Day 79 - Custer to Forsyth - Two Far 2021 - Sooo... Far - CycleBlaze

June 26, 2021

Day 79 - Custer to Forsyth

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We've reached our highest elevation for this trip and now we've reached our westernmost point. (Hardin is actually just a bit west of Custer.)  Our route will be more eastward now and we are looking for those prevailing winds from the west cross country cyclists expect!

Today's route was memorable.  We left the Junction City Saloon and Motel and were soon on a very isolated road.  There were more cows on the road than cars.  At first, we saw some cows in a pasture.  Then we had a cool view of some cows on a high hill silhouetted against the sky.

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Next, we started seeing cows along the side of the road.

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Finally, there were cows walking in the road.

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Just past this bovine stroller, the road became very steep.  There were about six cows just chillin' in the middle of the road.  We got off and pushed the bike up the steepest part and the cows finally moved out of the road when we were just a few feet away.  Pushing the bike up an 8% grade is not a good time to stop for photo ops, so I didn't get a picture of those cows.  We counted a total of four vehicles in the first twelve miles, so the cows were definitely in the majority.

We have seen cliff swallows with nests under many overpasses and bridges on this trip.  Today, we saw cliff swallow nests on cliffs!  They were very clear to see, but my camera skills failed to capture them well.  You'll just have to accept my word that the nests are really there.

There are cliff swallow nests here.
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Much of our route followed along the Yellowstone River with some nice views.

Yellowstone River
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Yellowstone River
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A few miles before our first - and only - store along the route, we stopped at a Montana state trailhead and river access point.

I loved that a more honest historian than the one who wrote the state sign above did some accurate editing.
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There were pit toilets at the trailhead.  I stopped an turned around on the way there.  Why?

Can you find what stopped me in this picture? It is very well camouflaged.
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Here it is
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This is a zoomed and cropped picture. We didn't get this close, but from the photo, we later identified it as a gopher snake.
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Bill ShaneyfeltCorrect!

One of the first species of snake I caught as a kid in the '50s.
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1 month ago
Jeanna & Kerry SmithTo Bill ShaneyfeltThanks for letting us that Kerry was right. Did you catch a lot of snakes in your childhood? I just caught lightening bugs :-).
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1 month ago
Bill ShaneyfeltLong story short. Moved from Ft Wayne, IN to Mojave, CA at age 10. Heard about all the things that would bite you and you'd swell up and die, so I read all (3) books in the local library on snakes over and over. Fear dissipated and I started catching them. Became the town "expert" then worked with an Ecologist two summers in high school and went to college and became known as the expert. Yup, lizards and snakes were my thing. At age 75, they kinda still are, but here in Dayton, OH there's not the variety I had access to in the desert.
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1 month ago

I checked carefully in that pit toilet when I went in!

The town with the store was Hysham.  We saw this old theater as we rode through.

90 year old theater
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The convenience store was called the "Friendly Corner" and it was. We enjoyed Julie's hospitality there.
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By the time we reached Hysham, the isolation of the morning had given way to farms, ranches and homes.  

This homestead appears to have been here for some time.
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We were riding through the Yellowstone Valley.

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View at the site of the sign above
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The Yellowstone River just outside Forsyth
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The last two miles into Forsyth, we had some light sprinkles of rain.  We decided to check in to our motel rather than go straight to the Rosebud County Museum we planned to visit.  By the time we checked in and changed clothes, the rain was a bit heavier sprinkle.  We walked the half mile to the museum and about the time we got inside, the sprinkles turned into real rain.  Our timing was perfect.  

There wasn't much in the museum that was new to us, but we got to meet Frank.  Frank told us about his family - both Cheyenne and Irish - and their roles in local history.  He knows his family history back seven generations in Rosebud County and pointed out pictures of many of them as he walked through the museum with us.  He is a man of strong beliefs and dedication to his heritage.  It was a pleasure to talk with him.

Frank - great museum guide.
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Today's ride: 52 miles (84 km)
Total: 3,049 miles (4,907 km)

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Ken GassThanks for being alert to the re-writing of history. Out in the Pacific NW, the beaver were trapped nearly to extinction in the quest for their valuable hides, unlike the purposeful slaughter and disposal of buffalos.
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1 month ago
Jeanna & Kerry SmithAs I said in an earlier post, I was never taught that the eradication of buffalos was purposeful to kill Native Americans by removing a major food source, or at least to force them onto reservations. I would like to think that a more honest account of US history is being taught in public schools now.
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