Monday, May 25, 2009

Day 43 - Glasgow to Sleeping Buffalo, MT

Miles for the day: 54

Total miles to date: 2212

Gretchen is pictured wearing an orange vest and Nicole is pictured wearing a blue t-shirt.

I woke up in Glasgow in my favorite campground yet with a voicemail from Nicole and Gretchen to not start my day early because they wanted to ride 10-20 miles with me as we had planned to meet that afternoon. They started their day in West Glacier National Park and I started my day in Glasgow (300 miles apart).

While the girls had their own adventure to manage, I had to figure out how to spend my time. I spent all morning eating breakfast and working on the Internet. I took off around 11:00 thinking this would give the girls enough time to reach me for our short ride together. Before I took my first pedal I glanced at a flag flapping in the wind. I stopped in amazement and cleared my eyes to see if what I thought I saw was really happening - TAILWINDS! I started pedaling and averaged 14-18mph and finished the first 30 miles in no time. I went into the bar (the only establishment in this small town) to pass the time. I met some locals and enjoyed a glass of water. I got back on the bike for another cruising 10 miles smiling from cheek to cheek with the gusts of winds pushing me down the road. I entered the only establishment in this small town and enjoyed a beer and popcorn to wait for Nicole and Gretchen to arrive. I had nearly 2 hours to kill so I got to know nearly the entire town. Once I heard news of their delayed travels I got back on the bike for the remainder 10 miles realizing we would not be biking together that day.

Yet another miracle on this bike journey, between us girls and all of our many friends, Nicole and Gretchen connected together rides over 320 miles. They ran across several unexpected delays and did not reach me until early evening so we did not get a chance to ride together. I met the girls at a convenience store and we had a spirited meeting with Nicole and I nearly tackling one another in our over the top excitement to see each other. They greeted me with a 28oz. beer costing a whopping $1 (it was surprisingly tasty!).

The honeymoon moment of seeing one another soon faded when the three of us had to decide on sleeping arrangements and dinner. The game of communication and compromise now began. The three of us went back on forth on our options repeatedly (although we had slim options). We chose to stay at the Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs and eat in their cafe. When we arrived my crazy friend Nicole walked through the doors and ran into the pool with her bike clothes and shoes on and all. At this point, Nicole can do very little to shock me. I cannot explain the multitude of reasons in which this should NOT constitute as a "resort". They showed us the rooms ($50/night) and I am confident they must have filmed at least 10 horror films at their resort. We opted to camp on the lawn instead. We quickly became friends with the owners and they generously offered us free showers and free camping. I painfully agreed to eat at the "cafe" with the girls instead of cooking our meal. When we asked about the items on the menu the choices diminished rapidly and I had my least satisfying meal yet on the trip: two pieces of frozen fish deep fried with a microwaved baked potato.

Creepy night: Of all of the nights on this trip this by far wins the award for the most strange and creepy. I thanked the girls that night for being with me, otherwise I would have felt VERY uncomfortable. One man Joe kept coming around offering us beer and to make a fire. He even asked, "Do you girls know how to set up your tents?" We wanted to sarcastically respond to Joe with, "Well, we thought we would go on a bike tour and bring our own tents and hope each night we would find some kind strangers to put up our tents for us." We had to buy bottled water at the bar and ran into a bar full of some serious drunks! Before going to bed a group of young teenagers roamed around near our tents claiming they were on the search for wounded cat and they even showed us the blood prints on the sidewalk. The whole evening was just weird, weird, weird. In all seriousness, I never thought for one minute we were in any real danger, things just seemed a bit off.

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