We ate a simple breakfast, then dilly-dallied at the Safeway and didn't get going until 10:30. Threading back through Butte to go south was easy. After about 10 miles we were back up in Forest Service land again and climbed up to the divide.
Very few vehicles passed us and one was a Forest Service vehicle and the driver actually totally stopped for each of us spread out over a mile, in order to not spew dust all over us. He even apologized for the dust he was kicking up, which was minimal. Much later a fire service vehicle came by and barely slowed.
At the pass were many horse trailers, which must have discharged their contents and were heading back down. They may be cowboys heading out to herd the cattle back down.
We ate lunch at a leisurely pace until we were told that spraying for the pine bark beetle was about to commence, so we moved on.
The road rolled through short grass and sage range lands, with cows watching our progress. At one point we smelled something awful and finally linked it to what we faintly could make out to be a dead cow in a copse of trees.
The road down was not very pleasant. Extensively washboarded and often comprised of sand, I braked to an almost constant speed of 10.5 MPH. A nice view of Fleecer Mountain was framed by the nearby lower hills. Route 15 was far below and the cars looked like cows on a ribbon of river.
Our last stretch was a 6 mile moderate climb to Beaver Dam CG. The CG was mostly closed due to beetle spraying (1 month ago? ), but is scheduled to reopen tomorrow. We purified the water just to be safe, since it was murky even after pumping for 5 minutes and it may not have been tested recently. The only other CG user was a larger RV; they were using a mannequin leg to weigh down their tarp, but no one was home.
Dinner is being partially rehydrated with yesterday's leftover wine. 4 more cyclists came in around 9.
Start odometer 980