Monday, July 15, 2013

Day 14 - July 15 - 102 miles in 102 degrees

Day 14 - July 15 - Harlowton MT to Billings MT - 102.9 miles (  kms) total so far: 1084.5 miles  (kms)

Distance: 102.9 miles (   kms)
Total time: 8hrs 20mins (including  lunch, lots of guckenpeeping by bicycle in Billings  and photo opportunities) 
Average Moving Speed: 15.2mph (kph)
Maximum Speed: 30.1 mph ( kph) 
Calories burned: 4999
Elevation gained: 1742 ft (meters)
Weather:  Sunny and cool at first and sunny and hot later from 60F (15C) in Harlowton to 102F (39C) in Billings. Winds calm or mild all day mostly from the west in the morning and switching to the southwest in the afternoon.

Powered by:  A Diner Breakfast 1 large bowl of oatmeal, 2 slices of wholewheat toast, 2 scrambled eggs ans a banana; 2 liters of Gatorade and 4 liter of water, 1 protein bar, 2 bananas  and a peanut butter bagel  with banana with a huge dollop of peanut butter.  A McFlurry when I got to hot Billings

Finally, my plans to get an early start came to fruition and I left Harlowton at 8:20am after a sizable breakfast at the local diner, seemingly the only place to eat in town.  The road to Billings headed east for almost 50 miles and then turned southeast onto the high plains. I was warned that I would feel the heat when I left the relatively higher ground and it proved to be true.  With a modest but welcome west tailwind, I made good time to the point that the road turned south.

I have seen many handpainted signs like this one in Montana.  I read somewhere that the meth problem is severe in this state.

In the small town of Ryegate.  I liked the spelling of the word to rhyme with 'festival' and the worried-looking bull on the beer sign. For the uninformed, this local delicacy is also called "Rocky Mountain Oyster" and is usually (always?) fried.  I've seen it on quite a few menus in Montana.

One of the few occupied buildings in the very small town of Lavina

Getting onto the Plains now and lots of rolling hills

"Hear that lonesome whistle blow" - the book by Dee Brown about trains in the West.  Rail lines often parallel the roads I'm traveling.  I've seen a lot of coal trains.

It seems as if every park and public site has signs like this one

My speed slowed after I turned south since now the wind was partly in my face. I could feel the temperature rising quickly and as I approached Billings, I could feel the heat rising off the asphalt onto my legs.  Since I arrived in Billings a couple of hours before Jody and Zola who had driven up from Boulder that day, I took advantage of the time to do a bicycle tour of the rimrocks to the north of the city. Though I had already been on the bike for over 90 miles, my legs were not tired.  There is a wonderful bike trail all along the rimrock - it must run for over 3 miles - with great views over the city below.  

Downtown Billings from the northerly rim rock

The bike trail along the rim rock

Billings' earliest cemetery near the rim rock trail

As I rode to meet Jody through the downtown area around 5pm, most of the bank temperature signs read 102 degrees so it seemed fitting that my day ended with 102 miles.  It was capped off by a surprisingly good Thai dinner and a couple of  local beers.   

1 comment:

  1. When in eastern Montana yah wanna avoid them rattlers. When your in western Montana yah wanna avoid bears, You wear bells, so yah don't accidently walk up on a bear, and carry pepper spray!!! You should learn the differnce in black bears and grizzles. Black bears are smaller and black, their feces has nuts, berries and squirrel fur in it. Grizzles are larger, brown, having a hump in the shoulders. Their feces has little bells in it and smells like pepper spray!