Forsyth MT to Ashland MT
Travel Time 8:30
Saddle Time 6:30
So last night, something funny happened to me in my hotel room. (No nothing like that!). I had just finished speaking with my wife Sue, my daughter Abby, and our friend Andy who were all hanging at the beach. I was then scanning thru the TV stations watching FOX News from NY, CNN, and bouncing between two movies Fight Club and the recent Jack and the Bean Stalk (which was pretty good). I started to fall asleep. I guess I was feeling like I was back home because the second I clicked off the TV and I mean simultaneously when the TV went off, a freight train rode by and sounded its horn. It was as though someone wanted to immediately remind me where I was, and that the next morning I was getting up and pedaling. It was very humorous and depressing at the same time.
For breakfast I had a nice stack of pancakes at the diner across the street. The same place I ate a delicious, probably the best ever, chef salad the night before. I was all excited to get on the road because the first 6 miles were going to be on the Interstate Highway. In MT cyclists are allowed on the highway if there is no other options. Most people don’t know this, but one of my training rides brought me into CT by the Stew Leonard’s in Danbury. Before I knew it I was on the on ramp to Interstate 84. I immediately stopped and took out my phone to see where I went wrong. Before I could turn around a state trooper pulled up and started lecturing me. He gave me a ticket and told me how some cyclist had biked on 84 the previous week. I think this is why they showed me no mercy. I didn’t tell my family because I figured they were nervous enough about my upcoming trip. (Abby, now you know why I was late picking you up from field hockey in Brewster). Anyway, as I approached the highway this morning, I noticed a service road running parallel and it checked out on my map. So I decided to play it safe and take the side road. I wasn’t concerned about safety with the big rigs. I am more worried about the crap the builds up on the shoulder, especially little metal shards from trucker’s tires.
The ride today was simple. I did pass a farm that grows rubber tires. And I rode by a small building in the middle of nowhere. Plus I learned that Prairie Dogs are hard working students. And based on all the beer can sacrifices around Custer memorial, I assume Budweiser must have been his brand of choice. FYI, the birds were back!
As I approached a town, Col Strip (yes spelled that way), I came around the corner and there was a large plant out of nowhere. As I passed it, I read the sign that it was an energy plant. Then around the next bend there 4 huge smoke stacks and a very large structure across from a big coal mine. This was a coal burning energy plant. If you didn’t see it, you wouldn’t have known it was there. I googled it and it is one of the most efficient plants around. It was obviously very beneficial to the local people because there was a beautiful school campus next to a golf course. And the town looked like it had very good road construction and decent neighborhoods.
My last break came at Lame Deer. A small town in the middle of Cherekee Indian reservation. I grabbed some food and Gaterade at the local gas station and sat down on curbside. Dell from the store walked out and started talking to me. It turns out that this weekend was a big Pow Wow event and Native Americans from all over were coming for this three day celebration. Dell also told me about how he helps the local kids and is a mentor to many of them. He said he was heading for the NBA but drugs and alcohol got in his way. A lesson he tries to teach the local kids he coaches.
I made it to the 5 star motel in Ashland. For $35 a night I got a smoker room, but it had a shower, which is what I needed. The owner drove me to the local school where the July 4th celebrations were going to happen. I participated in the BBQ with the locals, the native Americans and some Amish. But I left before the fireworks because tomorrow I am trying for 100 miles and it is supposed to be around 100 degrees. I am going to start at 4 am and see how the wind treats me.
Thank you again to everyone that makes comments on my blog. It is really motivating for me! If you read the comments, you will see that some of the people I have met along the way are making comments. Like Connie from Melstone who said they DO have tornado warnings. But she didn’t state whether she would have come and warned me 🙂