Day 15 Billings to Hardin – More of Montana, 55.5 miles with a Tailwind

3 Jul

Out of the valley town of Billings, Mt. and back into the mountain passes.

billings to hardin montana

This day of the Big Ride Across America began as most do, with a full belly and a cue sheet with step-by-step directions to get us into Hardin. There was a wonderfully strong tailwind most of the way that made the 55 miles seem effortless. It was just a few miles with a cross wind that gave us a hint of how strong the winds really get between the mountain passes.

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We stopped to tour the Custer Reenactment Site and learn more about Custer’s Last Stand against the American Indians. We learned how our American soldiers slaughtered entire herds of buffalo to get the Indians to bargain with our government. The tombstones are for the local solders who died in service to our country.

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We stayed in a KOA campground with the wind just pounding all the tents, challenging all of the stakes and leads that keep the tents in place. There was no electricity or water at the tent site, but just a few feet away was a full-service lodge with laundry, a pool and hot-tub, and a country store.  We had lots of extra energy beause of the easy day cycling, so we were able to get to bed early to prepare for some climbing up the mountains tomorrow.  At night, we enjoyed a salmon dinner with beef brisket and many yummy salads.

wind on tent

You can see from this image how strongly the winds are pushing our tent.

The Big Ride - Beyone Basil

The food from Beyond Basil has been amazing and delicious.

Riding on the flatlands (tops of the mountains) there were several sulfur lagoons, like the one below, that hold hot water.  The smell is strong and you can see the edges are all white from the evaporation and crystallization of the minerals in the water.  The lagoons are like the Dead Sea in that they do not support any type of life.  There are also very few insects or birds in this area.

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The route out of camp took us through this badlands type of environment where there are many sulfur lagoons.  The land is gentle rolling to flat where you see these sulfur springs.

Our VeloSante board for the next day:

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