We last spoke in Miles City. That was a hot day. 90 something with a blazing sun but I caught a tailwind and let it shove me west over the hills. Wild horses in Rosebud and I found this decorative sign too..
As you can see, I am hauling some dangerous weight there dangling from my handlebars. I wouldn’t recommend any cyclist should attempt what I do.
Climbing high, I descended a monster downhill into Forsyth. With my phone recording video, I held on with one-hand at 30 mpr until I had to bite my phone and cling on for dear life. The video wasn’t even that cool.
F is for Fox
The wind is a such factor. I hope we can work together like that more often. At the local fishing access, I meet Rob and Shannon from Billings and they catch a half dozen catfish while I sip my beer by the river. I did get a little tipsy but do remember singing a song before bed by the fire, standing on my head. Still though, I’m up with the sun in the morning and I pushed on to Hysham to spend some time in the Treasure County Museum. I’ve been following the frontage roads along the 94 and this Old Highway 10 is one of the oldest interstate highway routes in the nation. It dates back 1912.
The Yellowstone Trail
Another scorching day and I stop at the Howery Island Recreation Area for a cool down in the river where I meet a couple of kids from Minneapolis. Small world. I camp in Custer for the night. Poor Custer. The city they named after him only has 145 residents.
August 10th comes and it’s Poppa Fox’s birthday so I give him a call with the new sun. Down the road I reach Pompeys Pillar National Monument where William Clark left his signature on the rock in 1806. This signature is the only remaining physical evidence of the Corps of Discovery’s trip.
The view from up top was worth the climb.
I found it most enjoyable that my entrance into the park was free since I operate a human powered vehicle. Cars pay $7.00. Back to it.
Trucks were flying by me on the frontage road. The 312 is a nightmare but I arrived safely in Billings, which is the largest city in Montana with a population of 105,000 people. I roll up on a bike trail right away and start to explore. Along the river down by the tracks, I find the jungle. 8 traveling kids sit around passing a bottle and I pull up and join them. They’re welcoming and friendly. They all have tattoos, depictions of train cars and whatnot -these kids ride the rails. Boxcar babies. “We don’t ride boxcars, we ride the grainers,” says Montana Blue. I see two three-legged dogs hobbling around. Blue has a heart on his arm and inside reads: Mama Tried. He also has “Fuck, Fuck” right across the forearm and some train tracks below his eye. Look for yourself…
These kids have some crazy stories. They’ve been all over.
I break out the guitar and we all pass it around and sing a few songs while we have a drink.
Pretty soon a train rolls in and they’re all off for the races. I camp alone that night and wonder where they’ll go and what they’ll do. I watch the sunrise on the river. I could use some extra funding for the road so I looked for a cash job in town while I had coffee at the bakery. I got anxious though and prepared to leave and just then a man walks up, wondering if I need any work. He wears sandals and his hair is grey and longer than mine. Yes, it turns out he smokes pot too but he puts me to work with Adventure Gardens and work we do. I’ve always enjoyed landscaping and working in the shade with a hippie boss isn’t too bad. He paid me cash at the end of the day and even bought me dinner at the Golden Corral. Thanks Mike White.
My friend Rob who I met back in Forsyth gives me a ring and we hook up to have a beer at his favorite microbrewery, Angry Hanks. I haven’t had an IPA since Minnesota. I crashed at his place that night and found out Robin Williams died. Damn. If you’ve never seen the movie What Dreams May Come, that’s definitely one of my favorite Williams flicks. If today is what you make it then I have no time for sadness. I pass through Laurel and Park City, meeting some nice folks. I couldn’t resist taking this photo when I saw the sign…
Coming down a gnarly hill, I reach top speed and zing around a corner to find a herd of free range cattle. I zig-zagged through without any beef..
This country is beautiful,
the rain can come at any moment though.
…and so I made it to Big Timber which put my day at a little over 80 miles. Not too bad for all the breaks and down time I took. Big Timber is about 50 miles from the Bozeman Pass. I expected to see that today but I find myself in Livingston at the library, relaxing and preparing for camp. The wind was ridiculous out there..
I’d rather be writing or playing my guitar when the wind is this strong. It was such a battle to remain positive in thought and spirit. Rather than fight it, I decided to rest and do some maintenance on myself and the machine. Bozeman Pass and her nearly 6,000 feet will still be there tomorrow but I’m still undecided on something..should I go south and see Yellowstone again or push over the mountain to Bozeman??? I’ll have to sleep on that..suggestions and comments welcome. Until next time..