We’d seen all sorts of warnings on the news and in online weather reports about a big storm system coming up into our area, so we decided to get on the road early and scoot out of its path. We had a couple of coffees from the motel, wolfed down some bars, and were rolling by 8. The weather was cool but clear, but as soon as we went a few miles north and turned east along the bottom of Glacier National Park, we could see mist roiling out from around the peaks we were heading into.
Soon it was grey/white and 55 degrees. We were a bit underclothed, but didn’t want to stop to beef up. We kept thinking the sun would burn through but it didn’t, until finally after about 40 minutes we broke down and changed – and 5 minutes later we burst out into sunshine.
We had thought about stopping in Glacier for some canoeing, but the chill in our bones and the worry about the rain spurred us on. We rocketed down and across the plains, feeling glad for the warmth and the coming easy riding, but sad for the loss of the mountains, which we’d not be seeing again.
Glacier had been slow going, but we still hit 140 miles by noon, riding along US 2, and were now making steady progress on straight roads. Around 4 we hit the camping area, near Nelson Reservoir outside Havre, but it was hot, dry, and shadeless, and as we had in Dinosaur when leaving Colorado, we couldn’t see any way of remaining there until it cooled down. So we hopped back on the bikes and rode 80 miles to the next place where there was anything, Malta. Here there were a couple of urban campgrounds and a cheap motel; being dead from the long, hot ride, we opted for the latter.
I spent some time after we got the room going over the bikes. They were holding up surprisingly well despite over 4,000 miles under tough conditions. I had to adjust my clutch cable and that was it. I’d also been lubing the chains every other day or so, but aside from that there had been zero maintenance required. Wood knocked on, hopefully they’d make it the remaining 2,000 or so to home.