybe some rest would help. As we rode towards town we found a small campground on the side of the street. Primitive but that should do. Found an unoccupied campsite and put up our tents. Since we were super close to the park we had to put all our food into the bear box. The bears are no longer scared of humans and come looking for food. They don’t hesitate to tear through bags to get it.
Lake formed after the “night of terrors”
As i sat down and turned on my phone, I got a message saying that a racer was hit in Kansas and had to be hospitalized. Earlier in the week another racer was run over. Now both are in the hospital and getting treated. Apparently the driver did not see the cyclist. I wonder how thats even possible considering the rules of the race. With reflective tapes and rear lights racers look like a christmas tree. Looks like it had been a shitty day all around. The racer who got hit today was someone who gave me the pepper spray to keep the bears away. Today i ride into bear country.
During a Break
Campsite just before we reached the town of West Yellowstone
Finally the day was over. Maybe the back ache will go away tomorrow. Tomorrow should be better.
Lesson for the day : when you have a bad day while riding keep riding.
Up Next: Day 19, West Yellowstone to Grant Village