Central & Eastern MONTANA

Day 52: Wednesday, August 25.
To Western Motel in Browning, MT. We went off the designated route - and found ourselves climbing another about 1800' over the Hudson Bay Divide (north of which rivers run into Hudson Bay) and several other hills; but a really strong tail wind pushed us fast to Browning. 39 miles.

Day 53: Thursday, August 26.
To Totem Motel in Shelby, MT. Met Tom Hall biking (on his folding bicycle) towards us 16 miles from the Shelby Airport, where he had flown his Cessna 182 in from Canada ("bikenfly" personified!). We had worked out the rendez-vous via voice mail. And we had a powerful tail wind - double banner day. Tom took Catharine & Rob up in the Cessna for a bird's eye view of our route. 61miles.

A "bikenfly reunion" - Tom Hall flies his Cessna
in from Canada, lands in Shelby, MT, unfolds
his bicycle and bikes west to meet us by
the side of the road

Liz & Tom together again!

Tom's Cessna - preparing to take Rob and Catharine
for a bird's eye view of route..

Tom and cyclists earthbound again

Day 54: Friday, August 27.
To City Park, Joplin MT (free camping in tiny community park). Breakfast with Tom - sweet farewells, he to the airport heading home, we to the road, heading East. When there was wind, it was "cross". miles; got hot in PM. Great little community park, off the unpaved main street of Joplin; great sunset, watched sitting on RR tracks which carry about 30 trains a day (freight & Amtrak). 54 miles.

Our campsite (tents near handy shelter)
amid Joplin's community park

Rainbow at sunrise over Joplin's park

Day 55: Saturday, August 28.
To Havre Fairgrounds campground in Havre MT. Beautiful rainbow sent us on our way in AM, but really frustrating day - head winds for at least 40 miles, rolling hills, wheat being harvested, but WIND, WIND, WIND. Fascinating tour of archeological site of "bison jump" where prehistoric Indian tribes ran bison off the cliff to get meat, hides, etc. Excavations reveal layers containing thousands of bones! 50 miles.

A better picture of Catharine's frog named
Flemington who rides behind her seatpost in
good weather - for those who were wondering

Day 56: Sunday, August 29.
To City Park behind City Hall, in Harlem, MT (another city park welcoming campers). Another day of headwinds (UGH!) But otherwise, cool, and rolling hills. Catharine had her first flat tire (no more bragging rights). Interesting conversation with trainman waiting on ground beside his freight train for Amtrak to go by. 48 miles.

Bike and Rob up against Harlem's city hall;
luscious green grass of Harlem's community
park in background where sprinkler got us
at 4:00 AM

Day 57: Monday, August 30.
To Trafton City Park in Malta, MT (this time $3 fee). Day started on wrong foot when sprinkler system drenched us at 4 AM! Another day of headwinds (major stressor!) And heat in 90s - but we did our allotted miles. 47 miles.

Tires - big, fat ones & small, thin ones

Bringing in the harvest

More evidence of harvest - huge
cylinders of hay are everywhere

A hay roll - up close & personal

We sit atop a hay roll - read our
sign language: 2500 mile mark along
Indian Highway in Fort Peck Indian
Reservation near Nashua, MT

Day 58: Tuesday, August 31.
To Shady Rest RV Park in Glascow, MT. Unbelievable day - wind out of west at 25-35 MPH pushed us 72 miles. Now we know the real difference between head & tail winds. 72 miles.

Our vegetarian team member ponders
local imperative

A message about the roadside crosses

A site where five died in a crash

Day 59: Wednesday, September 1.
To Homestead Inn in Wolf Point, MT. No wind and overcast - but we biked fast and easy - about half on "Indian Highway" that had almost no cars - and literally no tractor-trailers. Much of day was through Fort Peck Indian reservation; saw lots of birds, farms, the Missouri River. 56 miles.

Homestead Inn in Wolfe Point, MT, our home
for two nights & one "rain-rest" day - although
photo taken on day of departure with rain just
as wet as on day off

"R&R" card game in Homestead Inn
Day 60: Thursday, September 2.
First R&R (Rain, thus Rest) day (not plane travel related) on our trip - pouring rain when we walked to diner, and decided not to bike today. Real lazy day, reading and wandering around Wolf Point in the rain searching for someone to cut our hair (found 3 but all booked up - so still unshorn).

Rob & Catharine at roadside near Bainville, MT
collecting a small fortune in US & Canadian coins

The final haul - ($42.95 Canadian
and $3.55 US) - and six stamps

Day 61: Friday, September 3.
To Lee Ann's Motel in Popular, MT. Rain & adverse wind conditions the same as yesterday, but decided to ride anyway; got totally soaked in the 22 miles to Poplar, MT so decided to call it quits. Hot showers and warm covers make us happy; great salad bar at the American Legion hall for supper. 22 miles.

Day 62: Saturday, September 4.
To Diamond Willow Inn in Culbertson MT. Heavy overcast but no rain, so off we go - it was stop after 35 miles or add another 45 to Williston, ND. We decide to stop at noon, crawl under some indoor covers and watch some college football on a motel TV. 35 miles.

The end of Rte 2 Montana - all 667 miles of it -
most of which we rode, except in western part of
state approaching and traversing Glacier National Park;
also, big sign welcomes folks to MT (better welcome
to MT sign to make up for understated "Idaho-Mont"
sign we got)