There has been such a drastic change in the landscape since entering into the Rockies at Glacier National Park. Before then a lot of the towns were pretty similar- small, off of Route 2 with really friendly people. One had a pretty cool dinosaur museum, one night I slept under the stars and could see the Milky Way but almost al of the riding was flat, through the plains with no trees, some plaques about the history of the Blackfoot Native Americans in the regions and not much else.
We left Cut Bank, MT a few days ago and were finally able to see the wall of mountains in front of us on our ride into Glacier, starting off with pretty brutal headwinds that made us happy to begin climbing. And once we did start going up it was crazy beautiful! \
We saw trees and mountains for the first time in weeks. That night we camped in Glacier during a pretty narly storm but it was awesome, I was able to fit in a fast hike to a waterfall during the day and the day after we climbed the Continental Divide, up road to the sun! I had some bike trouble, my derailer broke mid climb so I unfortunately wasn’t able to make it all the way up so I was a little bummed out but I got over it and still had a fun adventure on the bus ride town.
We stayed in Whitefish, and awesome place with a really nice downtown for two days after because we had a build day there (our last one!) And we road to Eureka and now Whitefish since then. Our rides the past few days have been some of the most beautiful the entire trip, it’s been incredible, going through the Kootenai National Forest, stopping for lunch near incredible lakes, it’s been awesome. And tomorrow we leave Montana and are headed to Sandpoint!
Powers Lake was a really small town, around 200 people, but a lot of the community came out for dinner in the park and a bike clinic so that was really nice, and we just played games in the park until going to bed so it was a great night. But it was pretty crazy that it was the only town we came across all day, we had lunch in front of a gas station which was closed and that was the only store or even building that I saw until Powers Lake. The day after we rode into Montana, re-routed from Route 2 and ended up at Brush Lake camp ground which was a lot of fun even though there were no trees to be found. We haven’t had the chance to camp since New York so we hung out in the lake and played assassins. Yesterday we had a really pretty ride into Culbertson, with an awesome decent the last two miles and today we are in Wolf Point.
After about 250 miles of flat and windy riding along Route 2 in North Dakota, from Crookston to Devils Lake to Rugby (where we had prom!), to Minot, which we rode into during a storm and then stopped for a build day to help with flood damage from last year, we finally went on a different road (!) into hillier land to end up in Powers Lake, for our last day in North Dakota! It’s been quite an experience.
Right now we’re in Crookston, MN on another day off! We’ve been mostly on the same road, Route 2, since Duluth, so that can be a little monotonous but we’ve made it almost across Minnesota and we enter North Dakota tomorrow.
The build day in Duluth was great, the staff from the Habitat we worked with were really friendly and we had a pretty interesting project that was definitely different from what we’ve done so far- they were moving a house to a new location and we were working on the foundation which had a lot of setbacks from the flooding from about a month ago, so we climbed down and had a fire line going carrying buckets of stone up ladders and pouring them over the side, then there was a huge mound of dirt that we spread out along the bottom, so it was great to feel like we got a lot accomplished.
After Duluth we’ve headed West (and passed our halfway mileage point!) to Grand Rapids, then to Bemidji which is home to the northernmost lake that feeds into the Mississippi and apparently the secondmost visited roadside attraction in the country, a big statue of a blue cow and a farmer and now Crookston, staying at a wonderful, really friendly church. And the local paper wrote an article about us if you want to check it out-
We’re in Duluth, MN right now, right on Lake Superior and according to Gordy who I’m sitting next to this is the last real city we’re going to be in until Vancouver and I think he’s right which is a little crazy to think about. We have a build day here tomorrow which is a nice break, we’ve had a lot of ride days in a row, but they’ve been pretty great.
After Soldier’s Grove we went to Onalaska, which was another beautiful ride, which ended in a town that was a little more suburban. Then we rode along the Mississippi River, to Pepin, WI passing a lot of really small touristy towns along the way. Pepin was really small too, its claim to fame is that it’s the birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder so there’s a little museum and a beach and a few little ice cream shops and that’s about it. The next day was pretty epic, there was a thunderstorm in the morning so we had to wait an hour before leaving then we ended up going over hills like we haven’t been on since VT. But it was really fun and after lunch we crossed over into Minnesota and it got a lot flatter and we ended up in the Twin Cities! We stayed in St. Paul. Then rode to the small town of Finlayson and now Duluth!