Monday, July 9, 2012

Day Twenty-Two: Back in the USA

Today was a long, hard, hot ride. 73 miles in all, from Cardston, Alberta to Cut Bank, Montana, with most of it in a fairly stiff headwind, and all of it in 80 to 90 degree heat. Fortunately, most of the climbing was done by about 35 miles in, a small blessing.

From Cardston to the US border was lovely riding. We left early, given the day ahead, and on our left (heading South) the sun was rising over green fields, and on our right, the moon was still up over the Rockies. Particularly cool, as we also headed East, was seeing how the mountains were beginning to recede in the distance. Were we really there just a few days ago? They actually seemed pretty far away.
We're covering a lot of ground. Today we officially broke the 1000 mile mark, and ended the day with a cumulative 1050, which, based on our initial planning, puts us 1/4th of the way home. That seems like both a lot and a little at the same time.

It's a bit of a letdown leaving the mountains. Re-entering Montana, the flatness and emptiness, in all directions, as far as the eye can see, was, to this rider, less aesthetically pleasing (you'll note a lot fewer picture posts). It was also a bit disconcerting to realize just how alone we were there out on the road. No ranches, no nothing. Barely any traffic. I've often marveled at the open spaces when flying overhead in a jet plane cross country, but down on ground level it's an altogether more intense experience.

The roads are straight and go on forever. And you can see for miles. Cut Bank was visible from over 15 miles away -- and, unfortunately, never seemed to get closer (or at least not as fast as I thought it should, but I was pretty tired at that point).

Surprise of the day? Getting through customs back into the U.S. was much easier than getting into Canada. We basically got no questions and a wave on. Maybe the Canadians know something that we don't. They certainly had more reliable wifi.

Today's route and metrics:


1 comment:

  1. What's the second photo (all the vehicles) a picture of? I thought perhaps the border, but I didn't see drivers in the cars.