Day 14 – Milk River Valley

After Betsy and I crawled in our sleeping bags last night (well before sunset), a group of boisterous teenagers interrupted our reverie. They soon left, but only to be replaced by another group shooting guns at each other. They finally left and peace resumed. Cool wind blew all night, but we stayed warm with our down jackets and long johns. We arose at 6 am to pack and eat our usual breakfast. At 6:45 am, we set forth heading east on US Hwy 2 with a tail wind through the Milk River valley.  In 21 miles we reached Chinook and split an omelet. You may consider this extravagant, but it keeps us from getting hungry. Continuing east, we rode past irrigated grass pastures and alfalfa fields on the broad floodplain of the Milk River.

At 41 miles on the day, we stopped in Harlem for a break and a quart of chocolate milk. The highway turned southeast for 6 miles to the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. Then the highway curved east again. We rode up and out of the floodplain through mostly native mixed grass prairie. At Dodson we ate lunch in front of the small store and visited with the owner, an older chap. We’d planned to camp here but the presence of the strong tail wind prompted us to ride another 19 miles to Malta. The highway ran along uplands that formed the northern edge of the valley.

We saw lots of cows grazing on the prairie. The clear air, mixture of dramatic clouds and blue sky provided a pleasing scene (see photo). At about 4pm we entered Malta. Alas, the bike shop listed on the Adventure Cycling map didn’t exist. Also, The Warm Showers host had moved away. We checked into the Edgewater RV Park next to the Milk River. I set up camp while Betsy went shopping. We enjoyed sunshine, a pleasant breeze, and no bugs at our camp. The cold weather of the last few days is gone! We biked 88 miles today and a total of 1,035 miles for the trip.

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