The days are running together. If not for this blog serving as a diary, I would never be able to piece together the towns and long days through the high plains of Montana. I have really loved this state, but since leaving East Glacier the days are steady miles of flat and rolling planes punctuated by interesting small towns.
Jack and I found the Our Town Grill in Wolf Point MT for breakfast and enjoyed the local flavor of the place, decorated with reminders that we were on the reservation.
Off down the road, still on US2, to a town called Poplar. On the way I spied a teddy bear on the road, and imagined that it had been won at a carnival by some headstrong cowboy for a girl using his entire paycheck, but then she dumped him, so he threw it out the window.
In Poplar, we learned that a possible alternative route on a BIA route was closed, and so continued on US2. In Brockton, we caught up with Roger and Gary and stopped for snacks, and we ran into a twosome heading west, possibly a father-son team. The dad and I decided it would make good sense if we traded road maps, Montana for North Dakota. I gave him my detailed pristine Montana road map, and then he pulls out this ratty chewed-on water damaged low quality map of ND. Roger started crowing, “No trade!” but I laughed and gave him the MT map anyway. Cyclists helping other cyclists. But I still need to buy a decent ND map.
Past Brockton, the four of us took side route BIA 1 and were truly rewarded with a smooth new blacktop surface and zero traffic. The road took us by some amazing sculpted hills of eroded rock and silty layers. I imagined that these mysterious forms must somehow have been important to Native Americans.
One or two healthy climbs in to Culbertson MT, where we toured through town and eventually found racehorse Bill. He’d been in town more than 3 hours already. L.E. soon joined us, too – the team was all in one place again (minus Jesse and Frank). A sixpack of Moose Drool went around to celebrate our rest day tomorrow.
We all went for pizza in town and met another twosome riding east. They had been just about 1 day behind us everyday for several weeks, had done a couple of century days, and caught up with us. A couple from Ohio, heading generally on the Northern Tier, then on through Pittsburgh and down to Washington DC. These were very friendly and competent riders and we really enjoyed talking with them.
The park here in Culbertson is very nice – a large well-kept piece of land great for tenting. We enjoyed more spirited hours of conversation at the camp, with L.E., with the twosome, and with a couple of precocious preteen girls who were interested in aspects of cycling.
About 62 miles today, with a subtle headwind-crosswind from the NNE. We’re looking ahead at a possible 90 mile day on Wednesday and will hope for good winds.