Route: Townsend to Three Forks, MT
The rain tapered off quickly last night and treated us to a rainbow, as we set up our tent in the Indian Road Campground on the outskirts of Townsend (see pic below). The temperature dropped at least 30 degrees overnight, and we snuggled close in our sleeping bags to keep warm. I was awakened perhaps a half dozen times throughout the night by the sound of train horns. As we cycled into town yesterday, riding parallel to the train tracks, we enjoyed the few trains that passed us. Sho and Saya made a game of counting the number of railcars, with a high score of 94, and waved to the conductor to honk for us. But their horns were much less quaint at 1 a.m., 2 a.m., 3 a.m., etc. There must be a railway crossing in Townsend, requiring them to sound their horns regardless of how many people may be trying to sleep nearby.
Before leaving Townsend, we were approached by three separate people who had read about our trip in the Great Falls Tribune earlier in the week and wished us luck. It was nice to receive such friendly attention. We continued cycling on the same “pretty suckish” highway today, covering 35 miles to the town of Three Forks and eating lunch in the shade of a towering stack of haybales.
Near the end of today’s ride, I heard a flapping sound coming from my rear tire and discovered that part of the tread had worn off. On closer inspection, I found three spots where the tread was starting to come loose. We’ve cycled over some gravel roads, and the highway shoulder is often full of debris. The amount of weight on my rear tire must have caused it to wear down so quickly – that tire was brand new a month ago. Happily, I had prepared for this scenario, bringing along a spare tire. We’ll see how long that one will last…
Three Forks is near the headwaters of the Missouri River and not far from where Sacagawea was taken captive as a girl. References to the Lewis and Clark Expedition abound: a regal statue of Sacagawea sits in the center of town across from the Sacagawea Hotel and down the street from the Lewis & Clark Motel. The Broken Spur Motel has a painting in its lobby of William Clark’s slave York dancing with a group of Native Americans. I read out loud from Lewis & Clark’s journals as my children fell asleep tonight and could not have been in a more appropriate setting.
Here are some pics:
Tent and rainbow
Our campsite last night
Sho riding ahead as usual
Our lunch spot
View from the road
The end of my rear tire
Replacing the tire
Sho and Saya in Three Forks