Friday, July 19, 2013

Day 19 Daunted Courage, July 18, 2013

Route:  Lewistown to Denton

Tough day of cycling.  The weather was good – 80s and sunny – but we struggled into a strong headwind for much of the 7-hour ride.  Cyclists know that a persistent headwind changes the downhills into flats, the flats into uphills, and the uphills into brutally slow slogs.  We took more breaks than usual and used the brief downtime to capture photos of animals and the dramatic landscape.  We documented a few roadkill (2 deer and a snake), but more disturbing were the number of white crosses we saw along State Route 81.  Full of long ascents, descents and curves, the road is obviously treacherous for people driving too fast.  As we rolled into the town of Denton at 6:15 p.m., we saw a memorial to four high school students who died in an accident five years ago.  Sho, Saya and I had noticed the four crosses and names when we passed them earlier on the road.  In case you are worried about us, Sho, Saya and I are hyper vigilant about safety.  We ride slowly on the shoulder, and when there isn’t one, we pull off the road and wait in the grass to let vehicles pass if it seems like the prudent thing to do.

We also came across the Deerfield Cemetery, a small fenced-in rectangular plot beside the road for a local Hutterite colony, and spent a few minutes studying the graves.  Saya is particularly fascinated with cemeteries and always asks to stop when we see one.  The tombstones dated back into the 1800’s, and we speculated what a challenging life these people must have had back then, surviving in this rugged environment.

Sho, Saya and I ate dinner in Denton, a pleasant small town with very friendly people.  I stopped in the bar to ask about accommodations and ended up chatting with the bartender and patrons for 20 minutes, while Sho and Saya played with some kids in a playground next door.  I think I’ve mentioned before that one the best part of a cycling trip like this is meeting cool people.

Here are some pics:  
Eating lunch with Saya 

Sho, the bikes, and cows 

Cemetery for a local Hutterite Colony

Died at 45.  I'm 45.  That's why I do these trips...

New friends at Buddy's Bar in Denton, MT.
L to R: McKenzie, Ashley, Diane, Patty and Tom

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