Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 44, 6/21/10 - Chester to Havre, MT

Just the Basics: It's been an eventful day but it's after 11 p.m., so here's a list of a few items:

  • 64 miles!
  • In the past 4 days, we've made almost as much easterly progress as we did in the previous 12, which included, it must be said: 4 layover days due to rain and avoiding weekend traffic around Glacier, as well as climbing over the Continental Divide and following circuitous roads and routes, unlike our progress along U.S. 2, which is pretty straight.
  • Breakfast at a Subway in Mike's supermarket in Chester with lots of joking around with the staff.

  • Coffee and a shared cinnamon roll at a bar in Inverness where the barkeep told us the sad story of their local school. Due to consolidation of small districts, they lost their school - the kids are now bused to Chester. His understanding was that when a school is closed due to consolidation part of the "deal" requires that the building be maintained in ready-to-use status for three years, should it prove possible to re-open. In this case, heat was turned off, pipes froze, water damaged the new gym floor, vandals broke windows - he said the guy who was the maintenance man for 35 years can't bear to even drive by it today - really a sad situation.

  • Lunch at a bar in Hingham - great hamburgers and wonderful homemade navy bean soup.

  • Tonic with a twist and salted peanuts at Blackie's Tavern about 12 miles west of Havre. The Pepsi guy had hooked things up wrong and the tonic tap was dispensing Dr. Pepper but it all got straightened out. The new owners were interested in our trip and ended up charging us only $1.50 for a $1 worth of peanuts and the 2 tonics-with-a-twist.

  • Good dinner at The Duck Inn in Havre.

  • ANOTHER flat tire (Riley's back tire again!)

  • Rain - quite a lot of it.

  • Hail!!

  • A thunder and lightening storm so severe and windy that we headed for a nearby farmhouse (luckily there was one nearby - they are few and far-between), hoping to seek shelter in a garage or something. No-one was home, but we leaned our bikes against their garage and sat on a bench in a corner where the house and garage joined and there were eaves overhanging and waited it out.

  • After making it through all that climbing, Becky's bad knee is having issues - she hopes to have a doctor check it out tomorrow.

  • Wandering around in Havre looking for the bike shop on our way into town. A guy stopped to help - turned out he is a letter carrier and drives the mail from Havre to Chester each morning - and he'd seen us biking in Chester at 8 this morning!
Today's Photo: We watched the storms approach across the plain.

Tomorrow: Depends on progress at the bike shop and what is happening with Becky's knee. Ideally, we will go just 21 miles, to Chinook - the short distance sets us up for an appropriate next riding day and also works for dealing with bikes and Becky's knee for part of the day, if that works.

For Those Who Want More: For the 3rd day in a row, at least, it's too late to deal with "more" today - maybe it will happen tomorrow!

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