Day 13 Route: Brockway to Jordan, Montana
Last night, rain and strong gusts of wind moved in around 1:45 a.m. I know, because I got up to put a few more stakes into the ground to keep our tent’s rain cover from flapping so violently. The noise woke up Sho, but Saya slept through the commotion. The sky was clear by the time the sun rose, though, and we had reasonably good cycling weather today: partly cloudy and in the 80’s.
The locals we met in Brockway last night shook their heads when we told them that we planned to cycle to Jordan today. “That’s 55 miles full of long climbs and no break from the sun,” one guy told us. “Flowing Wells Rest Stop about 23 miles out has a water fountain. Otherwise, there’s nothing. I hope you’re carrying a lot of water…” We started this morning with an advantage though. Bev Breitbach and Gus Kamp, the owners of the bar in Brockway, left a care package for us in their outdoor refrigerator: bottles of Gatorade, chicken, bread and snacks, all of which we had consumed by the end of today's ride. If you’re ever in Brockway, Montana, make sure to stop by the bar there and tell Bev and Gus that they are good people who made a difference to a cycling dad and his two kids.
We were on the road for over 9 hours today, taking brief rest breaks to snap photos for the roadkill project and to catch our breath at the top of long climbs. It grew hotter as they day wore on, and at one brief stop, my kickstand sunk into the melting pavement. We continued to enjoy the kindness of strangers. When we were about 15 miles outside Jordan, a mom and her 10-year-old daughter who passed us in a minivan stopped to give us four cold bottles of water – as perfect a gift as we could have wished for. Today’s ride was a challenge, and I felt a sense of accomplishment when we reached Jordan at 6 p.m. I’m not embarrassed to brag about my kids. Sho and Saya rose to the occasion and handled the prolonged discomfort with great attitudes. At times, I felt overwhelmed by the physical effort, but Saya pulled me along by singing songs from the movie “Spirit” and making up silly stories. And Sho knocked out 55 hot, hilly miles like it was no big deal. Each time I asked if everything was okay, he smiled and said, “Doing great.”
Saya’s quote of the day came when we were crawling up a long, steep climb. I was struggling to keep the heavily laden bikes moving forward at about 3 miles per hour and breathing hard, when Saya said, “Daddy, we’re riding so slow up this hill, a butterfly just zoomed past us.” Good for the butterfly.
Here are some pics:
Saya with her new friend, Corbin, in Brockway. I met Corbin's dad Donny, and he told us that the horse in yesterday's blog that Saya liked so much belonged to them!
The peaceful morning sky
At Flowing Wells Rest Stop, where we ate lunch. Sho and Saya took a "break" by playing soccer. I laid on a bench wondering if my body would make it the rest of the way...
Our bikes, ready for action.
Kickstand digging into the road's melting pavement.
Our gift in Jordan, MT: a double rainbow. The full semicircle was visible, but too big for me to capture in one shot.