Day 18 (82 miles)

Trip Start Jun 13, 2008
Trip End Aug 09, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Montana
Thursday, July 3, 2008

only a sailboat captain could care more about wind direction than us cyclists. i can never remember keeping such a close eye on the weather forecast and hoping to find not only fair weather but wind coming from the right direction (or even no wind at all). unfortunately, we awoke today to more headwinds. part of the rationale of traveling west to east is that the prevailing winds through this windiest of regions are westerly (meaning they come from the west and push us along), but so far we haven't been having much luck with them.

today's silly town name: glasgow

just before glasgow, there was a sculpture vendor who had arranged his/her wares all up and down the small hills alongside the roadway. they had everything from farm animals to wild animals to dinosaurs. the early morning sun made for some fun silhouettes of the sculptures posed on the hilltops.

the night before, the van decided to get in on the flat tire fun, so 30 miles into our ride at glasgow we had to find velva and the tire center to get the van patched back together. while waiting for the tire to be replaced, julie, brad, and i enjoyed one of the great traditions of bicycle touring: second breakfast. we have to eat so much food to keep ourselves going (anywhere between 4,000 and 6,000 calories a day), and it's getting to the point where sometimes we don't even taste the food we're eating...we just inhale it. typically, every time we stop for a break or a stretch, someone opens up their trunk bag and starts munching on something. anyway, we took today's second breakfast at one of our favorite spots: the golden arches. mcdonald's hash browns make such great calorie-laden snacks...yum yum.

about 15 minutes out of glasgow was one of my favorite 5 miles of the trip. every half mile or so, i found myself jumping off my bike to take a picture, so it took quite a while to pedal through. the latter two pictures for the day both came from that stretch of highway. just afterwards, we were supposed to turn off on a road called the indian highway. we were astonished to learn from a local sheriff that the road was built so that the native americans would use it instead of the main highway. when one of the group members asked if that was at the turn of the century, the officer, with an embarrassed look on his face, let us know that it was only about 20 years ago. we ended up giving up on that turn, though, because we were supposed to meet velva for water in 10 miles, and we didn't think she would have been able to find the turn off because it wasn't clearly marked.

the rest of the ride into wolf point was fairly uneventful. because we were going into a day off, i covered the last 15 miles or so as quickly as possible and somehow ended up being the first to the church. apparently, i had sped right past the rest of the group while they were turning back onto the highway from a gas station. they jokingly gave me a really hard time. tee hee...

once again, the day off was spent doing mostly administrative things. wolf point is a fairly small town, and while we were hoping to do something fun like see a movie, there weren't too many entertainment options. instead, laundry, internet, talking with folks, eating, and bike maintenance pretty much consumed the day. i learned the hard way how to do a number of repairs on my bike... i spent 2-3 hours working on the shifting system because i accidentally turned a very minor problem into a big maintenance ordeal. oops... the upside is that i'm very quickly learning a lot about bike repairs. the only thing i forgot to get around to was to make some sacrifices to the wind gods to get them to change up their act...
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