Monday, August 24, 2009

Cheyenne to Great Falls

It is now Thursday, August 13. Yesterday it was in the 90s. Last night and this morning it was much cooler. I put on my heavy coat for this ride and before the day was out I was fully suited up for wet and cold weather. The dry Texas summer was far behind me and it felt real good to plunge heedlessly without a care into the infinite asphalt and steel ribbon before me, the road north to Great Falls, Montana. That is 682 miles.

I-25 was just outside my door so it was a fast getaway out of Cheyenne. The bike screamed at the distance and it melted in submission to the dauntless intrepidity of this bike and rider. I was the can-do kid this morning, ready for whatever this day had to offer up. It was bright and sunny all the way north through Wyoming. I shed the coat about 10 a.m. Not far after I took this picture I was passing through Hardin, Montana. The Battle of Little Big Horn, also known as, Custer's Last Stand, took place near here. You can see the grave markers from the highway. I stopped at a nearby rest area and when I came out of the rest room an Indian man of an age with me had laid out his display of Indian jewelry on the grass. I picked out a nice necklace. He was Navajo and we talked for a minute about his work and about my travels. He was a real nice man and I liked him. I thought his work pretty nice. I picked this up for fifteen dollars. When I got home Kristi was quite taken with it. She is very parsimonious about handing me compliments, but I got one for my good taste for this selection.

Here I am at the border.

Click on this to view larger image and note the stickers people have climbed up here to apply. You can see this sign has been shot up a little with a rifle and a shotgun. A couple of the rounds seemed to have come in from a great angle indicating the shooter was probably way off to the east somewhere.

When I got to Billings I left the interstate to take a hundred mile shorter route to Great Falls through Lewiston. After Lewiston there was a construction zone, the worst one of the trip. There was a lot of deep very loose gravel and an occasional fist sized or larger rock. Not fun at all to ride through. It was about this time that it clouded over and I ran smack into a cold front. So, it's in the upper 40s, it's raining, the wind is blowing, the road is slick and muddy, and, on top of all that, it is like rush hour traffic in Dallas on this two lane road. Am I having fun yet? But, you know, if you want fine highways you have to take the occasional construction zone. We are blessed to have these paths. Like any other path, I intend to see where it leads.

This picture's subject is the green fields. That yellowish field on the right is winter wheat, still not ready for harvest, though by and large most of the wheat fields I saw had been harvested.

I just wanted to get this picture of the clouds rolling in. That is a pretty big mountain in the distance, it's peaks shrouded in the cloud layer. It is really a lot darker than it seems from this rendition. It was serious gloaming out that afternoon.

This is the view west where I stopped to put on my cold/wet weather gear. It started raining almost immediately and continued till, well, for the next few days, off and on. I got my left hand in the frame here. That is not a pink cloud bank, or at least that is not how I recall it.

The photo does not do this justice. Click to enlarge. That inner rainbow actually went across the whole sky, horizon to horizon.

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