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Friday, June 13, 2008

Still in Montana

I hope you're all still out there reading. We are now in Glasgow, MT. We've recently passed through various other towns with borrowed names like Inverness, Zurich, and Malta. We've had a few battles with the weather lately, but it seems like more sun is on the way.

After we left Havre on Tuesday we rode for 20 miles into a headwind. It was such slow going and so frustrating. We stopped when we got to Chinook and set up camp in the city park there. It was to rainy and windy to use our stove so Ray got a pizza and we ate it in our tent. When we woke up the next morning it was sunny, but we heard rumors of snow in Great Falls and Bozeman. I guess it has been unseasonably cold around here and apparently all this rain was desperately needed. The lady at the pizza shop told Ray that they hadn't had rain since last july or something. Despite the sun on wednesday, we were again riding into a solid headwind. It took us a few hours to go another 20 miles. After stopping in Harlem, we decided to continue. It was another 50 miles to Malta and then another 18 miles or so to our destination.

We were really discouraged by the headwind until a storm passed over and gradually the wind began to shift. We rode through the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation and managed to make some of those miles in good time. It felt amazing to pedal along and not fight the wind. We stopped in Dodson, a small town at the beginning of a stretch of unpaved road. I guess they are repaving it but we rode for 5 miles on dirt. To make a long story short, we fought another headwind, rode through more rain, Ray fixed his first flat, we stopped in Malta for groceries and then finished a LONG 18 miles to Sleeping Buffalo Hotsprings.

An odd and pretty run down place, the hot springs are contained in a large swimming pool and a small hotter pool. It is also a hotel, cafe, and grocery store on a small scale. Despite its apparent sketchy-ness, we spent the night and the whole next day there quite pleasantly. When we woke up in the morning the wind was howling and blowing incredibly hard and it was, of course, raining. We had planned to take a day off anyway so we mostly hung out in the motel lobby, went in the hot tub, read, played cards, and discovered that we could catch up on all the episodes of Top Chef that we had missed. All in all we had a lovely time there. We met some other cyclists from Wisconsin who were headed west and made friends with the lady at the desk who was very excited that we are going to get married.

Luckily this morning we awoke to find clear skies, sun and a breeze gently blowing to the east. Along our way we came across another couple of cyclists riding Surlys who are also headed to Maine, we swapped stories with them for a while and then set off through the plains. I was pretty disenchanted with this flat sprawling land but after taking a break, its been a beautiful day so far. We plan to get to Williston, North Dakota on Sunday or Monday. Ray's phone got wet and died so we should be picking up another one there (if you are trying to get in touch, you probably won't hear from us before monday, and he lost all the numbers in his phone). I hope you all are well, its always great to hear from you, have a lovely weekend!


Duncan said...

hi A and Ray, we are reading all your stuff with great relish.

Hey guys i officially have 3 hours of driving under my belt and am half way to my permit!!!! :) 2 bad about ur phone it was a nice 1 2


Brita said...

Millie the cat sat right on my keyboard to read this post! She was fascinated.

That wind sounds brutal - far fiercer than the wind on Casco Bay that I experienced on a ferry ride today. I'm glad you got to unwind at the motel.

I'm doing the Anna Hewitt tour of Portland with the friend who's visiting this weekend. We had Maple's last night, and I showed her your books at Edith & Edna. She has been very impressed!

Miss you guys!

Anna Be said...

who is millie? is this a new cat?

Brita said...

yes, millie is my cat! she is amazing and i can't wait for you to meet her. she came from the shelter in westbrook about two weeks ago. her full name is millet :)