The Wine Cyclist

Big Sky Beauty

by on Jul.17, 2009, under Cycling

IMG_0464Montana gave me a heck of a welcome on Tuesday. One heck of a welcome, but I’ll get to that in a minute. I had one last stop in North Dakota before crossing the border.

I rolled on down SR 1804 from Williston almost to the border to check out the Fort Union Historic Site. Fort Union used to be a big, important trading post on the Missouri River. Today, a reconstruction of it sits mere yards from the Montana border (technically speaking, the parking lot is in Montana). It seems like a cool bit of history, so I explored for a while. The shot above is the view of the Missouri River from Fort Union. This is only a couple of miles from where the Yellowstone River and the Missouri River come together. I took some shots of Fort Union as well.

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From there I hopped back up to US 2 to cross over into Montana. I had been bucking some pretty intense winds from the west all day, but just before crossing the border, the storm descended upon me. The rain started, and the winds picked up. I mean, seriously picked up. I spent the next 22 miles fighting headwinds gusting up to 40mph. Some of the gusts were bringing me to a standstill even on a downhill. A couple of east-bound cyclists I ran into at a rest stop in Bainville thought I was completely nuts for riding into this wind. What does it say about me when the other crazies think I’m the crazy one. The rain cleared by the time I made it into Culbertson. I found the city park and set up camp for the night.

Wednesday morning, a howling wind made me want to just crawl back into my sleeping bag and rest for the day, but I set out. In the end, I actually cleared my first century of the trip. I was fighting remnants of Tuesdays headwinds for about 55 miles, but then I turned south and things got nice and calm. I made it the full 100 miles from Culbertson to Circle, MT.

Thursday I rolled into Jordan, MT and tonight, I’m in Winnett, MT. Along the way, I’ve seen some amazing views of the Montana Badlands. Just breathtaking… The photos don’t really do justice to the vistas, but I’ll try to let them speak for themselves anyways.

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1 comment for this entry:
  1. Tommy Laing

    Jim:

    we are following the progress of your ambitious journey with great interest. The photos are great. Do you have a West Coast ETA. If you come out on US-2 or I-90 you are welcome to to stay here and rest a bit if you wish.

    Best regards,

    Tommy

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