Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Havre, Montana to Chester, Montana - day 31

Miles biked today is 66 miles - winds out of the west 15 to 20 mph with 75 degrees

Our day got off to a rough start this morning. Yesterday after noon, on the way into Havre, we developed a slow leak on our rear tire. For the last 15 miles we were able to pump it up several times so we were able to limp into town. After booking our hotel John took the back wheel off and patched the tube, pumped it back up, and reinstalled it on the bike. This morning we came out to find the tire flat again. So after having slept in until 7:00 this morning we re-did the tire repair number 5 before heading out for breakfast. We managed to eat breakfast and get on our way by 8:30 this morning. Our toughest climb of the day was right out of Havre with about a 1 mile climb up onto the upper plateau where things seemed to level out. Instead changed from a 10% climb to a 1% climb for the next 66 miles or so it seemed. The miles came hard today as we were tuckered out right from the start of having done 325 miles in the last 4 days and then an additional 66 today.

We are now into the Montana wheat fields and today's background scenery was provided by the Sweet Grass Mountain approx 50 miles to the Northwest. One of the treats today was spotting a herd of 12 elk about 1/4 mile distance from the road in an open field. We have seen a lot of prong horns and deer but this is our first siting of elk while we have been biking.

We learned a new term last night. We were referred to as "Salmon bikers" in reference to our biking into the headwinds like salmon swim upstream. Most bikers are biking from the west coast to the east coast to take advantage of the prevailing winds. Everyone knows that John and I like to be a little different so we are biking from the east to the west.

We met a gentleman that was 60 years old and biking from the west coast to St. Cloud, Minnesota and has to do it within 21 days due to his still being employed. His story is that he turned 60 this year and he wants to be young again so he's attempted this bike tour. We also met 5 guys in there 20's probably that were biking from the west coast to New York and are camping each night. We met them about 4:30PM and they still had 55 miles to bike today to get to Havre.

We stopped in Gilford for lunch - this is a little town like Dorchester with a little grocery store in town. The couple and there two boys were so friendly and wanted to make sure that we had everything we needed. John and I split a sliced beef sandwich that was $4.00 and absolutely delicious with all kinds of vegetables added to the sandwich and then put on toast.

We arrived in Chester about 4:30 this afternoon totally exhausted so we made a quick stop at the grocery store and picked up chicken and potato wedges and came back and ate at the hotel. It will be an early to bed night as we are both tired.

Tomorrow we are planning on biking to Cut Banks, Montana and then on Friday we should be in East Glacier. Our tentative plans right now are to stay two nights in East Glacier and rent a car for one day to do some site seeing before we continue on to the coast. We are both excited that we will hit the 2000 mile mark tomorrow before we arrive in Cut Banks!

Happy Trails!

Total miles biked as of today is 1,960 miles in 31 days


  1. I thought you figured 16 days to get through Montana? I can't believe how quickly you are getting to Glacier. There is no other place like it. Enjoy! Happy Trails.

  2. That blue sky is awesome! Please send some this way. Looks like you have lots of company out there. Congrats on the 2000 miles!

  3. Hey! This is Erica and Shauna..the two girls from Wisconsin who you met today! We just wanted to say that it was very nice meeting you and we hope you have safe travels! We also would very much like to catch up to that group of 5 20-something year olds!