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Day 56 – Now we’re just being spoilt!

(75 miles)

Fortunately, as we were heading back south-west today, the winds had died down overnight. We started with a stiff 2000 foot climb first thing – but these climbs are getting easy these days. Most of the ride after that followed a river down a wide valley. We had a bit of headwind but nothing like yesterday.

Beautiful views everywhere

 

Montana is beautiful

Our plan was to stay overnight in Dillon which has a population of about 3000 (a large town for the TransAm route). Again we did the usual: food, library, puncture repair (I’d had a nagging slow-puncture for a couple of days which I finally got round to patching).

The hero of the day was Pat, who, while Matt and I were faffing in the library, started calling local churches to see if they’d let us stay for the night. On the second call, he spoke to a woman who said she’d try to get hold of the pastor to check. A short while later she rang back and said why don’t we just stay at her house! Why not indeed!

That evening was an awesome example of the spontaneous kindness of strangers that cycle tourers often experience. We arrived at George and Mary-Jo’s house (3 miles out of town) and were immediately shown our rooms (a double bedroom each!) and handed a cold beer. After showers we sat down to a fantastic meal of Elk steak, potatoes, salad fresh from George’s garden and wine. And ice-cream for dessert! Loving the ice-cream on this trip – I’ll miss that when this is all over!

It was so much fun to chat to George and Mary-Jo and their other spontaneous dinner guest, Nino. We were slightly in awe of their kids, all grown up and left home, who seem to be the most high-flying, multi-talented bunch ever! Talking about something other than cycle-touring is a treat in itself these days.

Nino gave us all little Montana pins (badges). I now have one for Kentucky and one for Montana and I’m wishing I’d got one from every state we passed through. Does it count if I order them online afterwards?!

(From left) Nino, George, Mary-Jo

 

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