I failed to take a picture of the ride to Glasgow (glasscow). The shoulder was erratic all day with really bad truck traffic. At one point on a downhill a gust blew me so hard I went into the gravel which sloped off the side. I managed to stay on the bike but I immediatley stopped to make sure Eal and Flavia had safely passed through the sketchy section.
We arrived in decent enough time to hit the library for a while then dine out for a change. Not a bad joint either, I had a pasta dish that was long overdue complemented by a drop of vino before we hit the tents.
Riding to Malta we managed to dodge nasty looking rain clouds throughout the morning and had a second breakfast at a rest area. The afternoon winds blasted us from the front. Eal burrowed his head and trucked on impressively, I could see Flavvy was less than amused by the conditions so we employed some drafting tactics to ensure the group arrived in once piece, I didn’t want a repeat of the Tappen/Steele day. Besides bad jokes aside, I enjoy her company whilst riding and we eventually made it to Malta with a free camp in the city park. We cooked up dinner together and shared a few beers that Flavvy bought as a thanks for the afternoon support.
The winds were kinder the next day as we targeted Chinook, kind enough for us to regroup and think we could shoot farther to Havre. The cycling gods or maybe just the ‘East Glacier Front’ as one local put it, turned on us. In the blink of an eye the tailwinds turned to strong gusty headwinds. A repeat of yesterday afternoons headwinds, Eal trucked on whilst I drafted with Flavarillo. We stayed focussed thinking up puns with the town name Havre (pronounced Have-er), eventually making it to find Eal slumped and beat outside a gas station. It adjoined an RV park and we scored a shower for $5 before heading over to the park in town to camp for free. Whilst cooking up tea in the park some homeless and visibly drunk people came up to us. They were non threatening, offering us good wishes and prayers. It was a difficult situation to handle, extremely sad and unsettling. Flavia is and incredibly compassionate person and she comforted one of the women who was terribly upset by her predicament. She probably wont like me saying it was touching, but she is a very gentle caring person and I am thankful to have her in our company.
The next morning we had a slow start. Over breakfast we watched the flags outside waving violently in the wrong direction. We made the desicion to do some laundry and see how the wind conditions develop. Laundry done we hit the grocery store. If anything the headwinds had worsened. So badly infact that my fully loaded bike lent against a wall was blown over! Its then we decided to ‘Havre’ rest day rather than battle through winds all day and make little progress.
As we were leaving the store to find somewhere to bunker down a guy at the service desk called us over. It turned out to be Bob and he lived in town, he immediately offered us a place to stay in his basement. His boss drove us up to his place in her pickup with the bikes in the back, Bob was working till 10pm and we had the whole afternoon to fill. Fill it we did with awesome pizza making followed by brownies! Hands down best pizza of the trip. We ended the day with wine whilst me and Flavsome enjoyed a few episodes of Arrested Development, too funny!
We hadn’t seen Bob that evening when he got in but he was up for breakfast that Flavia had rustled up, eggs in a nest. It was fun talking with Bob about his previous tales of putting up random strangers, in some case cyclists at his place over the years, great guy.
About 20 miles into the ride we stopped at a lonely looking cafe/bar for second breakfast. There were a bunch of home nation football shirts hanging around, turned out the owner was from London. At the moment I can see towns 10-20 miles off in the distance before reaching them, it helps keep focus and I think makes me ride faster. Also spotted the rockies on the horizon for the first time, covering ground now.
Continuing from the previous Havre jokes, the days destination Galata was just as pun worthy. Me and Flavvy spent the last 10 or so miles exchanging terrible puns like…”We’re guna have Galata fun tonight!”. Possibly one of those, you had to be there jokes, I thought it was funny and I was there, in Galata! Camping behind an unmanned motel with the back door left open for shower access. Strange joint but it worked for a cheap nights kip.