Day 26, Harlem, MT

Even though our campsite was next to Hwy 2, last night the traffic diminished as the night progressed and everyone slept well . . .


We decided to start early again today because of the predicted 90 degrees temp and a head wind out of due east at 6-8 mph. Sure enough when Bernie and Jim got up at daybreak to get put the breakfast and lunch goodies the wind was already blowing from the east.


. . . soon more of the 5:30am coffee club started to arrive . . .


. . . and by 6:15 the smorgasbord was in full swing.!


We started leaving camp about 7:00am, BIG downhill through Havre on our way to Harlem, MT, our home for the night. Already some traffic moving around.


At a stoplight, I looked to my right and there was this big boy . . . steady there dude! He was breathing hard and I was not sure if it was at me or Connie. Let’s get going girl!!!


All the trains we have seen for the last several weeks, engines need to be maintained to keep the diesel engines in tune. Here is one of the locomotive repair shops BNSF maintains along the way, this one on the east side of Havre.


Today we would be riding along the Milk River and some of it’s tributaries. Being somewhat in a river bottom there are more trees and general ‘green ‘ than we have seen for the last week out on the prairies.


The half way point of today’s headwind ride is Chinook, MT . . . where unfortunately this place was not open yet in the morning. Too bad . . . looks to have had everything our group needed.


Instead we wheeled into the Exon complex for some cold drinks.. It was 87 when we stopped to rest. With the strong headwind one does not notice how much one is sweating because the wind instantly evaporates any sweat. VERY important to keep pushing the fluids. On today’s tide I drank all three of my bike water bottles (I also carry two 32oz Gatorade bottles filled with water onboard), a 32 ouncer of Gatorade at the rest stop, plus a bottle of chocolate milk.

When we got to camp in Harlem I drank a quart of chocolate milk, ate my sandwich, showered, set up camp and am now sitting in the library typing this. I have consumed 4, 16oz glasses of Culligan water  . . . so far!!!

While at the truckstop, this truck pulled up and people starting walking up to inspect it. Of course, with my hearing I could not hear the squeals of the pigs inside. I walked over to check it out . . .


. . . the truck was divided into four levels and each level had several compartments with hundreds of little pink pigs. . .


. . . seems sort of an inhumane way to move them. So crowded they could not lay down. Must be on the way to a farm where they will ‘pork up’.  Soon to be on a table near you!!!


Along the way we passed over the Milk River which reminded me of chocolate milk, my new favorite ride drink!!!


These sheep in the morning light looked like a painting to me, the photo really doesn’t do the scene justice!!!


. . . this was an attractive critter and I could not tell if it was sleeping, sunning itself or dead!!!!


After 40 miles of headwind, riding fully loaded, we FINALLY arrived at our home for the night, Harlem, MT. Nice little town with a lot going on  . . .


. . . obviously with some of the same problems other small and large towns have.


We have a great setup tonight, camping behind the City Hall in the city park, right next to the city swimming pool AND right across the street from the Albertsons grocery store. Mark and Allison are cooking tonight. Mark has shrimp creole on his mind !!!!


. . . but first it is time for showering and laundry. Daily routine includes washing the biking kit, if there are facilities, and hanging them out to dry. Mark or I usually put up a line. Things dry almost INSTANTLY out here because of the temps, wind and LOW humidity!!

Here are Mark and Allison working on the roux for the Cajun shrimp . . .

. . . and it turned out great!!!

Dr Mike celebrates his 43rd Anniversary with Lynne today  . . . but we had to fill in for family!!!

. . . and a ‘Special Gift’ was presented. Remember the prior photo of the snake on the road? Same snake and it was still moving.

And . . . snakes in boxes, 60 miles south of us there is a wildfire burning out of control, they had to evacuate 90 people, and last night there was an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 in western Montana near Lincoln. Many of us felt in in Havre, including me.

What could go wrong???? Maybe another headwind tomorrow!