Shackin' at Willie's Distillery

Twin Bridges MT to Ennis MT- 46 miles 

By Karl Murphy

 

Cue the John Mellencamp music...the Fourth of July weekend has begun and we are in the spirit'

The boys negotiated for a late (7:30) departure from Bill Clark biker camp since we had a short 47 miles today

The camp break process was executed with military precision and WOW....we didn't have a single flat tire.  The crew is warming up to the benefits of a tightly run railroad...

We rode 12 miles to a Sinclair gas station for morning snacks/breakfast.  After a short break...


Murph surveys the crew during a break. 

Murph surveys the crew during a break. 

We rode another 11 miles to Nevada City for another snack break and more easy pedaling through the Red River Valley.  Lots of cattle ranching (they don't call them farms out here) in the valley bracketed by big mountains to our east and west...

 

Waiting for Bob's Place to open for lunch.  

Waiting for Bob's Place to open for lunch.  

 

Lunch was in historic Virginia City, Montana.  Imagine a historically "accurate" main street with wooden store fronts of tack stores, the mercantile and the sheriffs office....

The town and surrounding valley were settled around 1864 after gold And other minerals were found in the local rivers.

The tourist today industry is supported by world class trout fishing, old mine tours and stories about the Highway Agents (bad guys) and the Vigilantes (good guys).  For all you "hate the government folks" the local Sheriff was in on it, caught and hung.  Along with a dozen other bad guys.  

I have to say the town vibe is very different from Chapel Hill.  Locals proudly tell you how they hang folks who screw with them around here.... everyone has a truck and most are big, many sport full brim cowboy hats, boots and guns.  On the way to dinner last night we walked past an open jeep with an assault rifle locked to the dash....kids this ain't Weaver Street Market...and i don't see a single hooper...

Back to Virginia City, we ate lunch at Bob's place...pizza good enough to satisfy a NY Pizza snob.  See pics.  After lunch Ed and I hid at Bob's because it was partially air conditioned and the scouts went to and old- time arcade and contributed some quarters to the local economy.

 

Next up - a challenging 5 mile climb (with a 15' pepperoni in my stomach - its 91) and a steep winding FAST 10 mile descent into Ennis Montana.  

For you cyclist gear heads....the weakness of my Roubaix shows on steep descents...she does NOT like the pannier+steep deacent+murph combo...and like many women she shows her displeasure by shaking And chattering more than a bike should...

I got the message and kept it under 30...many Surly drivers exceeded 40 comfortably.

Is Mellencamp still playing?  

If not, hit replay...Ennis Montana is rocking the 4th of July and we are tenting behind Willie's distillery.

 

Ed at Willie's. This is the closest he will get to their bourbon on this Scout trip.  

Ed at Willie's. This is the closest he will get to their bourbon on this Scout trip.  

 

Willie's has this thing to support adventure cyclists.  They provide a campground (grass, water and a bathroom) free of charge.  Here's how it works:  you walk up to the bar with your kit on (so people are spending good money to taste bourbon and our smell cyclist leader walks up) and before you can speak, the bartender comes around the bar and says "come with me"....

Boys sensed more fun available than usual, 

so they blew thru showers and laundry and were gone to find ice cream and survey the Mexican options for dinner...

We are planning on dinner (god i hope it's not Mexican) then the RODEO.  Yes Ennis has a rodeo and we are going.

This post was written at the Gravel Bar, drinking O'doul's, lemonade and water...

with Pepper the lab at my feet...

More after the rodeo