Today was amazing in many respects and we have few if any photos to show for it. The winds were light and often behind us. It was a beautiful, easy day of about 58 miles to Great Falls.
We had breakfast at a cafe in Stanford where everyone knew each other and they were reviewing the rodeo. They couldn't understand why people entered. Why, with owning a horse and a rig and maybe an RV to sleep in and what with entry fees and all, how could anyone afford to do it? These talkers are men dressed like ranchers.
When that subject was exhausted, they turned to us and asked if we see the ones on the bicycles. As has happened when we fall into conversations with locals in Montana, they gave us great detail about the roads we are facing. Hills are described as "a pretty good pull." One man said although there were a couple pretty good pulls between Stanford and Great Falls, it was mostly down hill. He knew because he gets 59 mpg going and only 38 coming back in his Prius.
It wasn't until an hour or so later, and actually going up one of the hills, that we said to each other. "Wait a minute, that guy drives a Prius?"
Leaving Stanford, there was a string of maybe a dozen sedans coming into town. It was the closest thing to a rush hour we have seen since entering Montana--also the most sedans.
Yesterday and today we saw these hill top fortresses that seemed to be small government outposts. Yesterday's was unidentified, but today's proclaimed its 50 years of service and Roy realized it was a Minuteman Missile silo. There was a black helicopter flying over it.
We saw several military convoys today.
Bee keepers along side the road. We could see the bees swarming, but the camera didn't capture them.
This falling down homesteader's cabin is leaning east. We blame the west winds.
Coming over a rise, we caught sight of a town up against the mountains. The map said it had to be 5 miles away. We didn't think we could see that far, but the odometer proved the map correct.
Most of the morning, the ride was beautiful. We were following Otter Creek. The canyon it carved was scenic. A few miles before lunch, a truck carrying a helicopter passed us. That was a first.
Rest area, lunch, and correspondence break near Belt. The shady picnic tables were a welcome blessing.
Shortly after lunch we ran into 6 dusty miles of road construction that our cafe friends had warned us. The dust adheres beautifully to skin treated with sun tan lotion.
At about 50 miles I had my usual heat melt down with nary an ice cream store in sight. Fortunately, we weren't too far from Great Falls.
Behind the hay rolls are new executive style homes only 6 miles from Great Falls. Even closer to Malmstrom AFB.
Great Falls is a city. Chain restaurants, multiple grocery chains, a Target!, several motorcycle dealers, two colleges. Traffic impatient with bikes.
We are at the LaQuinta right on the Missouri River. Workers are improving the riverside trail and park as we sit here.
We are very near the history museum, which alas is closed today.
I think your sighing and sneezing is helping. Thanks for the efforts and the thoughts.