Two easy days riding to Helena.
I was slow getting started from Lincoln. I hadn’t taken a rest day since Banff and thought of taking a day in Lincoln, but in end decided on two easy days instead. The agenda for the first day was to ride over Flesher Pass. Turned out not too difficult as it was only 1600ft higher than Lincoln.
Eleven miles on the main road before turning to road 279. There was quite a bit of construction traffic, but fortunately the trucks were only going one mile down the road. After that it was a slow steady climb for 9 miles to the summit. My cycle computer rarely said over 6% so it was a case of shifting into low gear and slowly riding up.
Getting close to the top, here was the view looking back on the road.
Official summit sign here.
After that a reasonable descent that brought me down into Canyon Creek. The creek was a bit narrow and the road closely followed the creek. Some national forest but also a fair number of vacation cabins here. A little past 30 miles, the canyon opened up and it was more dry landscapes with irrigation. My map had indicated “Canyon Creek Store”
I was there in time for a late lunch. Inside of the store was cute with a lot of antiques but also food and other items. They also had small RV park/campground. Decided to stop there for the afternoon. It was hazy out, apparently several different fires in the area.
Two pickups. This scene was along the way the next morning. As best I could tell, they were radio-ing down to some riders on horseback down below who were herding cattle. From here into Helena was a good road that climbed over low ridge and then descended into the Helena Valley. After 13 miles, turned north to more suburban/rural roads on outskirts of Helena.
Not much later was the city limits itself.
Overall, two fairly easy days that brought me to Helena. Chance to relax as well as pick a more precise route using the maps I have. I was thinking of US 287, but that has bad reviews so most likely take some of the alternate route on GDMBR.