The Pilgrimage: Day 16
Makoshika State Park was well earned and did not disappoint
I spent most of the morning running about Glendive with wet laundry, because I discovered the hard way that none of the dryers at the RV park I stayed at worked.
When I returned with my dry laundry and began to pack up my tent, a little girl came over and asked me questions non-stop. She decided I was actually a hobo, because I wasn’t traveling in an RV. She did stay to help me pack up the bike though, until her mom came over and ushered her daughter away from me. Evidently the little girl was supposed to be watching her dog, and not running around talking to strange women with motorcycles.
I left Glendive around noon and made my way south along some back roads. I found my way onto what is known as Highway 340, but is actually a red dirt road. It was glorious though, and quite possibly one of my favorite roads of the trip. It wasn’t twisty, and I didn’t have loads of traction, but I reached a kind of peace in my mind riding that road. The landscape rolled like lazy waves all around me, and I saw no one for hours.
Eventually I found Mildred, which was prettier than I was expecting with all of their old abandoned buildings. It looked as though three families live there, and all of the rest of the buildings were just left to rot. It had a sense of being eery but comfortable.
Lazarus developed a thick coat of red dirt on her from that “Highway”, that stayed with me all the way back to Corvallis.
Once I reached a paved road again, I ran out of gas -in Plevna. I walked in town (which is more of a train stop than a town), found the bar, and asked the bar tender if there was a gas pump hiding amid the buildings somewhere. She informed me the closest gas station was ten miles further down the road to Baker.
Fortunately a man named Bob overheard me, he said he had a bit of gas still he was saving for his lawn mower that might work. So between Bob, his lawn mower and another man who stopped and insisted on helping me when we got back to the bike, I was on the road again in less than a hour.
I like these Eastern Montana people ,they’re kind of weird, but they’re very helpful. I guess you have to be when livestock outnumbers you 20 to 1.
I stopped and got gas in Baker, then made the last stretch to Medicine Rocks State park. Mind you, this was Fourth of July weekend, however there were only two other groups camped in Medicine Rocks that night.
Medicine Rocks, is on my list of MOST UNDERRATED STATE PARKS. Sure, it’s not really close to any big towns or anything, BUT it was one of the most spiritual and mystical places I have visited.
The Pilgrimage: Day 17
Medicine Rock State Park was so calming and tranquil. There was definitely something a little mystical about that place, especially camping among the soft sandstone rocks and hearing the wind brush against them at night. Just. Yes.
I made it to Alzada, the furthest point South-East you can get in Montana. There’s a bar, gas station and an antique store.
Day 17 was a making miles day. It was hot and dry. It rained on me twice momentarily on the way to Crow Agency, but the water dried as soon as it hit the ground. It was more like temporary air conditioning than a proper rain.
Also, congratulations to my new sister Desi and my brother Larry, who were married July 2nd, as I arrived in Crow Agency. I witnessed via Skype, while a storm battered my tent.
I camped in Garryowen at RV Park that rivaled the one I stayed at in Glendive, for just how awful it was. The place they had me camp in for $30, was uneven, the ground was hard, it was extremely difficult to get pegs into it, not to mention the place they had me park my “dirty bike” was on a hill and full of loose gravel. So naturally, my bike fell over in the middle of loading it the next day. What kills me is that the grounds attendant literally watched it fall over and didn’t even offer to see if I needed help picking it up on the hill. One of the other campers had to come over and help me right it, and push it over to an area that was on less of a grade. Ha. At least the showers worked right? Since none of their other advertised amenities are deemed necessary for tent campers.
On the bright side, a lovely elderly couple who are travelling the country in a van camped next to me. They were equally disappointed in the camping situation. I helped the nice woman try and figure out her tablet. Then she made me a pb&j, gave me some baby carrots and a can of soup for the road. I should have a sign “Tech Help for Food.”