DAY 46   JULY 11   70.5 MILES

Cats don't like riding on a matter how much duct tape you use.                                                                                    A little boy

Another milestone was achieved today when we left the Badlands of North Dakota behind and entered Montana.  The vegetable farming has gradually given way to cattle ranching over the last 2 days which may be another sign that we are in the West.  

When we turned in last night, a nearly full moon was shining brightly and the night air was still warm so some of our group did not place the rain cover over their tents.  I included mine but left the door unzipped to allow the heat to escape.  Of course, a thunderstorm developed shortly after midnight and there was a considerable amount of wet clothing and other possessions in the camp this morning.  Several in our group had to go out of their tents to install the covers in the heavy rain.  Fortunately, I was awakened by the rain early on and was able to simply zip the door flap closed before much rain came in.    

The problem would not have presented itself if I had stayed in one of several nearby hotels.  However, in a resort town on a Friday night in July, there was no room available.    

On one of the roads we traveled today for more than 20 miles, I was amazed that only 1 car and 1 truck passed me during the entire time.  The road paralleled the Interstate and most motorists chose the faster alternative.  And speaking of the Interstate, our route required us to utilize it on 2 occasions for a total of about 35 miles.  The authorities must have heard my suggestion regarding the rumble strips because this one was only 2 feet wide, leaving a wide 8 feet for bicycles.  Very nice!    

Tonight we are camping in the Makoshika State Park.  It is the most spectacular camp setting we have experienced on this tour.  Behind us is a giant outcropping of large hills and, on the opposing side of the camp, a full moon is rising from behind distant mountains.  Some of the kids climbed the steep hills behind us but I need to save my energy for tomorrow.  It is scheduled to be a 102 mile day.     

Tip:  Dry your cycling shorts inside out in the sun.  Ultraviolet rays kill bacteria and you will be surprised how quickly they dry.