Any Road Tour: Day 36 – Over Judith

Well it rained four times last night. The first two, at 11 and 1, were loud thunderstorms with lightning. Needless to say, I was awake through every flash and boom. At 3 we had a heavy rain shower. This time drops of water started falling onto my torso.

I put on my rain jacket and tried to sleep. Tried. Then at 5 am another shower came through with more intra-tent dripping. When I got up at 7 some of the inside of the tent was wet but I was pretty much dry. Sleepless, but dry.

I left the tent to air out and rode to the Kozy Korner got breakfast. It was one of those legendary monster pancake breakfasts (with eggs and bacon on the side).

The cook and owner was working alone. She must have been 80 and was using an oxygen tank. The customers were fetching their coffee for themselves until reinforcements showed up. Life out here is hard. Apparently meth is a problem.

After buying some fruit at the General Store, I packed up my tent and bade Michael and Leonore goodbye.

I rode west into a strong headwind. The route was flat for several miles but I couldn’t break 10 mph. I accepted my fate and counted cattle and buttes.

I decided not to stop for second breakfast and continued west. The winds died down a bit but the road now tilted upwards. For 25 miles.

There was a massive field of grain topped with red flowers.

There were some serious hills in the distance. These were the Judith Mountains. The road went over them at a little over 4,500 feet. It steepened near the top as evidenced by this charming sign.

I didn’t bring any tire chains so I forged ahead.

It was a healthy climb, longer but not as steep as the two climbs outside Pittsburgh.

I could now see some serious mountains off in the distance. I suspect they are if the rocky persuasion.

I planned on staying with a Warmshowers host. I checked out his house and the yard was filled with debris from his handyman job. The lawn was filled with tall weeds and the place was protected by three barking dogs (not to mention the neighbor’s barking dog).

All the decent hotels in town are booked or very expensive so I got a room at a cheapo motel. The air conditioner is hard at work drying my camping gear. Unfortunately the place doesn’t have a washer and dryer so my WABA socks will be a tad ripe for WABAsocksWednesday.

Total miles: 57

Tour miles: 2,675.5

Any Road Tour: Day 35 – MOTS

There was a weatherman in Boston who used to put the word MOTS on his weather maps. More of the Same. That’s what today was.

Highway 200 which I was on all day yesterday continued to Willett (emphasis on first syllable). The road rolled but I had several instances of miles long level stretches. The route pivoted toward the southwest so, of course, did the winds. It was also about ten degrees warmer but, by DC standards, this is hammock weather.

The ranges here are thousands of acres with only a handful of cattle on them. You see a house every ten miles or so.

After having a lousy day on the bike yesterday I decided to eat and sleep like a king. Dinner was French dip with gems. Blueberry pie a la mode finished me off.

I took some ibuprofen pm back at the tent and slept through the night. Except my body won’t give up east coast time.

I had a breakfast platter to fuel my ride. Eggs, bacon, toast, and hash browns.

I rode for over 20 miles to Sand Springs where I stopped at the town market and post office. The Postmaster has just made a huge platter of cinnamon buns so I had one with some Gatorade. Bwaaaa!

I had another Gatorade with a cookie while talking Postal Service with the Postmaster.

About mid ride I noticed evergreen trees on the rolling hills. They were a welcome change of scenery but they seemed to be either damaged by fire or some kind of blight.

About 50 miles of rangeland later I rolled into Willett with its dirt streets and weathers buildings. There was nowhere to tent camp but a couple of bicyclists had parked their RV so I joined their site. This is legal as long as I am traveling with them, you see.

Michael and Leonore are very nice folks riding west to east with a humongous sag wagon.

I am eating dinner at the Winnett Bar. The waitress forgot my order of tater tots so she brought out a huge basket of them. The perfect accompaniment to my chef’s salad.

I’ve been getting conflicting information about Rogers Pass, so thanks to Marie Morris for tracking down the official websites and 800 number.

Miles today: 76.5

Total miles: 2,618.5