Until tonight. We started in Helena around 10 AM and did A LOT of uphill. Over 5000' of up to our 35 miles of forward.
Then we got lost. The GPS maps ended abruptly so we had to rely on the paper maps and odometer to navigate. The odometer was 12.8 miles behind so every time the map said something like "mile 138.7 take the trail left" I had to do math in my head to see if we were in the right spot. Sounds easy but heavy bikes, tired legs and body; the mind struggles too.
We got un-lost though and were close enough to back on track. Heading downhill on a one-lane dirt road following a river, both called Cataract Creek, we were just 1.5 miles from the town of Basin where we'd get camping and food. Paul was leading, riding conservatively enough when suddenly he went over the handlebars. With cat-like reflexes I immediately started maneuvering to space that he was not occupying and stopped just downhill of him.
A mere 3 hours later we're sitting in the emergency room in Butte, hauled here by some nice locals and a pickup truck. One compressed vertebrae, one cracked rib, one broken bike. One half the team out of commission.
I'll write more later, but for now, for this year, we're done riding the divide.