Today, on our ride from Butte to Bozeman, we crossed the Continental Divide. That does not mean, of course, that it is all downhill from here, but it does mean that rivers will run towards the Mississippi River. And, you know, it feels like a milestone of sorts. We’re on our third state and we’ve crossed the Continental Divide! Woot!
Of course it won’t be the last divide we cross. While this was the Great Divide that extends from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, it is not the only divide in North America. There is a divide along the Appalachians and another, the St. Lawerence Divide, where water returns to or flows away from the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes divide is politically…uh…interesting as those that live just outside the divide want Great Lakes water, but need to petition both Canada and the US and set up guaranteed return flows to get the water. But…we don’t talk politics here….we talk bike riding. Depending upon the details of our route thru Pennsylvania and New York we will cross one or the other (or both) before the trip is over. Smaller milestones, but they will be milestones.
Today started out with a climb to the divide and then down onto high range. A lot of cattle. Irrigation systems. And…corn?!?!?! Seems a little early to see a large field of corn, but it was definitely corn. Being a Sunday morning, the roads were mostly empty and the riding was pleasant. But, as the temperature increased, so did the number of cars and trucks. While most drivers share the road, we have run into to too many, “Get off the road” types in the last couple of days.
Montana is not bicycle friendly. This is odd since the home of Adventure Cycling (the one, true source for long distance cycling maps) is located in Missoula, Montana. But outside Missoula….grrrr. One of our fellow human riders ended up in the hospital when a bottle was thrown at him the other day. Many of us were shouted at and passed with inches to spare. Sad, really. We just want to travel and see the country. We get that not everyone thinks bicycles are awesome (sigh…although, clearly we are and our humans are the bestest), but respect our right to be on the road and we’ll respect car drivers rights, too.
But, despite that, we are still having fun. Edwin lives in the lunch truck and his human helps every day with lunch. The higher altitude mixed with smoke means he cannot ride with us, but he’s still having fun. My human, on the other hand, is still embarrassing me and not riding the full distance. But, each day is stronger. Every mile ridden is a good mile. And, here, despite a few bad drivers, those good miles have been awesome.
Details. 75 miles (out of 100), 2566 feet of climbing (out of 4287). 12.5 strain
The Clock Mirage Joseph Mazur. We enjoyed Fluke so we picked this up from the library. A series of essays on time from the mathematical and physics perspective.
Explorers of the Nile Tim Jeal. The book was interesting and we tried to keep listening, but the reader was way too slow and soothing (I do not want my human lulled to sleep while riding…oh, sure, that might hurt the human, but definitely will hurt me!)