April 19, Choteau, Montana

Hello everyone!
It has been a wild 3 day ride since Bozeman. I am exhausted and need to hit the hay. But here is a quick summary.
After a breakfast of pancakes, I said goodbye to my aunt Evelyn and Uncle Loren in Bozeman, and headed out for Townsend, MT.
IMG_0119 (2)
This was perhaps the prettiest and easiest day of the ride so far, owing to the absense of hills and headwinds.

On the way to Townsend

I arrived at a campground just west of Townsend and set up camp. The camp was very quiet and, I was practically the only person staying there. When I awoke the next morning, all of my water bottles had frozen! No problem–I have a stove that heats icy water just as well as room temperature. By the way, I don’t know what I would do without my Ozo coffee every morning!
Ozo's coffee

Ozo’s coffee

I got a later start than I would have liked that day. It seems like, no matter what I do, it takes 2.5 hours to get moving after the alarm goes off. My next stop was Wolf Creek. I had earlier called the only obvious business in town according to Google Maps–the Exon Station–to ask about camping possibilities. The people were very friendly and helpful and directed me to a campground that was just out of town.
It turns out that “just out of town” meant 3 miles, in the wrong direction, but I went there anyway. What a gorgeous place! Right on a river that was loaded with fish.
Wolf Creek

Wolf Creek



It got even colder that night and I had a hard time pulling myself from the “zero bag” to start the day. Earlier, I had learned that my next stop, Choteau, MT was 70 miles away, with 3000 feet of climbing. 2300 of the 3000 was in the first half of the ride, and I completed it easily, with the help of a slight tail wind. That left only 700 feet more of climbing. But what climbs! I slowed down to 2.3 mph at one point.

On the way to Choteau

I really do think that this is the limit of what I can do. Unless I dump a lot of my gear, I could not sustain this type of terain for more than a day or two. I have a couple of months to decide, but I am pretty certain that I could not ride the “Haul Road” in Alaska–the last 300 miles to Deadhorse–with this much gear. I am going to have to figure something out!
I arrived in Choteau, exhausted. I stopped by the local supermarket to load up on some supplies. I man and his wife drove up to me in a truck and asked me where I had come from. I told them I left from Boulder on April 1st. The woman in the car said that she had grown up in Boulder. What a coincidence! Then, I looked at the sign on the side of the truck. It said, “Alpine Touch.” This was a spice that I grew up using every day! I told the man such and he supplied me with a bottle for this trip. Yum!
Tomorrow I ride to Browning, MT where I will give 3 lectures on JWST.

8 Responses to “April 19, Choteau, Montana

  • David Stischer
    7 years ago

    Wow all this in three weeks. Beautiful scenery. I love the big blue sky. Glad you are so well-prepared for your trip. Seems like you are able to take on anything you encounter. Keep up the good work and enjoy the ride.

    • Hi Dave, I sure appreciate all the positive and uplifting comments. How are you doing? Send me an Email sometime!

  • Our former neighbor grew up in Choteau, MT. Love the photos! Boy, I bet you’re glad you have that zero sleeping bag. Frozen water bottles! Brrr! God bless and keep you, Scott:)

  • Scott
    I am enjoying your blogs. What a trooper you are. We miss you here in Longmont.
    Tom Hovestol

  • Scott: I look forward to reading your updates when I wake up in the morning. It’s wonderful to be taking this trip vicariously through your hard work! You’ve inspired me to ride into work this morning from Longmont. You’re making great progress, and I hope it continues.

    • Thanks, Greg! I hope you had a good ride today. It’s 70° and sunny in Browning Montana. I talked with a bunch of astronomy students at the high school today. Very impressive crowd.

  • Well just listened to Scotts presentation in Browning, MT. Excellent wishing you the best on your continued journey.

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