Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chester, Montana to Cut Banks, Montana - day 32

Total mileage for the day is 71 miles - started out with cloudy skies and changed to beautiful blue skies with white puffy clouds and winds out of the west at 20 to 25 mph by the end of the day.

We had a wonderful bike ride today. We left Chester about 6:30 after changing another flat tire from the day before and headed out towards Lothair under beautiful skies with no wind and beautiful wide open scenery. The first 25 miles were perfect biking conditions - relatively flat roads with little traffic and no winds and good attitudes. What more could you ask for - life is good.

We met a father and son team biking from the west to the east coast about 20 miles out of Chester and visited briefly with them on the side of the road. Within about 5 miles we met 2 young gals that were also biking the Northern Tier route and we stopped to talk with them also. Here we find out that they are both from Wisconsin and have been biking on numerous tours together since the age of 14. Very nice gals and we wish them the best of luck on their adventures and we told them to pedal fast as there was a group of 5 or 6 good looking guys there age ahead of them (that's the group that we met when we were biking yesterday).

Twenty miles out of Chester we had another flat tire - so what, we got bright sunny skies, no wind at that point and all day to do 50 more miles to get to Cut Bank. Life is good! After fixing our flat we continued on towards Shelby and 40 miles into our ride we got another flat tire. Okay, no big deal still got bright sunny skies and very little wind and only 30 more miles to go. Life is still good!

We arrived in Shelby about 11:45 and went directly to a cafe called "The Griddle". As we are parking the bike an elderly couple asked us "where we are from and where are we headed"? We told them that we had just completed 2005 miles in 32 days and that we were headed towards Anacortes, Washington. Nothing else was said and they went to their table and we went to our table at the cafe. John and I placed our order and had a very nice lunch. Some time later the elderly couple went to pay for there meal and left. The waitress came up to us and told us that the gentleman that just left paid for your meal. We were shocked and John went out to thank him. His comment was that he wanted to make sure that we have a good memory of Shelby. Once again wonderful people showing exceptional kindness and generosity to two complete strangers.
Leaving Shelby we thought we were having a great ride and only 24 miles to go to Cut Bank. We knew that we were in for some wind because 15 miles off in the distance we could see a concentration of about 75 wind generators so we knew that we would probably be running into some wind. Sure enough winds picked up to 15 to 20 mph and we gradually started climbing to Cut Bank. The last 10 miles into Cut Bank the winds were 20 to 25 mph and beat us up something terrible. Needless to say we were very happy to arrive in Cut Bank and get checked into our hotel. However, before checking in we made a stop at the grocery store to pick up some beverages to celebrate our 2000 miles. John picked out a beer called " Moose Drool" and I, of course, picked up diet coke. We got a pizza supreme from Pizza Hut and celebrated in our room. Boy, do we party or what?

We did meet one more couple (Diana and Kirk Maharry) from Lenox, Iowa biking east as we headed out of Shelby. We had a very nice conversation with them and wished them good luck as they head east to the coast.

This adventure gets better every day!
Happy trails!


  1. Wow... you guys have been ridin some big chunks of mileage. It's fun watching your progress west. Take it easy on the big hills coming up! Wish we were out there riding with ya.

    Have fun... Bill

    P.S. Tell John to put a new set of Schwalbe Marathon Plus Kevlar tires. But he does look like he's gettin to be a pro tire repairman!

  2. Hey, what's with all the flat tires all of a sudden????? Hope you are not running out of spares yet!!!! Wow, that is soooo cool that the couple bought you guys lunch...goes to show there still are alot of good people in this world.....and it sounds as if you are meeting many of them. Have a great week-end and stay safe. Miss ya!

  3. Well, I finally caught up with you two on your blog! It is so neat reading about your adventure and seeing your impressive progress. I continue to tell all my friends about you so I can sound adventurous by association. It works for me, anyway! I hope John's sciatica is all better.