We end up being changed and packed by about 7:10 and we pushed Barney over to the mess hall so we can roll right from there. The Boy gets an all you can eat pancake breakfast, which I guess for him meant getting two huge pancakes and eating half of them, and I got the "big breakfast" and gave my sausage to the Boy. Sufficiently fueled up, we stroll out around 8:00, fill our Camelbaks up and hit the trail.
|The first stop of the day.|
|Living outside of Custer...|
As we ride out of Custer, the clouds are starting to break up. It is still cool, but I can feel that it is going to warm up in a hurry. We bust up the last real climb of the day, which is about 3-4 miles worth of climbing. At the top, we enjoy one last break before the rolling trails to Pringle and beyond.
About 100 yards before the Pringle TH, we encounter a Mickelson Trail Patrol, as we did the previous day (and I failed to mention). I realize these people have a job to do, but MAN, do I have to stop 100 yards before the trailhead to get my pass out? Can't we roll over to the little hut to get out of the sun so I can get my boy something to eat whilst we play ass-grab with each other? Surely, this cat can see we're loaded for bear and getting the bike rolling is not easy. Oh well, pass checked we zip to the TH where we take a quick fiver before rolling on.
A quick water fill up at the Lien Quarry hut and we we're rolling to the last trailhead called Minnekahta, where Mom was going to meet us. We met up just as planned and she had some cool drinks for us as now the sun was beating down on us and it kinda felt like we were in the Serengeti. At this point we decided to ditch our gear in the truck and ride unencumbered for the last 15 miles into Edgemont.
|Look at that smile! Still happy after all those miles!|
After a picnic at the Minnekahta TH, we got the bike loaded up in the truck and we headed for home. Another Mickelson trip under our belts, this time with a lot more adversity than we've had in the other years combined. Which made for an interesting trip and will make us all the more prepared for the next time we do it. And we are already thinking about the next time...and I'll have a gross of tubes waiting.