All good things must come to an end and I guess that is true for our lazy days in Dillon! It just felt good to lay around and stay warm. Allergies have been making me crazy for the last week, I was beginning to think it was more than allergies so it was fun to just lay low yesterday.
Woke up ready to go (again) It was cold this morning! 38 degrees on the thermometer and 28 wind chill factor! Throw some sprinkles of rain and thick gray low laying clouds and you have yourself a chilly start to the day! So we pulled out everything in our warm weather closet! Tights to keep our legs warm, winter jackets under our amazing Showers Pass raincoat, heavy duty lobster claw winter gloves and even my gaiter that I can cover my head, ears and neck with! It was chilly! The wind was reasonable, won't complain about it! And off we went!
It is just amazing how freeing it is to be back on the bicycles! I just love it! The gray, low hanging clouds put on quite a show as the sun tried to poke thru in spots. The clouds followed us most of the day, hanging around on all sides but we managed to get thru them without any additional moisture! We slowly peeled off the layers as the temps climbed a little bit maybe all the way up to the 50's and eventually 60's.
Passing a historical landmark reminds us that we are still very close to the Lewis and Clark Trail. Beaverhead Rock used by the Shoshone and other Indian tribes long before Lewis and Clark arrived was a prominent rock visible for miles. Their guide Sacajawea led Lewis and Clark to the landmark as they came off the Beaverhead River.And that is another interesting story to read of Sacajawea her influence on the Lewis and Clark Expidiation and how she even came to be with them on the expedition! Learning so much here!
Had a little break from riding as we sat in the sun in the city park of Sheridan, MT. You just never know what is up ahead or what these little towns are going to be like, some are old and run down and then there are little surprises like Sheridan! Cute, quaint and seemed to be full of activity! What a beautiful picturesque setting with the ranges running behind and the snow caps peaking out above the buildings. The information at the city square said it was the "jewel" of the Ruby Valley. As the gold rush fever started dying down in Nevada City and Virginia City, people eventually drifted to what is now Sheridan, a timber mill opened and it thrived! Leaving Sheridan we entered the Ruby Valley, named after the stones found and mined there. Later it was discovered the valley was improperly named because what they were finding were garnets!
On to Nevada City and Virginia City! Not to be confused with Virginia City, Nevada and its gold rush. History tells you that while the rest of the states were fighting the Civil War, there was a gold rush going on in Montana and gold was being dredged from the area. Between the 9 mining camps, there were 10,000 people living here!
Walking down the streets of either Nevada City or Virginia City you can step back into time in the well preserved buildings, each filled with relics and reminders from the past! The original buildings have managed to survive time due partially to the help of dry temperatures that hold back insects and moisture which can destroy wood and the amazing luck of no fires! History says the building remain as they were originally in many cases (there has been repair work) and now thru time and dedication of many people, it is a living in museum. Very interesting! Again, more research suggested into the colorful history of the "board agents" and the vigilantes and the message 3-7-77.
We got ourselves set up at camp and walked the 1/2 mile back to town. There was too much there to be missed! It seemed so active and full of people as we came thru on our bikes, but by time we got there it was almost a ghost town! But we did help ourselves to the self guided tour thru many of the buildings! It would have been so fun to take the railroad tour, it went back to Nevada City for more history. You could spend a lot of time here! Being Monday, several places were closed but we did find The Hay Bale Saloon to be very open and welcoming! It is the longest serving tavern in Montana. It started pouring beer in 1869, thanks to the German immigrants who brought their beer brewing secrets with them! This particular building also has a colorful history as you can imagine because it did burn! Some of the charred wood was used to repair it, furnishings were replaced and brought in from all over Montana but never ceased to operated and pour beer!!!
Another cold 28-30 degree night ahead, we are tucked up in a cabin! Hopefully it is the last of this cold wet weather that has kept us back a bit (well, I think it has!) As the sun is going down behind the mountain we can see clear blue sky . . .and no wind. What a wonderful way to end the day.
Good night! Thanks to everyone for checking in on us!