DAY 67

May 20, 1999

Having heard that the wind doesn't start blowing until 8:30 or 9am, I wanted to leave early.  But I just felt exhausted from yesterday, both physically and mentally.  I moved slow and went to the bathhouse and took a shower.   It was 8am by the time I rode away.  There were many antelope out this morning, which made the ride nice.  I was still climbing above 5280 ft. though.   Townsend is at 3813 so I thought today would be an easy ride.  Wrong!   The first 42 miles I was mostly climbing.

Reaching White Sulphur Springs, I stopped at the "Truck Stop Cafe'" and ordered one pancake and hot chocolate.  I'm not sure what the temperature was but it was cold enough that I had to wear a jacket.  When I left White Sulphur Springs, I began to see prairie dogs scampering across the road.  Cute little boogers, aren't they :-)

After the junction with 89, I had a steep pass to climb with more snow around.  Since leaving this morning, I've been seeing patches of snow on the ground everywhere.  The only good thing about these open prairies would have to be the fact that you get to see an occasional antelope and prairie dog.  When I reached Helena National Forest, I immediately felt the rush of a calming, cool moisture, envelope my body.  It surrounded me like water flowing around a rock.  My body felt relaxed as the tension lifted from me.  My shoulders dropped down and I took in a deep breath.  Ahhh, I love the plush green forest!  And the best part is that it's mostly downhill from here.  :-)  The sound of the stream was my music as I free-wheeled down.

Just before reaching Townsend, there was one last hill to climb.  It was about 6 miles before town, but it was several miles of coasting into town after that climb.  There, I found the "Elkhorn Cafe'".  After I parked my bike, I immediately went inside looking for a bathroom.  Then I walked back to the dining area and felt confused and a little weak.  My blood sugar was low and I was a little dehydrated.  This was not a well planned day.  I ran out of water and ate my last Granola bar about 3 hours ago.  I could've easily used my water filter in the stream but I never even thought about it.  Now I found it a little difficult choosing the right words to say.  But by the time I drank some tea and ate a...Guess!...Well?...Yep, you got it, a grilled chicken sandwich :-) I was feeling back to normal.  At last I was capable of forming complete sentences and carrying on a conversation.  Mallory was my waitress.  She's 16 and we talked mostly about all the sports she's involved with.  Well, that was after I finished sharing my experiences on the road so far.  Mallory is involved in all the sports she can be in:   soccer, softball, ice hockey, rollerblading, and recently took up snowboarding.   Currently she's saving up for a snowboard for herself since she's been having to borrow one from a friend.  The town is very small, somewhere around 1000 people but 1500 at the most.  But there are indeed a lot of mountains around to keep someone busy snowboarding :-)

After I left the cafe', I biked to the Lake Townsend Motel and paid $34.32 total for a room.  When I spoke of my bike trip, the lady behind the counter said that the small newspaper in town would be interested in a story.  She gave me the name and number to call.  I called from my room and spoke to Matt.   He informed me that someone would call me first thing in the morning.

By the way, the temperature in town was 77 degrees when I got here.  Big change from this morning.

Wind - Basically to the west

Today - 65.49 miles
Total -  3507 miles
Avg. Speed - 9.0mph

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