June 22, 2004

6/22/04 Winnett MT

32 miles (2048 total)

Slept well but woke to rain. I'm starting to really hate rain. Packed up and noticed my front tire was flat. I just can't win. Took the tube out but couldn't find the hole. So put in my last good tube.

Stopped by the diner but didn't have an appetite. Outside of town it really started to come down. And looking across the horizon, it looked like I was going to have rain all day.

The gang stopped to give me a break from the rain in their RV. Barb had ridden ahead of me this morning. We were both soaked. But I wanted to go on despite the wet.

Not sure how far I had ridden, but the rain was moving on and there was a hint of daylight on the horizon. And now I had a flat tire on the rear. I could actually see the air bubbles. Fixed that flat, or thought I did, but before I could finish loading the bike, I could hear more air leaking through.

This situation was getting desperate. I dug out my spare tire and found another spare tube. Pitched the old tire as far as I could throw it. I just prayed this new tire and tube would get me to Winnett.

In Sand Springs, my mind was shot. The stress of tire problems had gone to it's breaking point. I asked Barb for a ride in the RV. I just couldn't stand the waiting for another flat.

I enjoyed the drive with Barb, as the landscape had subtle changes, with more pines. But the wind was still fierce and the climbs long. It would have taken me till dark to go the 75-miles to Winnett.

Got a drink at the General Store in town and talked awhile with the owner Gary. About an hour later Rob arrived, then Bruce awhile after that. We sort of had our last supper at the bar across the street. I'm really going to miss the companionship of these wonderful people. Set up camp at the City Park and showered at the community pool next door.

A real Montana cowboy