Day 13: Llama Ranch – Helena

Miles: 39

Climbing: 3278 ft


After the loveliest night in the “cabinette” at the Llama Ranch, I awoke (late πŸ˜›) to a gorgeous Montana morning. I wanted to take some more photos of the adorable Ranch and my space, so here they are:

My birthday suite πŸ₯³

How cute?! And those cabinets are stocked with food!!! New dream: get a farm on a major bike/hiking trail and build a super cute biker biker cabin/Llama rescue space.


I also left my photo on the photo guest wall:

(It was really bright)

I had a shorter day, though it included two Divide crossings. The landscape of the valley and the climb was really lush and beautiful.

Clouds on the horizon were looming, though, so I got caught in the rain (a daily occurrence). This time it was mostly sprinkles till I started over Priest Pass–my second Divide crossing.

Ominous clouds….

While the rain was annoying, I did get some super pretty shots of the misty mountains:

Look! It’s my tattoo! (Minus the sun)

Near the bottom of the pass, it started dumping super cold rain on me, which turned into hail. πŸ₯Ά

I pulled over and literally stood under a piece of road sign equipment that had a little bit of an overhang so I could put on my rain pants, a warm pullover, and my waterproof gloves. Not a fun moment.

The last 10 miles into Helena were on a big highway that fortunately had a huge shoulder–trucks were whizzing past scarily fast. Mercifully, these last miles were a nice coast downhill.

I had already planned on taking a rest day tomorrow, and booked a cheap motel room for two nights in Helena……I rolled in wet, cold, and SO READY for the break, haha. After checking in I immediately took a much-needed hot bath and ordered my weight in pizza. I have spent the evening in bed eating pizza, watching trashy tv, and catching up on social media while a giant rainstorm thundered outside. It’s been perfect. 😊

Some lessons I’m learning:

  • It’s probably going to rain at least a little every day—even if it doesn’t call for it on the forecast–so I’ve gotta keep my rain gear handy. I have had to stop and find cover and dig out all the pieces (rain pants, jacket, shoe covers, gloves) which takes forever. I’ve finally started keeping it handy!
  • I have to apply like…..a lot of sunscreen. All the time. I’m CONSTANTLY in the sun (when it’s not raining, haha), and I keep getting burns from not reapplying! Also, my cyclist thigh tan is out of control haha.

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