Welcome to the BADLANDS,
When I went to climb the pass again I had to wake up at four in the morning because the restrictions were in effect and I had to reach the summit by 11:00. It worked out great because there were hardly any cars on the road and I got to see lots of animals. The fuzzy little creature on the right is a marmot. We hung out and talked a little bit. I also saw a mountain goat and a grouse on the way up. I forgot to mention last time I saw a bear too. I was in a car so it wasn't as exciting. And of course when I got to the other side of the park I celebrated with a double scoop of huckleberry ice cream on a waffle cone. Yummy.
Upon leaving the park I headed through the Blackfoot reservation to the flatlands. I thought I was out of the cold and bad weather but soon enough found myself in front of a hail storm. There's not much that can get you to ride faster than seeing a hail storm coming in your rear view mirror. Luckily I made it to a nice campground and was welcomed with fresh banana bread and hot coffee. When I woke up it the morning it was 33 degrees.
One of the biggest changes in the last week has been the number of bikers I have run into on the road. The following morning I ran into (met) a group of 10 people heading to Maine. When we arrived at the next town to camp, I rallied up another three guys and we had played a game of wiffle ball. I pulled a muscle rounding third and had to take two days off. (I'm joking)
When I reached Glasgow, Montana I stopped into the Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital to meet with Connie Brunelle and Heather Hartsock. They work with the Montana Breast & Cervical Health Program (MBCHP). It is part of the National Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program through the Center for Disease Control. The program helps women ages 50 to 64 who have no health insurance and who have an income level no more than 200% above poverty level. MBCHP offers free Mammograms to those who qualify. The Glasgow branch has a mobil mammography van that can travel up to 300 mile to test women who can't get to town. They also do extensive work on the Indian Reservations. For more information about the national program, check out the CDC website.
By this time I had hit Highway 2. This is the High Line road which I will spend the better part of fifteen hundred miles on. Even I can't get lost on this road. In Northern Montana, I passed through many Indian Reservations. Outside of Chinook was where the Nez Perce Indians were captured after traveling over 1800 miles from White Bird, Idaho. It was weird to see the start and the end of the Nez Perce trail. I also learned that eighty percent of the Assiniboine tribe was wiped out by small pox brought up the Missouri River by fur traders. On the Peck Peck Indian Reservation I passed by a Pow Wow. I wanted to stop but I was trying to do my first century (100 mile day) of the trip.
I ended up riding 108 miles that day and celebrated with lighting off some fireworks. I had some help from six bikers I met at the park in town who were heading east. If I would have known they were going to be there, I would have bought more. The next day I loaded up with a double breakfast (eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, toast, coffee, chocolate milk, and of course, a six pack of powdered donuts) and set out on my way. About twenty miles into the day I heard a snapping sound coming from my rear wheel. I figured since I hadn't had any problems for over 2,700 miles, I probably just broke a spoke. I couldn't find any broken spokes upon inspection then a friend of mine took a look at it and saw that the hub/axle had actually broke. And of course I didn't happen to be carrying an extra rear hub. This morning I had to call Easy Racers and they are overnighting me a whole new wheel. That's nice of them. So, I'm in Williston, North Dakota at the public library with some chirping birds.
Big thanks on this last leg of the journey to: Easy Racers, Carole at Shady Grove Campground, Sandvik Bros. Hardware, DIA Computers, Havre Cyclery, people who gave me rides when my bike broke, Glacier Raft Company (again, they were a big help), Me Mama (Always), Dino - web guy (Always as well), all the sponsors and supporter, and once again..YOU.
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When life throws you a curve ball ... hit it,