Leaving Bismarck via bike path early the next morning was super cold to the point I was riding with one hand on bars and the other stuffed inside my jacket, switching as the exposed hand began to turn white. We all ended up buying some cheap gloves at the first gas station of the day. Gloves in the middle of August! Whats more ridiculous is that a few hours later we would be lathering in suncream again.
We didn’t have a solid destination for the evening so after a map session later in the day Flavia remembered an eastbounder had told her of an Abbey in Richardton that allows cyclists to stay. She called up and squared the deal, perfect! On route we scored some free country music CD’s despite the fact neither of us have drives to play them. I then struck up a round of “The Elevation Game” in which my co-riders must guess the current elevation given by the Garmin, closest wins. What a wild bunch we are! The abbey turned out to be a great nights free camping, no showers again however but we all smell as bad as each other so its no issue.
Father Otto had greeted us the previous evening at the Abbey and came over in the morning to say goodbye and wish us safe travels. We rolled out early again for a quick gas station breakfast in which we were offered jobs on a local farm, maybe see how Australia goes first. The ride to Medora produced an epic scenery change from the flat grassy plains. We pulled off road to see the painted canyon and then continued into the North Dakota badlands on the southern unit of the Teddy Roosevelt national park. Medora is and awesome little tourist town, we shared onion rings and a beer to celebrate the great ride then headed to the campground on the edge of town for a long overdue shower (I think it had been 4 days) and laundry.
We made the easy desicion to head into Medora town for a cafe breakfast. The guy/owner working the kitchen didn’t seem too impressed with us using his power outlets to charge phones. The nice waitress tried to redeem with happy smiles and we informed her we planned on ordering enough food to justify some free power juice.
The day was clear and hot, we rolled out along an old railway track as the scenery gradually turned back into an empty landscape. We had to rejoin the freeway for the last stretch into the elegantly named Glendive which took us into another new state, Montana. After finding a suitable watering hole for a quick post-ride bottle of blue moon we
navigated flavigated our way to the RV campground listed on our maps. The place was pretty run down with no obvious spot for tents except a patch of scruffy grass in the corner by the railway track. The site had no water spigot nevermind shower or toilet facilities. Flavski managed to call the owner to check what the deal was, she told us we could stay for free if we really wanted to so stay we did! If we had been travelling alone this would have made for a desperately poor spot to stay for the night, but as the bugs started biting and the busy train line kept honking we all looked at each other and burst into laughter. Its amazing what you can make of a bad situation in good company.
Nobody wanted to hang around at the campsite any longer than we needed the next morning so coffee in town was the days first agenda. Actually for Flavia it was a restroom, she bemoans the fact me an Eal can just roll over to a tree to take a leak. I found her some good spots for privacy but she refused thus spending the whole night and following morning desperate for the loo!
The riding post Glendive took us onto an Indian reservation. The eastern Montana reservations have a bad reputation for gambling, alcoholism and obesity. When we eventually arrived at Wolf Point it was clear why. Just people watching by the gas station things seemed quite sad and depressing. Camping in the city park was on the cards and we had been told to lock our bikes up for sure. It turned out to be a pleasant evening, no shower but plenty of good eats as Flavvy once again shared her pantry to combine with our meals making some nice combos, she is super generous.