Pass the steak, pie and, yes, blue-cheese dressing

June 8, 2018 Lewistown to Mosby, MT

Judith Mtn
John, south of the Judith Mountains, a wonderful day of riding in Montana

We rode all 79.6 miles today. The first seven miles out of Lewistown was uphill, and then we had 20 miles of downhill. Great ride with Judith Mountains in the distance, and that’s where this picture was taken.

We started in on what would become a common theme today: Uphill and then a bit of down, then uphill and then down. Last year, when we rode across Nevada, there was steady uphill going up the pass and then a corresponding down hill into the next basin. It always seemed like we got short changed on the downhill on this rollers. Up, up, up and then down, then up, up and one-half do–.

Delores
Delores, who puts on a pretty good spread

We stayed at the Hill Ranch Oasis, a bed and breakfast, run by 84-year-old Delores. She gets help from daughter, sons and in laws for the two seasons she has: May and June for prairie-dog shooting (we did not do that) and then in the fall for hunting deer, elk, antelope and dire wolves (only if they are stalking the livestock).

The Hill Ranch Oasis had many cattle and sheep but sold them as Phil, the patriarch passed away recently.

The meal that night was tops: Steaks, fried potatoes, asparagus, pickled beets and plain old pickles and green salad with the blue-cheese dressing. Delores made the dressing, and it was the best ever. I’d go back just for that. Choice of pie for dessert: Strawberry rhubarb (my favorite) and cherry. With ice cream, if you wanted it. I’m sure I forgot something because I was too busy eating all of it.

And the next morning? Pancakes, to get you off to a good start.

Dining room
In city the living room, dining room area of The Hill Ranch Oasis.

Lewistown to Mosby

Where did you get that tick?

Fort Benton

June 7, 2018 – From Fort Benton to Lewistown, MT.

I gave myself permission to ride only 65 miles today since the day’s allotment of 100 miles seemed a stretch for someone who has to admit that maybe they are slower than the Principal Rider because they are always behind her. The picture above was one I shot at the beginning of the ride coming up out of Fort Benton – one of the few times I was ahead of Mary Jo.

ElevatorI did 61.6 miles to Denton, MT, home of the dire wolf. That was the strange animal shot on May 16, 2018, by a family who thought something was stalking their livestock. When we were there, it was pretty much up in the air about what this strange creature was. I was betting on the dire wolf, but the DNA says it was just a plain wolf. I was in it for the International Cryptozoology Society, since they have not had much since the coelacanth showed up for them back in 1938 after being extinct for 65 million years. Fake news, they all cried in their fishy voices.

We did have another nice lunch in Denton, siting at the park table out of the sun and away from any wolf dangers, dire or not.

Square Butte
There we are with Square Butte in the background.

The Principal Rider went on another 85 miles before we picked her up in the truck. Hills, wind and chip seal roads slowed us down considerably. We were riding 100 miles because there is nowhere to stay on in that part of Montana.

I did pick up this bit of humor from someone in Geraldine, MT:

We were talking to an older gent about biking and floating the Missouri River when another local fellow came up to him and opened a wadded up tissue for him to see something therein.

“Is that a tick?” he asked.

“Yes,” the older gent replied. “Where did you get that?”

“Out of my neck.”

“I bet he’s glad to get out of there.”

In the truck
Me in the truck, my sister out riding.

Fort Benton to Lewistown

First day of riding: Lot of boogers

June 4 and 6, 2018 — Where the bike goes, we all go. And in the beginning, the bike went to the Knicker Biker shop in Great Falls, MT, which meant we went there, too, or at least to a hotel nearby.

Terry.jpg
Officer John mowing — for us?

Kathy and I gave ourselves two days to get to Great Falls with time for an overnight stay with Officer John and his newly minted librarian, Maureen. Congratulations on finishing the degree at Spokane Community College.

JB at SipI most wanted to stay in the Sip ‘N Dip Lounge and O’Haire Motor Inn, which is only a few blocks away. But we did get there in time to catch the mer-persons. The locals tell us we should have listened to Piano Pat – maybe next time.

After getting Mary Jo, that would be the Principal Rider, from the airport, we went the next day to the Knicker Biker to pick up her bike (shipped from Cincinnati) and have it put back together. I told the mechanic my rear tire looked a little worn. “You don’t want that on your way across a 700-mile ride,” said the worker. So he replaced it.

I started out with a head of snot because of a cold and a head of blood because I was starting a new blood thinner medicine. I caught the cold at The Seattle Times, where I worked for the past two months and did not get a whole lot of training in. And I got the new blood thinner because aspirin did not control my underlining clot factor.

I was accused by the SAG support of slowing down the Principal Rider. At lunch, the SAG rider and the Principal Rider had decided that I should stow my bike in the truck and join in the passenger seat for the ride to Fort Benton.

Of course, I was incensed, and from Highwood, MT, where we had a nice lunch in someone’s front yard, I picked up my pace and we did the 53.7 miles with an average time of 11 miles per hour – approved by the Principal Rider.

Of course, my boogers were as big as stones and my blood boogers were as big as boulders. A shower in the Grand Union Hotel, a nice dinner (Mary Jo did all right with the trout) and a walk down by the Missouri River, made it all seem like the first day of a ride – happy to be doing this again.

MJ at falls
Mary Jo at the Great Falls, MT.