It’s @#$ COLD!!

by on February 16, 2007
in Winter

bike in the middle of montanaLast night at dinner we were warding off the cold (36 of the past 37 days here have had daytime highs below 30 degrees, including 15 that were in the single digits) by recalling the two Caribbean cruises we’ve been on. Ah the top deck, staring out at the endless ocean as real-life worries were set afloat… the beaches of white sand and pristine aqua-colored water… the islands… what *were* the names of those islands?? We quickly realized that these trips were 8 and 10 years old, respectively, and wondered if there wasn’t something more recent we could draw upon for warm recollections. That put us onto the subject of last summer’s Sturgis trip, and we conjured up the hottest day of that journey with some reluctance. It was about 111 degrees as we cruised across a corner of Montana, returning to Belle Fourche after our visit to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. The trip to Devil’s Tower had not been all that pleasant – crowds and traffic were awful, tempers were short, and it was a day where I was feeling like we’d traveled far but seen nothing – except for a giant volcanic nipple poking up out of the Earth. This return stretch was, despite the heat, a blessing as it proved to be a little-traveled route. Very little. Vast open spaces stretched away from each side of the asphalt ribbon (was THIS where Woody Guthrie was walking and trying to think of a rhyme for “gulf-stream waters”? If so, it’s no wonder he came up empty!). You could look out onto a grassy range and imagine covered wagons actually lumbering their way west. And it was hot. The kind of hot where you soak your bandana and wear it under your helmet to keep your head cool… and sit in a little mom-and-pop convenience store seemingly in the middle of nowhere, drinking a sports drink even though you HATE sports drinks, because you’re pretty sure you left your electrolytes in a chemical toilet back at the Volcanic Nipple gift shop.

August 10, 2006 might not’ve been the best day to conjure up happy memories, but it was just what we needed to keep cabin fever at bay. We’re supposed to see temps in the 40’s by next week… I may just go soak my bandana!

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