Day 23. July 6.
We didn’t wake up until 7 and it felt really nice to sleep in. We were out the door by 8:10 and this was the day we said goodbye to highway 2! We’d been following 2 since right after the Rockies and were happy to be leaving it behind. We headed south out of Wolf Point for the town of Circle, which was 50 miles away.
We finally had the wind at our backs today, but had to deal with our other enemy instead – the hills. Today was much like our day from Libby to Eureka and we were constantly going up then back down and up. Luckily, the high was only like 75 or 80 today and it was kind of cloudy. Also, the landscape kind of changed and the haze from the forest fires lessened the farther south we went, which meant we could actually see Montana’s big sky. Anyway, whoever says eastern Montana is flat is a liar and has never actually been to eastern Montana.
I was dead tired after the first 14 miles and couldn’t wait to do the next 36. We took it slow though and decided to stop in a town called Vida. I’m actually not sure why it’s even considered a town because there was pretty much just a post office there. Oh, there was a bar. It was only open like 4 days a week and the hours were written on the door with sharpie. Anyway, lunch was more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We actually had bread this time which was nice, but it’s still pb&j. We ate in front of the post office, which we thought was closed. Turns out it was open and they had a big water jug that they let us fill our bottles with. No bathroom though. After we had refueled, it was back to the hills.
Eventually, we made it to the small town of Circle, where the cows outnumber the people 20-1 (actually that figure includes the entire county – the entire county folks!). We headed straight for the park at which Ethan assured me we could camp. As soon as we pulled in though, there was a big sign that said “no overnight camping.” I was annoyed and did not know what we were going to do. As we went through town we had noticed a city clerks office and figured they would be able to tell us what to do. We milled around outside for a few minutes because neither of us really wanted to go in their looking all pathetic and needing a place to stay. Eventually we worked up the guts and the lady working ended up being super nice. She told is to ignore the sign and that it was fine. Phew!! I was glad that was her answer.
As we got back on our bikes, Ethan proceeded to tell me that he knew all along that we might need to get permission from someone to camp there. I guess he had read on someone’s blog about the sign and that they asked someone about it. That turd! I could have smacked him. Before we headed back to the park we went to the grocery for some snacks bs Gatorade. Every Albertson’s is running a 10 for $10 special on them and we have a hard time passing them up. We also got a bag of chips. Not the healthiest, but who’s counting?
When we got back to the park, we noticed there was a pool and some people were there. We thought it would be nice to at least use the pool as a shower so we asked them if we could swim. At first they told us yes, but that they had to wait for another lifeguard. We sat by the pool and finished our bag of chips while we waited. When the other lifeguard finally got there, they told us it would be $4 each. After some serious deliberation we decided it wasn’t worth it, but asked if we could use the showers. They said yes and it was free!
I showered while Ethan set up camp. We spent the evening in the hammock catching up on all things Facebook and Instagram. Dinner was chunky chicken noodle soup and it was actually kind of cold outside so the soup worked out great. We went to bed knowing we only had another 50 mile day head of us. Sometime in the night we weathered another crazy wind storm. It was insane. I could hear tree branches snapping and leaves blowing everywhere. We weren’t under any trees which I was happy about, but I was scared that the tent was going to blow away or something. Again, there was no bad weather, just crazy wind. We survived and the only thing lost was about an hour of sleep.