We are happily ensconced in the Calvert Hotel in Lewistown MT, the geographic center of Montana (if not the Universe). We are both completely wasted and looking forward to 2 rest days.
We got a late start due to having the best breakfast of the trip at the Kozy Korner which did not open until 7.
Despite the modest exterior, the interior truly is cosy.
One of the retired ranchers you see above filled my coffee cup since he was up.
I had the 2 egg, ham and 3 pancake breakfast entitled "Ellen's Starter." I asked Ellen what I should get for the main course since this was just the starter. She assured me this would be sufficient. I find that unless I eat a big breakfast, I run out of steam and can't recover no matter how much I eat during the day.
Here is the bill for the biggest and best breakfast ever.
I was thrilled to get another picture of the Ford F1 pickup in its natural habitat. Note the 2 dogs and the other details in the photo. More proof that the rust finish on the vehicle is not a faux finish like you see at the car shows.
Marie bought a gallon of spring water at the general store in Winnett, since the municipal water reeks of sulphur. The bulletin board at the store had ads for hay, displaying samples. The first time I saw this, I was confused, however I admired the seller's entrepreneurial spirit.
The scenery today was spectacular. Unfortunately, for the first 30 miles I had my head down, plowing into a headwind, making 8 mph.
We started to see mountains on the horizon.
We took a little break when we crossed this stream. Our lunch stop was at a former town named Grass Range. They had a campground there; it was suitably rustic.
We talked to several people at the Grass Range stop but not the owner of this '48? Ford. He probably would have been a window into the psyche of a certain segment of the Montana population.
After Grass Range, we still had 35 miles but you could see the Judith Mountains in the distance. Their elevation is slightly more than a mile, and we were at 3,000 feet. I said to Marie, "the mountains are calling." She said, you mean "looming".
I for one am very excited to get to the tree-covered mountains. You know what I think of the Montanan version of the steppes of Siberia.
From Grass Range we climbed over. 4500 foot pass and then enjoyed a 7.5 mile descent into Lewistown. At about 3:30, we got a light shower, the temperature dropped, and the wind died. Just in time for the climb up the mountain. The only thing that can stop Marie is heat, so we were grateful for the cool temperatures.
Marie says I should mention the other cyclotourist who stayed at the motel in Winnett. We met him briefly. He had ridden 150 miles on Wednesday, getting in at 1 am. He said he couldn't find a good place to camp so he just kept going and going. Apparently the world's most bike friendly convenience store in Sandy Springs did not meet his needs. Nothing he said made any sense to us, particularly the part about riding after dark. I would like to own a saddle that I could sit on for 150 miles, though.
It's great to be in a town with a nice hotel and multiple coffee shops. Tomorrow we will have lunch with my good friends who live in Billings- he's saving us 4 days of riding by driving up to visit. The plan is to sleep until 11 am tomorrow!