On the map, it showed as a significant shortcut in miles. It proved to be only in miles. It took me over two hours to cover the worst 10 to 12 miles of "shortcut" ever. A dirt road of the washboard type, with deep ruts and not a soul, not a house, not even a shack. Once on the narrow road (road a definite misnomer, if you want my opinion) it was impossible to turn around and go back. The only way back was in reverse. So, valiantly onward I drove at a snail's pace. No ranch anywhere, so no cattle, but plenty of wild life. A herd of antelopes swiftly darted up the steep slope at the sight of this unknown creature invading their territory. At one point, I saw a dark form, quite large, by the side of the "road" and wondered if it might be a bear. As I got closer, it unfurled itself and stood up. It was a moose. Rather scrawny but very long-legged. We exchanged a stare, then opted each to go our separate way, away from each other, to my great relief.
Finally I made it to Bannack and a blacktop road. I noticed a few signs posted as I exited the "road", one reading "...road not suitable for trailers, rv’s, or motorhomes". I unwittingly left two hubcaps as a souvenir, which considering how non-existent the traffic is on the "road", are probably still there. In Hamilton, Len told me that to get to HIS shortcut, I should have backtracked northeasternly first. . . Oh, well.