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Uphill and Against the Wind - TransAm E-W
By Dave T

Day 66: Dillon to Wisdom - Side trip to Bannack

Monday July 21, 1986, 75 miles (121 km) - Total so far: 3,350 miles (5,391 km)

We left camp (Steve, Stewart, Gene and I) and hit the restaurant before the rest of the BC group was even up. After an entertaining time at breakfast we departed together. The route traveled over 2 mountain passes, Badger Pass 6,760' and Big Hole Pass 7,360', so we got rolling. The terrain wasn't too bad and the passes seemed like a bump in the road compared to what we've been over already.

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The Coach on the open road

On the descent a few miles past Badger Pass we turned off on a dirt road and headed to Bannack, and official ghost town. Bannack is Montana's first territorial capital. The route also follows the early stage coach trail that linked Bannack and Virginia City. We took the dirt road for 4 miles, eating each others dust before finally arriving in the ghost town. We took a couple hours wandering around town taking our time seeing the sights and taking pictures. The rest of the BC group finally showed up and we all took a break under some nice shade trees.

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The streets of Bannack

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Rich and Sheryl under the tree in Bannack

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We departed Bannack under perfectly sunny skies and increasing temperatures. I can see snow capped mountains off in the distance as I ride again today. The scenery has been pretty good for the last week or so. We arrived in Jackson and the Texas guys talked me into going on to Wisdom. Wisdom was 18 more miles but worth the extra effort on a day without any headwind. Steve, Stewart, Gene and myself pulled into town at 4:30pm.

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We camped in the American Legion Park just out of town. The camp area was nothing but a field with no shade or cover. The afternoon was blistering hot and the camp was mosquito infested. We all ended up wearing our rain gear while setting up camp because the mosquitoes were so thick. We didn't do much, just sitting around have a few beers in town.

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Wisdom Montana, 100 degrees and 100% mosquitoes

Steve and Stewart from Houston Texas

Steve, Stewart and I are going to make a run to Missoula tomorrow, about 125 miles away. We are going to spend a couple or three days sightseeing with the girls we met in Virginia City. Gene said he might come along just for the extra day off in town. The BC group is scheduled to be there in Missoula in 2 days. I'll probably meet back up with the gang in a few days then continue the TA. The guys from Texas want me go north from Missoula with them, up to Glacier, and then to Canadian Rockies. I'm seriously thinking about going, but I'm going to have to check my money and time situation. I need to be back home for registration of classes or I'll be out of luck.


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