East Glacier to Shelby, MT
85 miles / 2,800 feet of elevation
Montana is the “new Texas” from RAA I, we are in Montana for 5-6 days out of 18. Growing up in Alaska, my “lower 48” geography is a bit off, I truly had no idea Montana was this large of a state! However, happy to be in Montana; the roads and shoulders are good, the drivers courteous and share the road willingly. We have had some trouble with hotel accommodations as the state is not well populated and some towns don’t have hotels for us, so we end up shuttling at the end of the day and beginning of our days. This shuttling is a very slight inconvenience for the beautiful surroundings we are cycling in.
We enjoyed wide open roads with good cycling all day long. Montana’s “Big Sky” was a treat throughout the day.
Again, we tried to show you this aspect of Montana in some of our photos but our photos just don’t seem to do the real thing justice – at times we just coast and look around at the cloud formations which just seem so much bigger here!
Early in the day we passed by a “Bison Farm.” Odd to see a herd of Bison / Buffalo standing behind a frail looking wire fence not 30 feet away from us. (I didn’t stop for photos because it was early morning, I was cold and “Montana Boy Bob” assured me there would be more Bison photo ops.)
We also encountered our first, short “bug infestation” with crickets and grasshoppers but this was nothing like the grasshopper deluge we had in the south during RAA I. (Speaking of RAA I, our thoughts and prayers go to those in Texas and the south as the areas we rode in throughout the south, this same time three years ago, are experiencing yet another large tropical storm (Nicholas) with severe flooding. We were told when we rode RAA I they had “the wettest September on record in Texas.”)
After dinner we revised our next three day schedule to three 100 mile days instead of two 90 milers and a 129 miler afterwards. We hope that averaging these three will help with our sore, tired legs and butts!