July 6th – having fallen asleep the night before with rain beating down on my tent, I woke up to find an inch of very wet snow on the ground. I put on all of the clothes that I had (sweat pants, rain pants, shirt, sweatshirt, rain jacket, wool socks, baggies over my shoes and gloves), and finished the climb up a small pass beyond Virginia City, before a cold, rapid, and blinding, 2,000 foot descent into Ennis, Montana. I was wet and cold, so I parked my bike, took off some of my wet outer clothes, and went into a diner for a soothing, hot lunch and coffee.
Leaving the diner, I ran into a fellow cycle tourist, Johnny, who told me about a small trailer park I'd passed on my way into town that would let me have a piece of ground for my tent, ... cheap. He had been on the road longer than I, and reminded me of what I already knew. I did not need to keep pushing miles every day (I'd only gone 15 miles so far today). It was ok to slow down and take the time to enjoy myself (I was cold and, everything of mine was wet, tent and clothes).
I spent the afternoon inside the warm laundromat at the trailer park with a six pack of beer, washing and drying my clothes with my tent set up on it's side so it would dry out. The woman running the place was most kind and hospitable. Later, in the early evening, she came by my tent and said, "old habits die hard. I see a man with a hungry face and I've got to feed him." She invited me into her trailer for a hot dinner.
The next morning the sun was out, and the previous day's snow was rapidly melting away, to become but a memory.