Day 1: Butte-Basin, MT

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The bike all dressed up and ready to go. The fork bags have tent, sleeping pad, and jacket. The handlebar roll has sleeping bag and sleeping base layer. The seat bag has clothes. The rack bag is for food only. The frame bag is everything heavy — tools, parts, water filter, water bladder, stove, pot, fuel, etc. And it all rides on top of the Knards!

It’s a gorgeous day here in Butte, with the kind of blue sky you only see in Montana! The desk manager at the Super 8 was super nice, she is allowing me to leave my car in their lot until I get back 13 days from now! For free! I was going to park at the airport but I was afraid they would go all homeland-security on me and dismantle my car while I was away because I didn’t have a plane ticket. I’m only half-joking.

Last night I was scrambling to find an android app that would work with the .gpx files provided by adventure cycling. Couldn’t find one. Finally, I downloaded the .gpx file for the entire route from topofusion.com and I was able to import it into both Rmaps and Maverick. Maverick is cool because it auto-caches maps — you just pan through the area you’re planning to visit and it saves the maps to the sd card. Rmaps requires some advance preparation with a java app called Map Atlas Creator that I won’t be able to do while I’m on the road.

My other piece of tracking technology is a DeLorme inReach satellite communicator. You can see my breadcrumb trail here: https://share.delorme.com/DavidWagner . The DeLorme pairs with android via Bluetooth and allows you to cache maps on the phone, and it shows your position real-time, but it can’t display .gpx files. This is probably intentional since otherwise you’d have no incentive to pair it with one of their gps units.

Today the plan is for an easy day to Basin, where I’ll camp at the Merry Widow Health Mine. This resort is for people who apparently have not heard that radon is a carcinogen! If I want radon exposure, I can go home to Boulder and stick a straw in a crack in my foundation and suck on it. 🙂

Then tomorrow, onward to Helena via Lava Mountain Trail, the only “real” mountain biking on this section of the route I think. I probably won’t have wifi again until Helena.

P.S. I love you Logan! I love you Zoe!

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