Monday, July 7 Malta, MT to Glasgow, MT
Tuesday, July 8 Glasgow, MT to Wolf Point, MT 52 miles
Yesterday's miles seemed to go much more easily even though there were more hills. The wind was blowing quite fiercely which was great when the road was headed in an east/southeast direction. If we turned east, which it did somewhat frequently, it became a crosswind. The trouble with a crosswind is that you bike to accommodate that but when a large truck or RV comes by it creates a sudden vacuum which goes away as quickly as it came. The bike wants to go in the direction of the vacuum so Dave was constantly compensating for that. It's a bit unnerving and we were glad for the wide shoulders there. Luckily, most often the road headed in the best direction for a tailwind.
The views were expansive since we were often on ridges. I saw two small flocks of white pelicans which seemed weird until I realized that we were passing the Bowdoin National Wildlife Preserve with a large lake. Later we passed the Nelson reservoir which is where I saw the other flock.
I haven't seen any antelope although Lorriann and Dale have seen some mothers with their young (which are called fawns according to Yahoo).
We surprised a mother sharp tailed grouse who had her chicks gathered together by the side of the road. Just as we biked closely a truck came by and the chicks were blown back from the road, somersaulting from the blast of air. The mother flew across the road just missing a car. I got off the bike and herded the chicks back into the tall grass. Hopefully the mother will come back to the chicks and take them somewhere less dangerous.
Our campground was an open expanse of grass with a guy upwind of us who decided to wash both his car and his RV with a hose in a howling wind, lightly spraying us in the process. We just closed up the tent and went to dinner. I wonder if he waits for a tornado to wash his house?
Today's ride seemed longer. We didn't have much wind so we had to do the speed that our muscles could do. We are getting mighty sick of Hwy. 2 but our route did put us on a BIA road through the Fort Peck reservation. A few days ago we were on a BIA road that we really enjoyed but today's road had frost cracks every 20 feet. A loaded bike tends to just "tha dump" into every one of those cracks, so we headed back onto Hwy. 2. Of course just as we did that the shoulder disappeared into rumble strips with a pockmarked narrow shoulder beyond that. But we made it into Wolf Point and tomorrow we will be on a completely different road heading south to veer away from the oilfields and the traffic in northern North Dakota. According to a guy we met yesterday the route tomorrow is quite isolated so we plan to bring a lot of water with us. We will also be starting in an area called the Big Sheep Mountains. Oh boy, I thought we were done with those! Our Adventure Cycling maps don't have any more elevation charts until the Adirondack so they apparently don't think they are significant. We shall see...
Oh and by the way, we did not find mosquitos in Saco.Of course the 20 mile an hour gale might have discouraged them. Even some Saco locals said the mosquitos were terrible there on a normal day. We had a worse problem today but a little Deet solved that!