July 4: 69.2 miles from Cut Bank, MT to Chester, MT
Yesterday it was HOT. Luckily we filled our extra water bladder in the morning so we didn’t drop dead in the heat. We were passing through some very small towns, so our hopes for a big fourth of July celebration weren’t high, but at noon while sitting in the sliver of shade in the grocery store parking lot eating lunch, a local man pulled up in his pick-up and invited us to the volunteer fire department’s annual cook out in Shelby. So of course we went, had lots of hot dogs and hamburgers, and chatted with some local families. A wonderful way to celebrate the day!
Full and happy, we continued on along the long flat roads stretching into the distance.
We arrived in the tiny town of Chester and promptly found some shade. There, we also found another cross-country touring couple. They very generously invited us in to their “executive suite” motel room where we enjoyed air conditioning, great conversation, and red wine! Then to top it all off, they let us take much-needed showers before we set out for the town green to pitch our tent. It being so hot, we left the fly off, so as twilight turned to dark, we watched from the comfort of our tent as a constellation of unofficial fireworks displays popped up in the backyards surrounding the green. A beautiful end to a day full of random acts of kindness.
July 5: 62 miles from Chester, MT to Havre, MT
Today we rode under the relief of thick cloud cover with the wind at our backs.
We made great time, arriving in Havre around 10:30 am. Good thing, too, because today was the day we needed to take our bike apart, pack it in a box (well, three boxes), in order for us to take the train to Fargo, to take a plane to Portland, ME, to attend the wedding of two of our closest friends!
Our bike all packed up and ready to go at the train station.
Just a hop skip and a jump, really! After the wedding, we’ll fly back to Fargo and continue biking east to Boston. Just a little logistically complicated, but 100% worth the detour! We are very much looking forward to an extended break with friends!
awesomeness bro and sis. by the way bro, you look overfull and unhappy in that pic, in classic sanders-fleming style. well done! and how blessed are teh days of random acts of kindness? motivates me to give them out more often… be in touch soon about trying to see each other in portland, can’t remember when you’re landing…
LOVE!! xox kate
The things you’re grateful for are remarkable: a shower, a moment in an air conditioned motel room, RED WINE (??), cloud cover, and most wonderfully, a chance to see friends. I think you’ll also enjoy fresh food and access to the ocean. The two seem to go hand-in-hand, no? BTW…I had some *wonderful* mac n’ greens at Red Rooster this afternoon (and the best Bloody Mary *ever*!). Not sure if I’ve ever taken Christine to Red Rooster–the meal I’m thinking of, which included their mac n’ greens–was in 2011, and pretty sure Halima was there. Enjoy! Your logistics shot (train station boxing) is coming at a time when I’ve got to work on my logistics for getting to Ticonderoga/Middlebury on August the Nth.
Impressed by how white and clean that shirt still looks, Ian. No blood! Update your mileage, please…