Today was the last of the longer days at 158 miles. There were afternoon thunderstorms forecast for here in Butte after 5 pm. So my plan leaving West Yellowstone this morning was to ride to Butte as fast as I could because I'm tired of getting wet. So I rode as fast as I knew I could maintain for that distance and arrived here at 4:45 this afternoon. About 5:30 it started raining here along with some lightning. The day was scenic especially in the first few hours as we left West Yellowstone. You follow Hebgen and Avalanche Lakes and then follow the Madison River all the way to Ennis. The Madison River starts up in Yellowstone National Park and is a favorite of fly fishermen. At one point we saw two cowboys on horseback herding cattle across an old metal bridge over the river. After Ennis you climb up and over a pass and then descend in to Virginia City, an old town that now caters to tourists. Then the rest of the day was long valleys followed by a climb up and over Pipestone Pass and down in to Butte. I rode most of the day with Ed Pabst from Terre Haute Indiana. He's a great rider and made the day much easier and faster.
Tomorrow we start the second to last day of the trip by riding to Missoula. It's about 135 miles and not a lot of climbing. Assuming the weather cooperates it should be one of the easier days of the trip. The weather forecast is good. This route is the same as the one we did in reverse in 2014. I remember the scenery as being better closer to Missoula so I'll try to take some pictures to give you an idea of what the area looks like.