July 21

22 07 2009

Day 44:

I am very impressed with the resilience and determination of each family member. After a couple of demoralizing days of battling strong winds we caught a break today. We were not so lucky as to get a tail wind but we had the second best thing … an almost windless day.

Everyone rose to the challenge as we pounded out 95 miles under sunny skies and in high 80 degree temps. 68 of these miles were after lunch! I have given up trying to get the kids on the road early. Even the argument that the winds are lighter in the morning does not budge them.

Carloyn impressed me ( yet again ) by staying with the pack all day. A century a couple of days ago and now 95. Not bad for a newbie.

We got spaced out a bit this morning and shortly after Zach, Maggie and I pulled over a couple of couple ( we would later learn they were Greg and Jane of Minneapolis ) pulled up in their car to say that a young man ( Jake ) was a ways back and had some kind of problem. They said that they had spoken to Carolyn on their way by and they kindly offered to drive me back the couple of miles to Jake. I collected my tools and went back to meet up with Jake and repair what turned out to be a flat tire. Resourceful Jake had taken his panniers off his bike and was carrying his bike on one shoulder as he walked west carrying his panniers. Many thanks to Greg and Jane for your help. Your timely stop and kindness were a big part of us getting our miles in today. I hope you enjoy your time in Glacier and safe travels back to Minneapolis.

I am not normally bothered by mosquitoes but they grow them really big and aggressive here in Montana. Their swarming today resulted in a record time for what has become Zach’s daily spoke replacement. This would actually be his first of 2 broken spokes today.

We have now passed through a couple of Indian reservations and have learned and seen of some of the challenges facing these people. We had the pleasure of meeting Gerald on the Fort Belknap reservation today and enjoyed our discussion and his hospitality.

As we now see more trains than cows, I have replaced my mooing at the cows with getting the train engineers to blow their whistles. They are very obliging and I can’t help but wonder if it s the same engineers who are traveling with us across the country.

Easterly winds are forecast at least for the morning…..think the kids will be up?

Travel points:

Breakfast: OB’s cafe in Saco. It was like watching a Neil Simon play to see the pissed off cook handle things until the waitress arrived late. Very entertaining.

Lunch: West end truck stop in Malta…the mosquito capital of the world. Within a few minutes of standing outside there were at least 15 on my back.

Dinner: Late but at the motel (Chinook Motor Inn ) … and then bed…nice.