We happily left Cut Bank at 6AM, knowing that the high temperature for the day would be 97 degrees. Yikes! We had hoped to start going 80-95 miles per day now that the land is pretty flat, but given the temperatures, we settled for a smaller goal. The ride was entirely on highway 2, entirely on a shoulder that often was completely made up of a rumble strip that felt like it was giving us concussions when we accidentally rode over it. There was also a lot of glass on the shoulder. So the ride today involved staring at the shoulder, trying not to hit glass or the rumble strip. We didn’t even notice that we had passed a town at one point. When we stare this long at the ground in front of the bike, it made our eyes play tricks on us such that anything in the distance would look like it was moving toward us. To add to today’s experience, every time we stopped for even a second, swarms of mosquitos would attack us, biting right away. So we only stopped for two very quick snacks, skipping lunch until we arrived in Chester. Here, a cute restaurant called Spud’s was a perfect, air-conditioned respite. We planned to stay in the city park, as many towns in Montana and North Dakota lack real campgrounds, but will allow cyclists to camp in the park. First, however, we wanted to pay to take showers at the motel. We were in the process of paying for this service when we met Leo and Tom, a father and son who are biking across the country, who offered us the other bed in their room. So we’re writing this blog post from a comfy bed in an air-conditioned room.
Note that there are no pictures today due to the mosquitos and the lack of photographic subjects. It was flat. Very very flat. Imagine flat land around a two-lane highway.
today’s ride: 69 miles
total distance: 1071 miles
time in the saddle: 6 hrs and 33 min