- - - -
DAY 15 - MONDAY, May 12, 2008 - - - -
White Sulphur Springs
to Townsend, MT
Rain (what else you got?)
3,842 Feet (1,201' Less Than Yesterday)
Total Distance Traveled:
Thoughts For Today:
certain days that you just know you'll always remember. For
me, today was one such day! I knew that knocking off today's
42 miles up and over the Big Belt Mountain Range from White
Sulphur Springs to Townsend would be difficult... but I
didn't know just how difficult it would be!
The day started
pretty good with no wind and some light clouds. However,
that would quickly change. By the time I had started the
ascent up the Belt Mountains the clouds had gotten very
thick and dark, and the wind had picked up significantly. I
was about 1/2 mile from the top of the mountain range when
the temperature started to drop dramatically and snow began
to fly. I knew I was heading right into a snowstorm. Once on
top of the Belt Mountains there is a plateau that extends
for several miles at about 6,000 feet in elevation. It's
pretty wide open country and the winds were blowing from the
Northwest really hard. I got all of my winter gear on and
visibility decreased quickly when the snow really started to
I kept pushing
forward, much to the apparent surprise of some motorists who
were in the area. I had several offers for rides, and a few
folks looked at me as though I were insane to be pushing a
jogging stroller in such conditions. I pressed on and would
soon learn that the snowstorm was just the first difficult
encounter I would have in my day. In all, I went through one
snowstorm, two sleet storms, and four rain storms on my
42-mile trek. It was a long, cold day and as I write this I
am sitting on a bed in my hotel room trying to muster the
energy to get up and fill a bucket with ice and water for my
feet. My thanks to the owners of the Mustang Motel for
donating my room this evening. I truly appreciate their
support of P.A.C.E. and what I'm trying to accomplish.
the way today I met a young man named Henry Wong, who is
bicycling from Seattle to Boston. He was somewhat amazed at
what I was doing and after a short conversation we parted
ways - Henry heading east and me heading west. Also today,
the two gentlemen from Canada who bought me dinner last
night came riding up on their motorcycles - having brought
me some hot tea and protein bars. It was a very nice gesture
and the tea helped to warm me up!
Tomorrow is a
32-mile day to Helena - Montana's capital city! I will have
a high speed connection tomorrow night as well (I have one
tonight too!) and I'll post some new pictures and videos
from tomorrow's trek. Today was my 13th day on the pavement
and I've logged 415 miles. I am now two-thirds of the way
across Montana with only 205 miles remaining. Generally, I'm
averaging 223 miles per week when you look at the number of
running days. I'm pretty pleased with that, especially
considering the harsh conditions I've had. And yes... the
wind was another foe today. In fact, I had a freezing rain
blowing from the North for the last 10 miles of my day -
which left me very cold. Upon arriving in Townsend the
temperature was 40 degrees, but with the wind chill and cold
rain it actually felt much colder than that. I could easily
see my breath! I'm not sure what the temperature was during
the snowstorm today on the Big Belt Mountain Range - but it
was definitely below freezing!
I wanted to let
you know that all pictures and videos for the various days
have been posted to this site, so everything is current! If
you've missed any days, you may want to click through the
pages to see what's been happening. I've heard from several team leaders
with mileage updates and will try to post a team mileage
report tomorrow from Helena. There's not much left of
P.A.C.E. Trek 2008 and I truly hope that those teams
participating are enjoying the information provided through
this web site. Hang in there for a little longer! We're
getting closer to the Idaho border each day!
Here's what is
Tuesday, May 12:
Wednesday, May 14:
Friday, May 16:
Monday, May 19:
Montana "Did You Know?"...
Much of Montana's early history was concerned with mining,
with copper, lead, zinc, silver, coal, and oil as principal
products. The town of Butte is the center of the area that
once supplied half of the U.S. copper. Fields of grain cover
much of Montana's plains. It ranks high among the states in
wheat and barley, with rye, oats, flaxseed, sugar beets, and
potatoes as other important crops. Sheep and cattle raising
make significant contributions to the economy.
Americans "Did You Know?"...
In 1493, Christopher Columbus called the native people he
met in North America "Indians" because he mistakenly
believed he had sailed to India. Today, this term includes
the aborigines of North and South America.
Fitness "Did You Know?"...
Only about one-half of U.S. youth participate in vigorous
physical activity. In today’s world of video games,
computers and television, adolescents are becoming more
sedentary. In 1999, 14% of adolescents aged 12 to 19 years
in the United States were overweight. This number has nearly
tripled for teens in the past two decades. Type II diabetes
and high blood pressure, once considered adult-onset
diseases, have increased dramatically in children and teens.
Overweight and obesity are closely linked to both diseases.
In addition, unhealthy adolescents have a 70% chance of
becoming unhealthy adults. This increases to 80% if one or
more parent is considered unhealthy.
Share Your Thoughts With Paul...
Click here to
sign the official P.A.C.E. Trek 2008 guestbook!
Thanks for stopping by this milepost
update. Run back here tomorrow!
Keeping on PACE,
Along The Way...
I had to go over the
BIG BELT MOUNTAINS.
The Big Belt Mountains are located to the east
of Helena, Montana, which is the state capital.
They are difficult to miss as they rise abruptly
up from the valley floor with a vertical rise of
more than 5,000 feet in some places. The Big
Belt Mountains, lying as they do to the east of
the continental divide, are more arid than the
mountains found just to the west on the other
side of the continental divide. Instead of
having thick forests over much of their sides,
the Big Belt Mountains have expansive areas of
open meadows, grass and exposed rock. As they
are a tall mountain range, many areas of the Big
Belt Mountains are also over timberline. Only
one designated wilderness area, the Gates of the
Mountains Wilderness that is found at the
northern tip of the Big Belt Range, exists in
the Big Belt Mountains. The rest of the mountain
range is strictly forest service land. Numerous
forest service roads enter and cross the Big
Belt Mountains. The Big Belt Mountains are a
popular place for locals to come out and explore
the roads that traverse through these mountains.
The peaks of the Big Belt Mountains are quite
rounded and even gentle, in stark contrast to
some of the nearby mountain ranges such as the
Bridger Range and the Crazy Mountains. The only
real lake fishing in the Big Belt Mountains is
found near the ranges highest mountains, Mt.
Baldy (9,472 feet) and Mt. Edith (9,480 feet).
Several small lakes are located to the north of
Mt. Edith. A trail from the nearby Duck Creek
Campground reaches these small, alpine lakes.
The largest lake, Edith Lake, holds decent
populations of small cutthroat trout. Use of the
Big Belt Mountains is relatively light. The lack
of any protected wild lands, combined with the
lack of alpine lakes and other attractions,
tends to keep most visitors from ever seeing the
Big Belt Mountains. Most of the use of the Big
Belt Mountains comes in the form of off-roading,
exploring the mountains forest roads and
mountain biking. Horse packing is also popular
due to the open nature of the mountains.
Paul's Current Position In Montana