June 23, 2004

6/23/04 Lewistown MT

67 miles (2115 total)

Gary had said something about the sprinklers accidentally coming on at 6am when some other cyclists were here. So, when I woke up at 5:30, that's all I could think about. Got packed by 6 but no sprinklers.

I wanted to be on the road early to avoid some of the winds and to give me plenty of leeway to get to the bike shop in case I had more tire trouble to slow me down.

Another long, lonely road ahead...

Today's profile was a steady climb for 50-miles of about 1700-feet, then a five mile descent into Lewistown. I was real nervous about the tires and seemed to check them frequently. So far so good.

Actually made good time to Grass Range, in time for a little breakfast while listening in on the regulars' conversation at the Little Montana Cafe. Did you know the price for a bail of hay is $50?

Was back out on the road with a little more sugar in the engine. At one point I would have sworn I was going downhill because I was speeding along. Then I realized there was no wind, only the gentlest of breezes. Guess that shows how much work I've been doing lately.

Still heading uphill but goin' fast...

Definitely getting into more mountainous terrain. I saw snow up on the peaks just south of the highway. Wonderful! Ended up averaging 10mph for the first 45-miles which was incredible for an uphill ride. Those final five miles up slowed me down, but nothing I couldn't handle.

I just love the mountains

Lewistown, MT

Came into town just in time for Pizza Hut all-you-can-eat buffet. Yippee! What a great day!

I caught Mark Manseau on his lunch hour at his home. The garage is the High Plains Bike Ski Shop. He does insurance and investments by day, and is a bike/ski/kayak nut by night. He supplied me with two new tires and four new inner tubes as I breathed a sigh of relief. A very cool guy. If he didn't already have dinner plans, he would have invited me in for a beer Mark said.

High Plains Bike Ski Shop

Got a beautiful spot to camp down in the fairgrounds, surrounded by trees and quiet. And believe it or not, the wind has finally kicked up and it's out of the east. Maybe tomorrow I'll get a tailwind.

Looks like we might get some rain. Getting just a bit chilly too. Me Shirley who was out giving a few of the horses some exercise. Her vice is barrel racing she said. Headed back to the tent to batten down the hatches and relax after a very satisfying day.