Monday, June 29, 2009

Havre Mt to Malta Mt.

This is Jamison who was my helper in packing up stuff this morning and hooking up trailer. This kid is sharp and made me describe the function of every part of the bike. He also asked more personal questions than any kid I have met so far. Also, he filled me in on a lot of personal stuff regarding his family and neighbors. Very interesting lad. I offered to let him sit on bike but he refused because "he does not sit on other people's bikes".

Historically Havre is like a lot of western towns , actually most western towns.

This is a rattle snake laying along the road. I have been warned that they are thick around this part of the state but are basically not a threat to anyone because they run away if they hear you coming and if that does not work then they rattle to let you know they are around so you can avoid them. Apparently neither tactic worked for this snake, it was not fast enough to get out of the way and the car obviously did not hear the rattles of this guy.

Almost exactly 10 miles out of Havre nature called and I had to take a leak. There was not much cover (bush/tree) in the immediate area, actually there was not much cover within 5 miles of me . So I came upon the unnamed creek and decided to break it in. As I was doing my business over the railing I recalled a poem written by that real biker Gary Buck who along with his bud Larry Albert made this trip a couple of years ago and are really modern day Lewis and Clark guys.
Anyway Gary did this poem called the 10 Mile Pee which is a master piece of what happens on the road when biking --it is brilliant and there is talk of Bruce Sprinsteen putting Gary's words to music and cutting a record.
After finishing up I decided that this spot needed to be marked , so out came that purple magic marker and all was documented. I may have missed the date by a day. I have kinda lost track of that although I am pretty sure it is a Monday. I will get squared away in morning.

What is kinda funny is that the only person who saw me do what I did was a guy moving the side ditch grass . He was nearing the bridge when I was writing on the guardrailing. After I rode away I looked back and he had gotten off his tractor and was standing by the marked spot looking at what I had written.

Today was my longest ride so far. It is about 90 miles from Havre to Malta plus I rode over 15 miles checking out Havre this morning before I left as well as Chinook a neat town along the route. I sort of moseyed the whole way. It was not my intention to put this many miles on but it felt good riding so I just kept moving. It was about 9 p.m. when I stopped for the day.
I was thinking about stopping and camping a couple of times but that got changed about the last 25 miles when I hit mosquito alley. Holy mother of pearl , these skeeters make the Wisdom Mt skeeters look like boy scouts . I stopped 3 times to reapply Deet and Cutter to every part bof my body and all that seemed to do was attract them, and when they landed they were ready for business--no wasting time prepping they were drilling the second they lit. One time I stopped to take a picture and noticed about a dozen on my shin (this was 10 minutes after coating that area with Deet) , when I rubbed them off my hand looked like it was bleeding.
Even when I was moving over 12 mph I had to tie handerkerchief over my mouth to keep from inhaling them. When I got into motel room I spent 10 minutes killing about 20 with a fly swatter before I could take a shower. I have heard from other west bound bikers that the mosquitoes are bad in North Dakota. If they are anything like this I may invest in one of those plastic deals that Bubble Boy wears.
It was a 10 liquid quart day --I was sucking down the water like a camel after a trek across a desert. The ride was ok --decent road and wind not a factor--about 5 mph from north . Speaking of wind , when I signed up for this gig I expected to have a least a few days of strong tailwinds going west to east . I have read a lot of bike blogs that tell of big mileage days due to great tailwinds. Well, so far I have seen some stron winds but all have been either right or left crosswinds or strong head winds. No big tail winds . Hopefully some will show up as I head across the rest of Montana, North and South Dakota. That would be nice and very welcome. I want to see how it feels to be floating along with minimal peddling.
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