6-13 Malta to Chinook 71 Miles

In case your wondering, yes I had a headwind all day. It also rained on and off as well. Cold start to ride at 50 degrees in Malta as I left the Maltana motel. 

I tried to watch some tv last night but fell asleep in the hotel chair. Woke up around 11 and went to bed….slept hard, didn’t even get up for the bathroom, and at my age I usually get up a couple of times. Exhausted. 

Woke at 6 am and fixed oatmeal and then hit the road. Today was a kinda boring ride. The road was straight, wind in the face, cloudy with some rain. Cooler which was kinda nice. 

I rode thru the Ft. Belknapi Indian reservation, which was very sparsely populated and desolate. Mule deer ran in front of me on the road and often I would flush a pheasant as I rode by. I also saw a porcupine…first time ever. 

Bear Paw Mountains

To the south, the Bear Paw mountains made an appearance. I stopped in a small town at the only store and met an 80-year-old man in an electric wheelchair, and he provided me with a lot of local knowledge. His store was really rough…dirt floor, 1 table that was grimy w napkins laying everywhere. You could see his living quarters in the next room with a cot and clothes strewn about.  

I enjoyed the time I spent with him…we chatted about news, weather and roads. He is a tough ol, boy and I think he wanted me to stay and chat all day. But, the road beckons and I went after it. 

I stopped to eat lunch at a large church long abandoned that was entirely pink and surrounded by a cemetery. The sign identified it as the Pink  Church in English and Sioux. You had to climb a steep hill, but after you had incredible view of Bear Paws and surrounding area. Lunch was 3 slices of Canadian bacon as its shelf life is good – even when it’s not refrigerated- plus some granola.  

I arrived in Chinook around 4:30 pm. Talked to a local who told me to go to Griffin Park to  camp. Park is nice and on the river but you have to bike 1.8 miles to gas station for bathroom. I called the local police and let them know I was here…they didn’t care a bit. 

So onto other thoughts for the day.  

The Wind Is Alive

The wind is alive here in MT. It exists to give me hell. It blew in my face all day, then shoved my partially consumed beer off the picnic table into the dirt. It shakes my tent like Big Foot is outside and quits when I peek out the flaps in the middle of the night. It blows cotton wood seeds into my face and into anything you are trying to eat. 

The wind taunts me. It lays back and waits until I shift into a bigger gear then blast me so my legs burn. Shift down and the ol wind will die down daring me to shift again. If a triple cargo UPS truck is passing, it will push me towards its wheels. It waits until I’m on a bluff and shoves me towards the cliff. 

It steals my clothes. Yes, the wind is a thief. I lost my only long sleeve shirt when it blew away after I attached it on my back pannier. It also stole a hat but luckily I found it a block away. Call 911 and lock up this creature. Mother Nature is cruel from my perspective! 

The last time I did a big ride from Naples, FL, to Bend, Oregon, I only had one time an RV sounded it’s horn off as it passed me. It is weird but this has happened four times in last two days. Bear in mind I’m on desolate roads where I might not see a vehicle for 20 to 30 minutes. Each time they passed and blasted, there was no oncoming traffic, and I was on the shoulder so they didn’t even have to wait on me. Yet they let me have it. 

I always blow them a kiss when they do this. Seems safer than the finger. No one ever stops or pulls over to provide information as to why they are annoyed. I have noticed it is usually a large motor home pulling a car pulling a boat and going 90. I once read an article that reviewed a study showing the more expensive your car, the more you feel you are owed and should be respected on the road.  

So if you are driving a 200k motor home, on your way to your 1m condo vacay with your new 300hp outboard boat, you own the road. At least the piece I’m on for sure.  

My bad, as my bike is consuming way too much of your space. My apology with a blown kiss in your direction. Ok, I have to go. Looks like Mother Nature is trying to steal my tent. It is blowing down the park road. 

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