The rangers at the Madison Junction campground all seem happy to be alive. They made coffee for the cyclist camp, and made hot water for my oats. I talked more to my campground compadres, and I was happy that they were all such good and interesting people. I didn't mind chatting and getting a late start. I wasn't planning a long day anyway - a mere 50 miles - and there's no use hurrying if you have so much time to spare.
I rolled out of the park, and into Montana. I think this is the 10th state I've ridden in since leaving. Sure - ten sounds good. Nah, maybe 9th.
I had some headwinds and tailwinds. Around Earthquake Lake, I had some wild headwinds. No worries though. I stopped at the information center and escaped the wind for a bit. It turns out I was toward the end of the canyon, and the difficult headwinds would become less severe in a couple miles.
I asked the girl at the information center if there was a grocery store between there and my campground. (What I actually meant to ask was whether there was beer.) I was told no to groceries, but it turns out I was only a few miles from a place that sold fly fishing equipment - apparently PBR fits under that umbrella.
I was set up for camp early. I didn't have enough opportunities to waste time during the day, so the sun was still high in the sky as I fit the tent poles into place. I took a dip in the swift river, and made 2.5 PBJ sandwiches. I had a few beers and I was both hungry and bored. As much as I kick myself for blowing money, sometimes it just seems like the thing to do.
I rode my unloaded Hoopty back up a hill and to a restaurant-bar. I drank some strong elite IPAs and had a delicious burger. I wasted time sitting and watching the Tour de France play silently on the big screen behind the bar. It was a little pricey, but it was the exact comfortable respite that I wanted. Part of me romanticizes the idea of spending as little as possible while traveling, and part of me relishes the idea of saving up twice as much for the next campaign.
I had descended throughout the day and landed at a warmer elevation. The sleeping was good, and I didn't pay for it.