We broke camp in in the morning and headed out to pick up the trail where we left it. The trail follows a maze of logging roads south from Swan Lake towards Seeley Lake.
Stopped into Holland Lake campground for light lunch.
The route on the GPS kept running us into gated and closed roads. I could have been using an out of date route, or that is just how the forest is managed up in these parts. We did some re-routing to find our way back on the trail, but in the end just bagged it and went down the highway to Seeley Lake.
We picked up some gas and blazed out of town.
Storm clouds started gathering as we headed east along the base of the mountains across Klienschmidt Flat towards Coopers Lake. The walls of water chased us all the way to the base of Huckleberry Pass.
Heading up Huckleberry Pass with Kleinschmidt Flats behind us. Somehow we managed to just miss the rain.
This road is still at the top of the list from the whole trip. Incredible scenery, mountain streams and no one else around.
It was getting on towards 6 o'clock so we rolled into the town of Lincoln for an early dinner and some gas. We located a small cafe/bar/casino/liquor store and sat down to order some grub.
I ordered the club sandwich to which the waitress informed me that they were out of roast beef
Not willing to argue that it should not matter if roast beef belongs on club sandwich, G-man tells her to just double-up the other ingredients they have left... He is a very wise man.
Having been sufficiently stuffed with a massive sandwich, fries, and a single adult beverage, we rolled out of town towards Stemple Pass.
The mountain west is filled with old structures that have incredible texture and history to them. Masquerading as an architect in the real world, I have no problem going out of my way to check out some odd structure or another. As we road out of Lincoln I saw this amazing old barn off in a field.
I got so excited about taking a picture, I did not come to a complete stop, went to put my right foot down on the shoulder that was dropping away from me and promptly pitched the bike over.
G-man being the proper riding buddy, snapped a photo before asking if I needed any help in getting it up.
I did get in a good picture of the barn though...
We see a sign for "Old Stemple Pass Road" and check the GPS to see if it goes through. Sure does! Lets do it!
Rain storms had been pounding the area all night and the two track quickly became more interesting with lots mud, puddles, and small stream crossings.
We came upon one extensively large mud hole. Being first, I stop and wait for G-man. G rolls up and says... "ok, you go first and I'll take the photos!"
I politely offer him the first go at it and he charges for it without a second thought... resulting in this.....
As it turns out the murky pool was well over axle deep and full of ruts and rocks. He did great till about 3/4 of the way across till the bike fell down into a rut, he hit the gas and hot up into the woods. G-man ended up down in the water with the bike on top of him. He quickly stood up and said that he was OK. The knee pads and motor cross boots paid for themselves. Without them the trip would have been over.
Aside from being completely soaked on his right side, the only other damage was to his fork protector.
After helping G-man get is bike back in order, I waded back across the small pond, poking with a stick to find a rideable line, mounted back up and hit the gas.
We soldiered on up the old pass road; having to stop every once and awhile to more a branch or tree out of the way.
As which point, my bike decided to lay down and take a nap again.
We cruised down along Granite Butte along Marsh Creek Road. The clouds where coming back in and rain was starting to lightly fall. We found camping spot next to a brook and called it a day.
We broke out the two beers we had bought in Lincoln and marveled at everything we had seen in just one day. Rarely does one get to see so much of a single state. Most of what we had ridden that day was well off the radar of any other tourist traveling through Montana..... incredible.
We woke up to rain falling on our tents and quickly broke camp; stuffing our wet gear into the bags. From previous RR's I had remembered seeing photos from atop Greenhorn Mountain with the steep pine covered rolling hills. Not today... we were stuck in the middle of cloud. Water was just suspended in the air quickly soaking everything. The trail quickly turned to a slick mess as we followed the small purple line on the gps, as we could not see much else.
More than once we came across a locked gate and sign that we had to re-route around.
We eventually found our way down out of the clouds to the old ghost town of Rimini. It is a pretty cool little old town site that looks as though folks from Helena are fixing up. Some of the old cabins have been fully re-done and there seems to be a pretty healthy community growing there.
We still had not stopped for any sort of breakfast since packing up in the rain and were itching to get to Basin for some grub. The route from Rimini to Basin on the map looked like a total crap shoot even with the GPS. Right of Rimini, the road we wanted to take was gated and locked, so we just continued up the one road we could find and soon enough started seeing spray pained signs for Basin. The route we took was no where close to the one shown on the Adventure Cycling maps and certainly not the route plotted on the GPS. If you are headed north out of Basin towards Rimini on the CDR it would be good in inquire about the roads as it it a total maze up there with all the mining activity.