Our new friends made us coffee this morning, which was perfect after a chilly breakfast!
Our hands eventually warmed up, but it took almost an hour of biking. A few days ago, I would have given anything to be cold though, so I couldn’t really complain. We saw some serious mountains ahead of us, but as it turned out, the road snaked through the valleys between them. So we got the views, but were able to keep an average speed of about 12 mph.
Now that we’re on a section of the Adventure Cycling route, we have started seeing many more bikers, all carrying different amounts of gear. We passed two solo bikers this morning, but only waved as we went by, as they in both cases they were cruising down a hill.
One highlight of today was that we saw a golden eagle! I’d been researching how to tell them apart from other similarly colored birds like vultures – when it flew directly overhead, its impressive size was the giveaway. The view was incredible from our low vantage points, so I can only imagine what that eagle must have been experiencing up there. The majestic bird disappeared with silent wings, almost floating away over the mountains.
Another fascinating and awe-inspiring sight today was Earthquake Lake. From reading signs, we learned that it had been formed after the largest earthquake in the Rockies caused an avalanche and subsequently a dam in the river. The water pooled up into what is now a beautiful lake, a peaceful scene in such contrast to its origin.
We kept going for 70 miles before taking a break for more than about 10 minutes here and there for food. We totally booked it for the last 10 miles, and were so relieved to make it into the town of Ennis.
After refilling water bottles and collapsing in comfy chairs in the library for a few minutes, we made our way down to the Madison River which runs along the edge of the town. It was never more than a couple feet deep, but we were content.
We were pretty wiped out after biking straight until 2:00, but we found some shade to recuperate in. The plan was to continue on to Virginia City, 14 miles (mostly up) ahead, but after we went grocery shopping the hardware store had closed. We are now in dire need of fuel for the stove, and we heard Virginia City would likely be of no use to us in that department, so we got permission to set up camp in town.