Day 7. Friday, July 17 – Roundup to Billings, Montana

Friday 17 July 2015

Another overcast, yet refreshing 55° after yesterday’s draining heat.  Unfortunately, the weatherman’s last minute wind direction change, was not in our favor; guess we were due.  We had to backtrack two miles to get back on course, which allowed us to read the historic markerIMG_0169 and catch a few of the road signs; Arrowhead Rd, Horsethief Road and even Ponderosa Drive….this is Cowboy Country, still. IMG_0175 We crossed the Musselshell RiverIMG_0173 and began our long slow Bull Mountain climb into the wind.  The morning was almost hypnotic, as if we’d travel back in time;IMG_0192 wild open spacesIMG_0186 and horses roaming free.IMG_0181  Inevitably, a car would break the trance and bring us back to the slow crawl up and into the wind.  IMG_0191

We were delighted to see a few of the Highland Cattle IMG_0187we had first fallen in love with in Scotland.  It took us well over two hours to climb the 17 miles to 4010 feet, we could not wait for the downhill.  Unfortunately, we were lucky to break 20 mph pedaling hard against the wind; a far cry from the 40 mph we enjoyed a couple of days ago on a downhill.

The other side of this mountain was barren of most treesIMG_0199and we could see forever.IMG_0200You could almost here the music from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly movie playing in the background.IMG_0207

As we crested one of our many climbs, a chirping sound was everywhere.  The sky was void of birds and there were no trees in sight for birds to hide.  We soon realized the prairie dogs were calling back and forth to each other from across the road.  This long road into the windIMG_0221 was as difficult as it was beautiful.IMG_0224The sky even screamed, “This is Montana!”IMG_0230

But the wind was working on us, hard.  Around every bend and atop every hill we searched for some glimpse of this city of 100,000, though we could see for ever, all we saw were the plainsIMG_0244and antelope (sorry MaryEllen).IMG_0242At mile 40, we finally saw a speckling of civilization that breathed necessary life into our tired legs.  It was another five miles before we found a place to eat lunch and rest.  It took us another hour for a couple necessary stops (camera) before we checked into the luxury of a Real hotel.  By design, dinner was across the street and delicious. DSCN3779

DSCN3778 The hard fought 50 miles and almost six hours in the saddle was going to feel good against the pillow tonight.

7 Responses to “Day 7. Friday, July 17 – Roundup to Billings, Montana”

  1. David Bailey Says:

    Wow, what beautiful sights!! I’m jealous! I think you need a Harley escort/support vehicle for these trips! I think I know where you can find one,,, Just saying..!!!

  2. Travis Says:

    Rough days. Hard won miles. Well Done. You Deserve a Break. New or old camera you take great pix.

  3. Sharon Groh Says:

    Gorgeous! Enjoy and safe travels once again!

  4. Justin Says:

    You guys are working hard in the wind. Prairie dogs were talking to figure out which one had a camera so they could take your pictures! Rare for them to see humans on bikes!

  5. Dianne carter Says:

    Wow! Tougher day! But beautiful.

  6. Justin Says:

    I think the Prairie Dogs were just alerting each other because they were so excited to see you after following your ride on facebook!

  7. MaryEllen Says:

    I think that cow was “trumping” — see facebook for “trump your cat” — it’s the hair for sure! ha ha

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