The days back on the road after a break day are always hard, especially if you're looking at a long day of biking where we cross the Rockies in the rain. It did not help that temperatures were in the low 40's this morning with little chance of rising as we climbed the continental divide. We had some nice quiet back roads out of town that took us into Columbia Falls in the morning for breakfast and some pretty views of the Rockies. Even though the rain was holding off so far, one thought kept crossing my mind: I do not want to be on a bike today.
Last time we crossed the continental divide in Wyoming on my 2013 bike trip I remember it being one of the hardest days of the trip. Our route took us on a 35 mile climb up Powder Pass, and it took all day to climb. I really wish we had taken this route instead. The road was not very steep and followed a river all the way up. We got gorgeous views of snow capped mountains all day and traffic wasn't even that bad. The rain I was expecting eventually came in cold and strong, but it was only about 10 minutes before it cleared. Before I knew it we only had 20 miles to the top of our 86 mile day, and a tail wind had just picked up. By the time we got to the top I felt silly for being so grumpy this morning about having to leave our break day. We definitely needed the break, but being on the road today was awesome. We made great eastward progress for the first time in a few days and had some great riding.
We ended the day at the Backpacker Inn right behind the famous Serrano's Mexican restaurant we had hear about from our friends who stopped here on their 2010 bike trip. The accommodations here at the hostel include bunk beds with foam mattresses and a shower! Places like this have been my favorite to stay at on this trip, especially with temperatures tonight forecasted to be in the low 30's. We hit the restaurant and after our meal I was about ready to fall asleep at the table after 7 hours of biking today. Now that we've got the Rockies out of the way our trip looks to be getting a little bit flatter and more direct on our journey eastward.