After a day off, I launched west on the last push to Glacier. Glad I left early, as the wind and rain increased through the day. The first 30 miles went at a normal pace. I stopped at a small bar/restaurant in Rudyard where the owner treated me great and set me up with some vegetable soup.
Once I left, the wind was waiting. The road had a narrow shoulder with a rumble strip right down the middle. The wind pushed me from the north while I rode west meaning the wind kept pushing me into the rumble strip. Eventually I choosers to ride in the road and dash onto the shoulder whenever traffic approached. It was hard to keep bike from moving 2-3 ft at times from gusts.
The wildlife along this stretch of US 2 was incredible. I captured several good videos of antelope and prairie dogs. But the highlight was a video of a badger running across a wheat field. The badger would run and then lay down. It’s fur markings made it impossible to detect him until he moved again revealing his location. Cool experience.
Rain clouds were scary today. I could see storms coming off the Rockies and moving towards me with large black clouds. Though they looked frightening, they generally created about one hour of light rain and moved on.
I believe I mentioned in a previous blog that at times the motorists in Montana were not only aggressive but often would buzz me and beep there horns as they passed — even though I’m on a desolate road with no other traffic. Talking to several ranchers I discovered that there is a coalition or movement within Montana to keep tourists out of their state due to Covid. If they see out-of-state licenses or bikers who are obvious tourists, they try to intimidate and discourage.
Ok – now I at least know what is going on. I get it that they want to isolate as Montana has least number of cases of all states. But I’m not quitting until I get to Glacier. And if you visit Indiana, I will treat you with class and respect.
I have just learned that the border with Canada is still closed and will remain closed for a while. I originally planned to go north after Glacier to Banf, Jasper, and maybe Alaska.
This no longer seems like a good idea. Too many services are already closed making this leg of the journey difficult. With fewer services available in good times as you go north, Covid will make this type of trip too challenging. Also I must face the possibility that I could get the virus and be stuck or stranded in Canada. If my wife or family needs me, I need to be able to return home fast.
Covid has definitely added to the challenges of this trip. Campgrounds closed. City parks that usually are available to cyclists or other travelers closed. Maybe the toughest aspect is that there is far less interaction with other as they don’t want to take the risk. Most people are avoiding me as I’m obviously a touring cyclist with matted beard, sunburned, and skinny. At times, it looks like I slept in the fields cause I did. I look homeless to most people I suppose.
My goal is to get to Whitefish MT. Get there and then decide what to do next. Next might be go home, continue to Seattle, go to Portland. As I watch the news about the increase in Covid cases, it might be smart to go home.
Problem is, I often don’t do the smart choice. I often opt for the more challenging road.
One of my many flaws.