June 26, 2004

6/26/04 Great Falls MT

66 miles (2299 total)

Slept to 6:30am which is late for me on this trip. Headed back to the bakery for a little pastry before hitting the road.

Took more than a couple of miles to climb out of the river valley, but the views were incredible. The river seems so perfect here.

The river seems so perfect this early in the morning

Just like my approach to Fort Benton, today was all wheat fields. Off to the north, rain clouds were thick. But that gave me a bit of storm-induced tailwind. Plus the fact that I didn't want to get wet gave me more incentive to 'haul ass.'

You would think on Saturday, traffic would be light, but seems everyone was headed to the Summer Celebration in Fort Benton. So, besides heavy traffic in both directions, the road should was only 8” wide and seemed to get more narrow as I got closer to Great Falls.

Was shocked when I hit the city limits at 11am. Must have been flying down the road. Stopped to chat with the ladies at the Visitor Center and then got lost looking for a bookstore. But then the rain finally did hit town.

Lewis, Clark & York

Decided to spend that time in the Charles M Russell Museum to look at the city's most famous resident. They had his log cabin studio and house on the grounds of the museum.

Only a part of the 'great falls' can be seen because of dams

Heading downstream, someday to reach St Louis

Still had more time to go to the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. I know they did a good job, but I've seen it all before. Was shocked when I ran into Bob, the cyclist from Phoenix. His cycling partner Steve flew home today to surprise his wife on her birthday. They'd done big miles to make it and Bob was looking forward to a day off.

On the way home, ran into Bill from Independence. He's staying at the B & B Hostel too. What a great place. Todd has put together a beautiful hostel. It's his house along with a roommate and his dog, Nor. I'd highly recommend it.