Day 11: Keep It Simple

Today: 59.1 miles                         Total: 581.3 miles                              9.15.10

There are so many pickups in Montana with owners who seriously try to turn them into semis.  There is this one that I saw pass me on Rt. 2 today, then I saw about 5 times since around Culbertson.  I bet the guy has $100,000 into his stupid F-950 or whatever it is.  It’s now a 6 wheeler with dual vertical semi exhaust, bed material 2-tone exterior, and every accessory you can buy for a truck.  Strange how people allocate their resources differently.

I’m here in Culbertson, MT., almost to the ND border  Much better day today.  I packed up after weird nightmares of Tiananmen Square and headed into the big hills.  On the way out of town I stopped at the grocery store and got some breakfast, including some Pop-Tarts, which were irresistible as I passed.

“Is that your breakfast?” says a passing mom, in a very mom-like tone, in the parking lot as she looks at my bike.  Sooooo momish.

You know what?  Yeah, it IS part of my breakfast.  Along with bananas, an apple, and 4 MORE Pop-Tarts!

25 miles after leaving Culbertson, I hit Poplar.  Everyone told me not to stop here for safety purposes.  So I stopped.  The gas station employees stared me down, then told me about a shortcut that, they assured me, “we tell all the bikers about.”

Looking back on a BIG ol' 2 mile hill.

A while later, in the small town of Brockton, a nice teenage girl at the only business in town–an old convenience store–told me the same thing.  “Just turn right.  It’ll be the only paved road that goes right.  You won’t miss it.”

Well, I turned right, and it was unbelievably liberating to get off of Rt.2.  The rock formations along the roadside reminded me of the road that Indian Ladder is on in Moab, UT, where I do a lot of rock climbing.

I had a BIG hill to climb as soon as I got back onto Rt. 2, and arrived in Culbertson, Montana.

It was a tough 60 mile day.  The town, being only 3 miles off the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, is a million times nicer than the reservation.  Yes, it’s small, but it’s big houses, well-maintained properties, nice, comfortable people, and has everything one needs.  Everyone in town pointed me to this park, and sure enough it allows free camping, including a free picnic table and pavilion.

I used the girls' bathroom. It was nicer.

I bought some groceries, made some dinner, fought with some mosquitos, wore a mosquito headnet while I read outside, and generally enjoyed setting up camp nice and early with plenty of day to kill.

I caught up on The Tipping Point, ate some corn chips that Donna and Jeff gave me along with lunch money in Havre, Montana, and enjoyed the civilization.

It's for mosquitos.

I think I’m starting to  get saddle sores from my bike seat.  Even though its’ a BROOKS saddle.  There’s something funky going on down there.  So I’m going to be better about using my chamois cream, and take a good baby-wipe shower tonight.


About @brodyleven

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