93 in the shade 

Day 20 & 21. July 3 & 4 .

Sorry about the lack of photos! It was too hot! 

It was another early morning and it actually started off fairly cool temperature wise. If only it had stayed that way! We had 72 miles to get to our next destination which was Glasgow. We pretty much left all the trees behind in Havre and the landscape opened back up to more prairie and ranch lands (by the way, I am using a computer to type this and am finding that I have forgotten how to use a real keyboard… that’s my disclaimer for typos!). The prairie lands are pretty, but they also come with wind, zero shade and no places to go to the bathroom. This day, it was the lack of shade and the wind that got us.

The first 8 miles or so weren’t bad and riding the morning there usually isn’t a strong wind yet. We ran into two guys who were biking from Bar Harbor, Maine to the Oregon coast. They were fellow Michiganders from Davison and Auburn Hills, named Tom and Jerry (they called themselves the Tom and Jerry show. Hilarious). They were nice and wished us well. After that chat, it started to get hotter and the wind picked up. We are getting pretty darn sick of the wind here! One of several reasons we chose to go West to East across the US was because of the West-East prevailing winds. We had heard that going this direction you can get awesome tailwinds that can seriously help you put in miles. That’s what we were hoping for, but so far we only had one afternoon with a tailwind and it is really getting on our nerves.

We made it 28 miles to our first stop though, which was Saco. Apparently, that area is known to have really bad mosquitoes and whoever told us that was not lying. I was getting bit left and right and mosquitoes don’t usually like me. I was even getting bit through my shorts and my gloves (now I look like an idiot scratching at my butt. It’s awesome). Once we actually got to Saco the mosquitoes weren’t bad, but we figured they probably spray for them there. Anyway, there was a decent sized grocery store there that we checked out, but they didn’t have anything we couldn’t live without. We snacked on Clif bars and an apple with peanut butter, then filled up our water bottles and got back on the road.

The wind was annoying before Saco, but after that it was downright torture. It was so frustrating to be working so hard and only go 6 or 7 mph. We were both cursing at the wind out loud. Luckily, in this area you can scream at the top of your lungs and no one will hear you (lucky and unlucky if something bad happened, I guess). Anyway, the going was slow, but we made it to another small town called Hinsdale. By this time it was 87 degrees with the temp still rising. We pulled into a gas station/store and went in to cool off. The air conditioning was heaven and we thought about just making PB&J tortillas in the store. The lady at the counter suggested that we check out an ice cream place though and I was instantly sold. We asked her how to get there and she said “Turn left on the only paved road you come to.” We found that to be pretty funny and very fitting. We turned left at the paved road and noticed a firetruck at the end of the road with several guys spraying water from the fire hose. As we got closer, we realized they were using the hose to clean the streets. Apparently, Hinsdale has a parade and barbecue that people from the surrounding towns attend, so they wanted to make sure their streets were in tip top shape!

The ice cream place is called Sweet Memories and is owned by a very sweet couple. The husband came out to greet us and told us where to put our bikes. We ordered a southwest style chicken salad wrap (the only sandwich they had) and it was outrageously delicious. After that we decided we needed a sundae and hoped that it would cool us down and give us a boost (mental and physical) to get through the next 28 miles. The sundae hit the spot and they filled our water for us. They also warned us that there were no towns between there and Glasgow, but that there was rest area about halfway. We were so thankful for that information, though the rest area would have been hard to miss. It was nice knowing that we had some refuge to look forward to. We left Sweet Memories around 2 and headed back out into the hottest part of the day.

After about 7 miles of struggling and sweating and more cursing at the wind, I had about had enough. We were working our way up a hill and Ethan had pulled ahead of me by about a half mile. I was getting super frustrated and was just exhausted by the wind. I stopped and looked up the hill and knew I wouldn’t make it up there without crying. I made it about halfway, then the tears started. I can’t say I was crying for any particular reason other than I was just tired and frustrated. As always, I knew that we would get to where we needed to go eventually, but all the frustrations seem to just pile on and eventually I have to cry it out. I got to the top of the hill and was sobbing. Ethan is always super understanding and asked me what was going on. He assured me that we were gonna make it and that we’d go slow, but we didn’t really have any other options at the moment. I knew that and it was also so hot that I really didn’t think sitting there crying like a baby in the hot sun was going to help at all. I just had to suck it up and get back on the bike.

Eventually we made it to Glasgow and after a snack break at the rest area the riding was pretty easy. I did have to walk up one hill and while I was walking I hit the back of my legal on my pedal again. This caused my scab from my earlier run in with my pedal to break open and cause blood to run down my leg and into my sock. I got out a piece of toilet paper and cleaned it up and it stopped bleeding pretty fast, which was good because I was so sweaty that a band aid would not have stayed on. We got into Glasgow at about 6:30. We were staying with a Coach Surfing host, who owns an art gallery in the downtown area. She had told us that we could go there and then she would drive us to her house, which was 6 miles outside of town. Sounded good to me! She also emailed Ethan that she would have spaghetti there for us too! Yes! Food!

We pulled up to the gallery and the lady who owns the coffee place next door greeted us. She went in the gallery to tell our host, Mary, that we were there. As we were getting our stuff around outside, the coffee shop owner’s daughter, came to talk to us. Her name is Abby and she is 8 year old. She asked us more questions about our trip than anyone has and was very inquisitive. It was adorable and hilarious and even though we were starving and hot, we didn’t mind at all. Eventually, her mom came out to get her and we went inside where we were treated to beautiful, local art, spaghetti and snacks. It was glorious. After Mary was done at the gallery we loaded up in her truck and she drove us to their house. There, we showered, ate more spaghetti and chatted with her and her husband John. They offered to let us stay through the next day if we needed a day off and, after some deliberating, we decided that was probably a good idea.

So that’s where we are now. We had a great night’s sleep and actually slept in, which was amazing. They made us pancakes and sausage this morning and invited us to the Hinsdale parade. We thought it would be fun, but the temp is supposed to get to 95 today. We thought it best to stay in the air conditioning and give our bodies a break from the heat. Ethan got caught up on mapping our route and I got caught up on the blog. Hooray! Mary ended up taking us to Fort Peck Lake with her daughter Anna and grandson Liam. We also visited the interpretative center to learn about the dam. It was a lovely day and we’re really glad we took the day off. Mary and John and amazing hosts and we only wish we could stay longer! 

Happy Independence Day, y’all!! Hope everyone had a safe and relaxing holiday!

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