Wednesday July 9
Wolf Point, MT to Circle, MT
53 miles. Average speed 9 mph
Sorry, going to sleep so we can get up at 5 am to ride before the heat so no blog tonight.
We did however make a milestone today; we have now biked 1000 miles!
I'll write more tomorrow....snooze time.
Our 3 H day had constant ups and downs. It was daunting because no sooner would we get to the top of a hill than we would see three more in the distance! The wheat fields continued but we also started to see bluffs of striped sedimentary rocks which is a forerunner to the colored cliffs and even some hoodoos that we saw today.
The heat and the continual headwinds were sapping our strength.
I am having more problems with my feet falling asleep. This is something I thought I had improved by forgoing cleats and returning to toe clips. I will still get "sleepy feet" but after 30 miles or so rather than every five miles. Well, with hot weather it goes back to an every five mile problem. We either need to stop so I can stand and get the circulation back or we coast and I "shake out my feet". It's worse on hills because I'm pushing harder on the pedals with each stroke. It wouldn't be so back if they just went to sleep but actually they ache.
Dave also started having leg problems. His leg cramp is continuing but we were also concerned to find out at the end of the day that he has edema in the same ankle as the leg cramp. So he called to make a doctor's appointment in Glendive for Friday morning.
We had a very nice conversation with three ladies who have been lifelong Circle residents at the Cenex station when we finally reached town. There is a convenience store at the station with a small seating area and within 10 minutes of meeting us one of the women invited us to camp in yard. We weren't sure what was happening with Dale and Lorriann since they hadn't arrived yet and it was a little awkward to ask if it was ok for them to camp as well but she readily agreed it would be fine. How nice.
Circle didn't have a lot of lodging options. One motel that the ladies agreed wasn't very good or a "trailer park" that allowed tents. Lorriann had had a phone conversation with the owner which seemed a little disjointed and rambling. This ended up being our choice however (and yes he rambled a fair amount in person too, it might have had something to do with what he was drinking under the Koozie bottle cover). When Dale and Lorriann rolled in it turned out they had had several flats and they were stopping every 20 minutes to add air to the tire. Dale wanted to get the tire under some water quickly to try to diagnose what was continuing to create flats and the camping place was right behind the Cenex.
It turned out to be a fine piece of wire from the steel belted tires that are on semi trucks. When they have a blowout those little wires get spread out on the road and a lot of them end up in the shoulder where we travel.
The place was behind the Cenex and had no showers but the Cenex offered showers for $5.
We didn't end up getting up very early because a thunderstorm rolled in at about 3 am. It was still raining in the early hours so we slept until 7.
The photos below show our attempts to hold up 1 finger and show zeroes with our hands to commemorate our 1000th mile that we have biked on this trip. As you can see it took us several tries and we still forgot that the camera would reverse the image leaving it 0001, but you get the idea. The other picture is on one of the nice downhills (followed of course by an uphill) and the 90° heat. Of course a Minnesotan would add "it ain't the heat, it's the humidity that gets ya". Well we have that to look forward to!
The other pic is to five you an idea of what we saw at the top of each hill. There are times that it is not a blessing to be able to see to the horizon.