Fire - the early 70s song by the the Ohio Players - was playing in my mind all morning. This was due to a large fire in the vicinity of Lame Deer and Ashland - the two towns on our route today on US-212. Well, the first 15 miles of the run went well, but when Jennifer, Justin and I ran into Lame Deer at mile 15 we learned that the fire destroyed a section of US-212 up ahead and that electrical power was out all through the area including Broadus more than 60 miles from Lame Deer - our planned hotel location for two nights. Got it - detour required, but there was really no good detour option from Lame Deer. Nevertheless, one rises to the occasion when the challenge requires it. So we headed south on a low trafficked paved road which turned out to be quite scenic. The plan was to end the day near Birney and determine a reroute from there on the internet tonight. Still working the exact details of the reroute, but the reroute means we will skip the scenic Mickelson Trail. This is a bummer, but taking the trail out of the run is minor compared to the challenges faced by the southeastern Montana residents who have lost homes, will go without power for some time, and will be faced with traffic challenges for some time to come. We wish all those affected the by the local fires the best.
Justin ended the day early due to potential issues, but the plan is for him to make up the missed mileage Thursday after seeking appropriate advice.
Busby to Birney, MT 36.2 miles
Justin 4:57:51 (23 miles)