Day 63 – Circle, MT to Wolf Point, MT – 54 miles
We hadn’t seen much in the forecast regarding rain last night, so we went to sleep without the rain fly on the tent & enjoyed the beautiful moon, as we drifted off to sleep. And contrary to Shawn’s concerns, we weren’t visited by any hooligans, so we slept well until about 3:30 am when Jim woke up to rain falling on us! Rather than putting the rain fly on, we just moved the tent under the picnic pavilion & watched the thunderstorm from our tent and fell back to sleep. (Tim did the same.). We woke shortly before 6 with another thunderstorm & strong winds. However, by the time we finished breakfast & packed everything away, the rain was done.
We left Circle under calm, but overcast skies with cool temps & no wind. We had heard from one of the eastbound cyclists the day before that we had some big hills today – and she was right! I don’t think it mattered which way you travel, there were lots of big ups and big downs! Once again, we had about 50 miles to go with no services between our starting & ending town, so all our needs were taken care of on the side of the road. We did find a shady bench in front of the post office in Vida, where we sat for a few minutes and ate a snack. Otherwise, we snacked on the side of the road as traffic zoomed by. There wasn’t too much traffic, but it seemed to come in clusters, so when we were passed by one truck, there were usually 3 or 4 following right behind.
Just about halfway, we met up with an eastbound cyclist, Roland, from Switzerland. He is traveling from Seattle to New York. He has done quite a few trips across the USA. You can check out his blog here: http://www.rolandweibel.com/cycling_northern_delights/index.php
About 6 miles from Wolf Point, we crossed the Missouri River again. Last time we crossed it, we were leaving Bismarck! (And picked up an Aussie! :-)). There is a neat old bridge (built in 1930) there that is no longer used. The info placard said when the bridge opened 84 years ago, 15,000 people came for the opening! Hard to imagine that many people around here – although Wolf Point is certainly not a sleepy town this weekend!
This is the weekend of their annual rodeo, so when we rode into town, Main Street was blocked off for the parade. We had received advance warning about this event in our Adventure Cycling map, so we had called 2 days ago and reserved a hotel room, thinking it’s probably not a good night to camp in the city park. In addition, our new tires that were supposed to get to Shawn’s cousin’s house in Bismarck on July 5 (they arrived on the 8th) were waiting for us at the Wolf Point Post Office. (Thanks for forwarding them Ronnie!)
Wolf Point is a strange city, but according to others, what we should expect in the towns that are on indian reservations. There seems to be quite a bit of poverty and the bars allow drink on the sidewalk. We saw a lot of drinkers on the sidewalk at 6pm or so, we can only imagine how much rowdiness there will be tonight with the Rodeo and festival going on.
We did visit the local brew pub, Doc Zs (Missouri Breaks Brewing) – good beer and fantastic root beer floats! Dessert comes before dinner on this trip! Then back to the hotel for a simple but nourishing dinner. We will certainly be catching up on our sleep, we don’t need to worry about getting rained on tonight!!
Key Quotes of the day / Brain Meanderings:
– “You could make some nice watch bands for you & your mates!” (Tim – when he saw a dead snake in the road.)
– “I love it when we can crest a hill in the big ring!” We crested a lot of hills today but very few in the big ring.
– Still seeing lots of white pick-ups! Extra points for cowboy hats in white pickups!
-We get really geeked by semi truck drivers who wave & beep! (We can only tell those happy beeps if they’re coming from the opposite direction. We don’t get beeps from those going the same direction.)
By the way, thank you all for your kind messages & words of encouragement! While we’re not able to respond to each one, we sure appreciate hearing from you all and your messages sure do lift us up! Thank you!!!