Ashland MT to Alzada MT
Travel Time 9 hours
Saddle Time 7.5 hours
I knew it was going to be close to 100 degrees so I set my alarm for 3:30am to get an early start. When the alarm went off I re-set it to 4:30. Got on the road @ 5. When I dropped off my room key by the office, a dog came out to greet me. As I started cycling, it followed. I figured it would stop once I hit the main rd, it didn’t. Then I figured it would stop when the road left the town, it didn’t. I went a mile and the husky stayed with me. At two miles it was still with me. I kept trying to shoo it away, but no luck. I thought I lost it when I picked up speed, but then when I climbed the first hill,the dog was back on my tail ( pun intended). Finally, after 3 miles, I got up to 25mph heading down a hill and he couldn’t keep up.
I stopped at mile 45 in Broadus to load up at the local IGA with some breakfast fruit and drink. Met a bunch of delightful people that stopped to talk to me while I was sitting on the ground eating. One of the men working at the store came out and shared with me that he did a major bike trip when he was 37. He compared the type of bike he rode versus mine. He came out three different times to talk.
My plan was to make it 80 miles to Hammond for lunch. Grab something cold at grocery store and then if I felt good, go another 22 miles to Alzada. Well I got to Hammond and there were three vacant buildings and a post office (see pic). So I sat in the shaded entrance to the post office and ate the fruit I had purchased earlier and then got back on the road. I had asked the postwoman if there was a grocery at Alzada, which was about 20 miles east on the road. She said she had no idea, she only has driven west, because that is the direction of her home. There is only one road, and she has never driven past the post office!
The wind picked up, and in my favor. Made good time to this town which has 6 buildings, 3 that look occupied. One is the gas station where I’ll get some supplies. And then there is this creepy saloon where I’ll have dinner and set up my tent behind it. See picture of barkeep Diane. Diane says her big week is coming up, hiker week! She makes more that week than any month during the year. The big day of the week is topless Tues where her waitresses are topless. It turns out she has to hire “professional talent ” for this, since no one local takes the job. Diane and I watched When Harry Met Sally on the bar TV and then I went to my tent.
Also pic of horses hanging near my tent. Also pic of their version of South of Boarder billboard. Been seeing them for miles. Lastly, I have no idea what is in the trailer, but those cattle are guarding it with their lives.
Tomorrow I hope to go thru 3 states and make it to Rapid City to rest for a day. I have packed two Camelback bladders, I think they hold 2 liters of water each. I have filled both up for these last few days. They are heavy but very useful during this part of the trip