Day 16 River of Gold

Today was a gruesome ride. Lots of wind and US Highway 287 (The same one that goes through Wichita Falls). Portions of Highway 287 had a lot of traffic. Between the headwind, traffic and smoke our world was just the 10 feet of pavement in front of us.

We did travel through two interesting little towns, Nevada City and Virginia City. Both are along the Adler Gulch where gold was discovered in May of 1863. By June of that year there were 10,000 people there looking for gold.

In 1896 they began dredging (placer mining) the gulch using equipment like this. They literally tore up the stream bed and placed piles of gravel on either side while looking for gold. In three years they took out over $30 million worth of gold. They dredged the 14-mile long gulch for 24 years.

When the gold dredging stopped the towns also began to fade away. In the 50’s there were only 14 buildings remaining in Nevada City. Then Charlie Bovey (heir to General Mills fortune) purchased the town of Nevada City and began to restore it. He also moved old buildings from all over Montana into the town. Today there are more than 100 buildings and the town is owned by the State of Nevada.

As usual with remote mining camps criminal activity flourished. A Vigilance Committee was organized to restore order. George Ives was tried, convicted and hung in one hour.

Just up the gulch is Virginia City. It was also part of the gold rush and became Montana’s first state capital. It was the capital from 1865 to 1875 and also has many old buildings. We could have spent a lot of time in both cities.

The only “real” city that we passed through today was Ennis, Montana. The Palisades broke up the monotony for a while.

About 25 miles from West Yellowstone was the site of a huge earthquake in 1959. It created a huge lake officially named Earthquake Lake but called Quake Lake by the locals.

You can still see where the landslides occurred above the Madison River rapids

We ended up in West Yellowstone, Montana. It is a kitschy little town with many tourist shops.

Today we proved that a tough day of cycling is still better than a day of Zoom calls.

Stats

  • Sheridan to West Yellowstone, Montana
  • Distance: 105.4 miles (170 km)
  • Climbing: 5033 feet (1534 m)
  • Temperature: 50 – 79°F (10 – 26°C)

Chad Saves the Day

As Chad was peddling along looking 10 feet ahead of him he noticed a cell phone lying on the shoulder of a bridge. Not only did he see it, he recognized the back of the case. Joe didn’t realize he had dropped his phone. Whew!

Montana

Montana has casinos in every little town and in most gas stations. Oscar would like it here!

Since the 1950s the American Legion of Montana has marked fatal traffic accident sites with little white crosses. There are ~2,500 markers across the state.

Sundry

Wait – is that a cell phone tower?

3 thoughts on “Day 16 River of Gold

  1. Stayed in West Yellowstone a couple of times. Great place to get an early start to the park. To bad about all the smoke, hope it starts clearing up a little. Thanks again for sharing your time on the road.

    Like

  2. Thanks for keeping us posted! God bless you and your riding compadres!!

    On Mon, Sep 6, 2021 at 10:04 PM Adventures of 4 MAMILs* wrote:

    > Al Miller posted: ” Today was a gruesome ride. Lots of wind and US Highway > 287 (The same one that goes through Wichita Falls). Portions of Highway 287 > had a lot of traffic. Between the headwind, traffic and smoke our world was > just the 10 feet of pavement in front of” >

    Like

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