July 31, Day 29 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014
After biking for six days in a row and logging over 350 miles, we chose to take a rest day before entering Wyoming. We found a cute set of cabins on the outskirts of Columbus, Montana, Tuesday night and booked two nights.
Trying to rest on a rest day can be a challenge. We had to walk over a mile each way to get a good breakfast. Then, we worked to catch up on blogging, laundry, fundraising, bicycle maintenance, and yes…rest! Tim even fit in a much needed haircut.
We left Columbus around 8:45 this morning, our earliest departure yet. We would have left even earlier had we not bumped into a man checking out our bikes. He claimed to own thousands of bicycles in a variety of places. We didn’t get the whole story straight as we were more anxious to hit the road. At the same time, he wanted to talk about his wide variety of vintage bicycles, so we indulged him for a time.
It was smooth sailing from Columbus to Joliet, Montana. A series of rolling hills kept us busy pedaling the 23 miles. The views from this road continued the incredible string of natural scenery that we’ve come to appreciate from Montana.
Thereafter, another gravel road, this one from Joliet to Fromberg, was inescapable unless we wanted to add ten more paved miles. This gravel “short cut” was probably no time saver because we had to walk our bikes in certain places where the gravel was too loose to support them. I felt my tires skidding and slipping deeper into the gravel on several occasions. The bicycle was difficult to balance with its heavy load. I felt like I was cycling on marbles. A few days ago, I fell off my bike on a gravel road. I did not want a repeat performance!
Once we escaped the gravel road in Fromberg, we had an easy and enjoyable ride all the way to Lovell, Wyoming, 85 miles on a hot, dry day with afternoon temperatures pushing into the 90s. We entered our fourth state in a town called Frannie, Wyoming. Tim and I were comforted just looking at the town sign. Frannie is his mom’s name. Four years ago, she was commenting on our blog regularly. Two years ago, when we traveled on our mom-to-mom tour, she had already passed away in January. This year, she is thought of often, and still very much missed. Sometimes as I ride along on my bike, I picture her in the fond memories we shared. I had less than three years with her, but she made an indelible impression on my heart.