Grass Range Mt to Melstone MT
Travel Time 8hrs
Saddle Time 6:30 hrs
Today, the first half of my ride was thru the “Baby Rockies ” or the “Snowie Peaks”. No major hills but just constant up and then down and then up……
I tried to stop for lunch in Roundup MT, it was the only option on today’s ride and it seemed like it would be a good size. As I rode into town, there was a golf course, so that was a good sign. I asked two people if there were any restaurants with WIFI, and they looked at me like I had two heads. There weren’t even places that sold sandwiches, except the gas station. I went in there to buy a cold Gaterade. When I asked if I could fill up my water bottles with water from their tap, they said ” you can’t drink the water in Roundup”. I looked at them like they had two heads!
I made it to the next town, Melstone. There are two places for food. I went into the grocery store and bought my daily chocolate milk and got some cold OJ. When I asked if there was a place for me to sleep, they suggested the park next door. Worked out great because there was a hose for me to use to shower with. The woman from the store brought me down a gallon container of their shipped in water for me to have!
Then I went across the street to the cafe to check out the dinner specials. It was air conditioned and had the news on, so I decided to make myself comfortable. I met Hause, a 60ish yr old cowboy sitting at the bar with me. He told me how he left home at 18, and rode the rails as a hobo for many years. He explained the different techniques of jumping on trains, how it is important to wedge open doors so you don’t suffocate, and how to build a really efficient stove out of a can, some candle wax and a small piece of cardboard. I then started asking him about all the cutting of hay I went by today and the huge bushels. Did you know there are 19 different types of hay ! ( many of you refer to me as Forrest Gump for this trip, so do you want me to name the many types of shrimp/hay?). He thought me why some stacks were round and others square. Why it is important not to build bushels in the heat of the day. And most importantly how the the hay is just redistributed on the fields during the winter for grazing! The large machine I played chicken with on the road was a racker that takes two piles of cut grass and combines them into one. He then taught me about the large sprinkler systems I had been seeing. They are extremely expensive but are very water efficient, which is critical today. When he went to the bathroom, Connie the bartender told me he is illiterate! Meanwhile Connie just got back from Budapest and she has been to Paris and multiple other locations around the world. She lives in a town of 100 people. She is looking forward to her nieces wedding in October in Middlebury VT!