Day 20 - Hardin to Tongue River Canyon - C2C - from Westport, Washington to Sandy Hook, New Jersey - CycleBlaze

June 22, 2016

Day 20 - Hardin to Tongue River Canyon

I am getting a little behind on this journal.
It has been hard to keep up on the road because of the time it takes each day.
Plus with crazy weather and the availability of connections, it ain'y always.
But maybe it's a good thing, since I am taking a few days off in Buffalo with the kitties.

So here's the deal, I was not happy getting up.
There was a 30 mph NNW wind the evening before - with gusts up to 60 mph.
I probably should have taken a hour and gotten 20 miles down the road on a lark.
But I didn't - party because this is the Crow Reservation - and stealth camping is not advised.

Early Morning Shadow Photo with a Near Full Moon
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So I wake up and pack up what little I had out behind Beverly's house.
I'm gone before sunrise - although a sheriff's car does follow me through town. Bleah.
Where is the wind? Can't I have just a hint of that marvelous tailwind??
Nope. I get a headwind early on - I guess it's return flow.

Custer Had It Coming
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The flags a straight out - even before 7:00 - and it's all uphill.
I stop at the Little Bighorn Battlefield to view the draws where the battle took place.
You know, the Crow were scouts for Custer - so it was a loss for them, too.
But they had warned Custer of the size of enemy forces and skedaddled.
And most of those killed were young Irish or German immigrants straight off the boat.

You Can See the Bighorn Mountains for Miles
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And the Little Bighorn River Is Never Far Away
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Back on the road - and a need for serious attitude adjustment.
It's one thing to deal with a headwind when you expect it.
It's another thing, altogether, when you have been "promised" tailwinds.
The old highway has light traffic and the temperature is much less than yesterday.

Downtown Wyola
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Fortunately, the wind died down, still southeasterly, but light.
The 22 miles of road just north of the Wyoming border are almost completely empty.
But I am ready to get there. The bar in Parkman beckons. (Coca-Cola, thank you.)
Plus, I had agreed to meet my friend, Rayma, at 2:00 - and wasn't gonna make it.

Almost Back to Wyoming
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Moral dilemma for cyclists -
I got to Parkman and called Rayma. She offered to come get me the last few miles.
I accepted. Yes. I did.
And it turned out the last 8 miles were mostly downhill - nice downhill.
Oh, well.

So we head into Tongue River Canyon for a late lunch.
The canyon rivals any national park - with a great trail deep into the rocky landscape.
Granted, my legs were wobbly and my clothes were worse.
But Rayma is very tolerant.

The Amazing Tongue River Canyon and Needle Rock
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With a struggling Miss Stinkums kitty at home - she's 19 years old -
I decided to bag the stretch from Dayton to Buffalo - which includes two interstate stretches, anyway.
So I ended the day in my own bed with a very, very happy kitty.
(Mr. Pootie, on the other hand, gave me the kitty cold shoulder.)

Miss Stinkums Is an Old Girl of 19 - But She Remains the Queen
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Mr. Pootie Is a Handsome Boy
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Today's ride: 62 miles (100 km)
Total: 1,139 miles (1,833 km)

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