Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day 16 - July 18 - A short hot day in eastern Montana

Day 15 - July 18 - Forsyth, MT to Miles City, MT - 44.6miles (71.8 kms) - total so far 1229.7miles  (1979.0kms)

Distance: 44.6 miles (71.8   kms)
Total time: 3hrs40mins (including  lunch) 
Average Moving Speed: 14.3mph (23.0 kph)
Maximum Speed: 32.5 mph (52.3 kph) 
Calories burned: 2193
Elevation gained: 1355 ft (413.0 meters)
Weather:  sunny and warm in Forsyth with temperatures about 84 degF (29C) when I left.  Hot in Miles City when  I arrived with the temperature at 95F (34C). Wind from the north mostly and quite gusty and strong at times.  Combined with the drafts off the big trucks traveling at speed, it made for a blustery ride. 

Powered by:  Breakfast 1 large cheese omelette, , 2 slices of whole wheat toast,  and a banana; 3 liters of Gatorade and 2 liters of water, 1 protein bar, 2 bananas, and lunch of smoothie and salad when finished for the day.

Knowing that I had a short day planned, I did a bit of sightseeing in Forsyth after a cholesterol-filled breakfast of cheese omelette and a lot of side stuff at a local diner.  Apparently, more than 20 trains  go through the town daily and since the street with the hotels is along the train tracks which bisect the town, many overnight guests complain of the train whistles disturbing their sleep. I did not hear a thing, a combination of being tired from the long hilly ride yesterday and my usual trick to crank up the air conditioner in hotel rooms. Since most of these conditioners are old-fashioned and clanky, their fan noise will drown out any possible outside noises.

Like most small Western town, Forsyth consists of one main commercial street and a couple of right-angled streets with some small businesses. I'm becoming quite attuned to the geographic order of these small businesses. I can predict with some accuracy where the dog boarding kennels, the auto body shops, etc will be located with respect to the center.Forsyth's main street is not nearly as derelict as some that I saw in E Washington, E Oregon and Idaho.  

The coolest vehicle I've seen yet - a 1949 Ford pickup in very good condition.  And it works, since it was gone when I returned to that spot later.

Forsyth's main drag - the movie theater is showing the latest films.  Not quite yet "The Last Picture Show" (the Bogdanovich film from 1971 about the dying of a small Texas town).

Back onto the Interstate 94 for the 44 mile ride to Miles City.  The next town is Baker, a further 80 miles of hilly sagebrush without any man or beast between it and Miles City.   If the winds had been favorable, I might have attempted it but it seemed wiser to skip and jump to the North Dakota border via Miles City.  The interstate seemed less hilly than yesterday as the bumps drop from grades of 4-5% to 2-3%.  On a hot windy day, though, they were uncomfortable enough.  While the wind was mostly from the North, it was quite shifting and gusty.  I had to be careful on the downhills where the combination of the wind and the strong drafts from the large trucks racing by on the freeway threatened to blow me sideways.  I've also noticed that the new tires have less road speed since their rolling resistance is a bit more.  So other things being equal, I have less speed for the same effort.

A sign at a rest area explaining the branding protocols of Montana for the uninitiated.  I find the Montana information and historical signs to be amongst the best I've ever seen.

Another of the many hills to climb with the wide shoulder (margin) and rumble strip visible.

I arrived in Miles City by about 2:30 and headed for a McFlurry since the temperature was 95F (34C).   Unfortunately, for me, the ice cream machine was defective so I to settle for a large berry smoothie.  Because there are no services of any kind between Miles City and Baker, I'll have to carry all my supplies - including gallons (many liters of liquids).  The big hill to start off the day will be interesting.

I was not ready for this scene which is typical of entrances to towns off the freeway in more populated areas. I don't think I've seen anything like it so far on this trip but I'm sure I'll see it many more times.  What distinguishes Miles City are the number of casinos on the strip - about a dozen in the first mile.

No comments:

Post a Comment