Chris Heffel's blog

Day 26: July 9: Cut Bank MT: Rest Day

So, we needed a day to figure out what to do about my rim, and the winds were 35mph headwinds in the morning. The timing stinks being this close to Glacier National Park, but a rest day makes sense.

We tried every business in town, but couldn't find a rim for my bike. I did find a 20 inch kids bike, but I was not quite sure how to swap out the axle since it was only a single speed. I was hoping for a 7 speed rim all setup.

Day 23: July 6: Kremlin to Chester, MT: 43 miles

Today we planned a short day to recover from the abusive day yesterday. Also, we were hoping for a hotel room so we could have some AC.

We ate some travelers oatmeal at the Kremlin city park and hit the road.

Day 22: July 5: Chinook to Kremlin, MT: 37 miles

Okay, so we were on our way for another typical day. Grass, grass, grass, and more grass. Yeah, there was a headwind today, and the heat, but we were prepared to slowly slug our way through it. Our goal was about 55 miles. Then the curve ball.....road construction. Then a second curve ball, bike problems. Then back to the road construction. The heat and headwind were not enough.

Crossed paths

Just a quick note, we crossed paths with these guys on day 19 of their trip. They have a photo and comments about us. They were a pretty cool bunch of cyclists.

Day 21: July 4: Malta to Chinook, MT: 69 miles

We woke up from a pretty good nights sleep and went downstairs to the cafe. Unfortunately for Katie and TJ, this hotel doesn't have free breakfast.

Roger has become quite the nerd, doing some reading at breakfast on TJs Ipod.

As we packed up, TJ found that his Jolly Ranchers had fused into a Giant Rancher in yesterdays heat! He tossed them. Notice, the beard is really coming in nicely.

Day 20: July 3: Glasgow to Malta, MT: 72 miles

Okay, so Shady Rest campground was almost perfect. We had a great little fenced in area with grass for our tents....the weather was nice, the night was cool but not cold. Laura and I almost died of allergies though, as did Katie. Their is some tree in this area that is driving us nuts. Hopefully it goes away as we get further West. All 4 of our tents fit nicely in this litlte area.....although the gnats have been terrible. We hid in the tents as soon as we walked back from dinner. The locals say that the gnats have never been this bad; I have even seen a few walking around with automobile air fresheners attached to their clothes and hats (apparantly it keeps the gnats away).

Day 17: June 30: New Salem ND to Glendive MT to Circle MT: 51 miles

So, continuing our adventure from yesterday, we dropped the truck off in Glendive Montana... over 100 miless off route. We figured the 100 miles wouldnt' be too bad.......we were wrong. The bike gods must be angry that we rode in a truck earlier.

First, it was hot. Really hot. We have been struggling to keep warm with most days at 59 to 61F, now it is 90F plus? We are not used to this! You know it is hot when you search for shade anywhere you can get it.

Day 16: June 29: Devils Lake to New Salem ND: 1 mile

Sorry for the delayed post. It has been a rough couple days. As you know, we headed for Devils Lake because it was a larger town with more services if we were to need any additional options for dealing with the flooding.

We woke up in Devils lake after Roger and I speant another long night trying to find a route accross North Dakota. After several calls to the DOT, crossing options off on a state map, there was only 1 remaining road open to the south. Nothing to the North. Only the Interstate to the West. We needed to get South, and on the interstate. The news and DOT revealed that conditions were getting worse, and more towns were being evacuated. Several towns were cut in half, some areas with no reliable roads at all.

Day 15: June 28: Pekin to Devils Lake ND: 48 miles

The day started after leaving the Prarie View Lodge in Piken. We ate breakfast from our packs, and hit the road. I highly recommend this lodge, although not if you are sensitive to perfumes.... why hotels can't try to remove smells rather than adding more is beyond me. North Dakota is great, but the state is not big in indoor air quality. We have been in grocery stores that would be condemned in Wisconsin, every place seems to have mold and mildew problems, and I think every roof in the state leaks. Nobody seems to mind....they just add some perfume. Also, the state still allows smoking, so hotel rooms and restaraunts always have a funk.

Day 14: June 27: Cooperstown to Pekin ND: 38 miles

Yup, another day of struggling. At least the rain was scattered today, so we did not spend the whole day soaked!

It was pouring when we woke up, so we rested and waited out the storm. Roger kept watch out the window, to let us know when mother nature was ready to take a break. We did not leave Cooperstown until almost 1pm.

At least TJ could spend the time with his new buddy.

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