Day 68 – Havre, MT to Chester, MT – 62 miles
Big milestone passed today! According to our maps, we have less than 1,000 miles to go! They’re tall miles, but it feels good!
We grabbed a quick hotel-room breakfast and hit the road. We knew this would be a climbing day, but nothing too difficult. We gain about 400 ft to Chester and it looks like a gradual elevation rise to the Rockies. The wind was at our side, so Jim had a little extra work to keep the bike going straight, and avoid rumble strips (some of which extended across the entire width of the shoulder.)
There is a town every 8 to 10 miles on this stretch, the only problem is the townscapes are 1/2 mile off US-2, centered on the railroad track in the towns. One thing Jim doesn’t understand about Montana (actually there is more than one thing) is why they don’t put their gas stations and convenience stores right on the major highway that runs near their town! Call us lightweights, but we don’t like going 1/2 mile X 2 out of our way for a snack! Sticking to our guns, it was 35 miles before we got our first bite to eat on the road. This made us kind of cranky at that point, but with a snack in us at 35 and lunch at 40 miles, we were back to being happy campers! Lunch was actually off the road. Andrew, our other riding companion from our ride to Havre, had suggested this place. He ate there the day before – it was very good!!!
We enjoyed a nice 6 mile downhill into Chester & easily spotted our motel, as it is right on US-2. While relaxing in our room, Jim noticed a couple of bicyclists pull up out front, so we went out to greet them. Chelsea & Dakota are from Portland and are bicycling eastbound, although not using the Adventure Cycling maps too much. They have been traveling for quite some time but are less than a month into the bicycling portion of their trip. You can check out their blog here: http://www.traipsingabout.com
After taking showers, we met up with Chelsea & Dakota for dinner at the local cafe. We enjoyed some great conversation & a wonderful meal! We love this aspect of the trip! Coming back from dinner, we ran into George – another westbound rider whom we met in Glasgow. He was headed for dinner, so we gave him our recommendation, telling him we’re also planning to go there for breakfast. Not sure if he’ll join us, or not but the more the merrier!
Brain Meanderings based on today’s roadside treasures:
– 2 packages of hot dog buns, spaced about a half mile apart. What is the story here? Potential scenarios we explored:
– “You bought packages of 8 buns and the hot dogs come in packages of 10 hot dogs! These are worthless! Get em out of here!”
– “I sent you out for hot dog buns – and you came back empty-handed?!?”
– a nice wrench (Jim wanted it but didn’t want to carry it, so he left it for a local bicyclist to find.)
– a bag for a bag chair. (“Can they still call it a bag chair, if they’ve lost the bag?”)
– a bag of garbage. We saw a lot of clues as to the identity of the littered – they drink coffee & use shampoo. 😉
– a swell batman hat
Thanks for the road cut!
Saw LOTS of trains today!
Saw several groups of antelope. Two of these were skittish but the one bravely stood & watched us go by.
Two different sets of rumble strips consumed the entire shoulder.
Sweet Grass Hills – one of the island mountain ranges rising up in the middle of the prairie:
Picture of us, courtesy of Dakota!
Chelsea & Dakota: