Jamie and I stayed back in the park to eat a grocery store breakfast, while Roger and John went to a restaurant. I volunteered to carry the second bottle of wine over Whitefish pass. Hopefully this bottle will taste a little better.
A little warm-up hill led us to rolling pine and aspen terrain.
We met 2 rangers coming down in trucks. They had been spraying herbicide on a roadside invasive species. When they came across us, we had laid all our bikes down on the road to eat something before the steep climb and we looked rather like we had all crashed. Roger left his water bottle at the snack spot, so he descended about a mile to retrieve it and found his towel had fallen off there as well.
We all met at the top of the pass after a long, rocky climb. That pass was closed to motor vehicles, due to construction (road is way too narrow to accommodate a car and the excavator), but we did see 2 cyclists and they noticed my Niagara Frontier Bicycling Club Jersey. They were from Rochester, NY, about 75 miles from my home. One was coming from Mexico and riding a Surly Pugsley. He reported that at a point in NM, he was carrying about 14 liters of water. The other had joined at the Montana border.
Flying down the other side, John suffered a massive tear in his tire tread. I can't even call it a puncture. He was running tubeless tires, but even the sealant inside didn't save that tire. He swapped it for his folding spare and stuck in a tube later. Roger suggested it was because we were running at our top psi, so we all heeded the warning and let some air out.
Tuchuck CG was totally empty and had bear boxes for our food, though as I predicted, some lazy people had left their garbage in them, in a pack-it-in, pack-it-out CG. Tuchuck Creek was, of course, phenominally cold, but we all fully submerged ourselves, though some longer than others.
We dried our clothes on the warm stones if the river bank. I uncorked the wine by pushing it in with an Allen wrench, spraying myself liberally. Hope bears aren't attracted to the smell of red wine. I was asleep by 9:00.