Day 48 A Neapolitan Landscape

7/14/18

She gives and She takes…
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The Yin and Yan of Mother Nature…

Today I am waken by riders nervous about the headwinds in front of us…20-25 mph. The blasts will start in early morning after the sun has warmed the Eastern Plains. I had planned to  tough them out and start later but there is no way I can sleep with all the commotion going on.
I walk to the baseball field next to the camp, use the facility and strip down naked next to it to take a cold hose shower to wake myself up.
The sun is rising in the East and all the citizens of Wolf Point are  asleep after a late night rodeo celebration.
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As I dry off and watch the sunrise nothing seems more natural to me at that moment…good thing no cops came by…
After I pack up my things I ride into town for breakfast but McDonald’s is still closed…just 5:50 AM. I pull into a gas station for a coffee and a breakfast sandwich . Several intoxicated Native Indians approach to bum a cigarette but alas I have none. They quickly loose interest in an orange aberration on their reservation.
I head west along Route 2, our highway now for several hundred miles across Northern Montana. A mile in the map directs me to an access road which approaches the lush green fields surrounding the Missouri River. Canals meander inland to nourish the crops.
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Wildflowers line the road all along the way.
Alfalfa, corn, wheat, hay, and soybeans 3-4 miles on each side of the bank, a veritable neopolitan ice cream of the land.
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To the south I can see the high plateau from which I descended yesterday.
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At this time of day there is no wind and I make good time over the first 25 miles…just a 55 mile day to Glasgow. Homes from the remote past dot the way.
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Here there are more horses than people…
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The ride is so pleasent…and then…and then…Mother Nature gets a twinkle in her eye and wakes her son…Zephyrus. Like a light switch turned on the day turns from pleasant to a little more than arduous…so much for the gift…
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This change is almost instantaneous… beyond belief… but two riders in front of me by 15 and 5 miles and 5 behind me all looked at their watches when She woke Him up…all within a minute or twofold each other.
Now Zephyrus does not like to be waken suddenly that is a given, so what does he do   but what any normal Wind God would do…”Kick the dog”…i.e. us.
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We are all blasted with sudden 20 mph headwinds nearly knocking us off our bikes. I look up to see Zephyrus reaching North…
“What’s this ? ” I yell to Angel and Flossie struggling in the wind.
Angel is too busy pulling in wings so Flossie looks to the right and moos out
“ Mooooooooooooo!!!!”…in English “ Here He comes!”
HE ???? Who is HE???
And then HE hits…
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Boreus with his whip…OMG Zephyrus has waken up his brother Boreus.
For the next 30 miles I struggle against headwinds and blasts from the side…my hands ache from holding my bike upright.
The best I can do is 7-8 mph and severel times I am forced into granny gear on the flats. On those rare climbs over the long rollers I slow to 4 mph and can barely make 9 mph pedaling down hill.
I stop every 2.5 miles to drink and every 5 miles for a few minute rest.
At one point I see ahead of me a State Trooper who has given a speeding driver ( the other direction) a ticket. I pull up to his cruiser and tap on his window…curious and a bit cautious he rolls it down.
“ Arrest me and take me to jail where I can lie down” above the roaring wind.
He laughs  “Not tired are you ?” and just grins.
Off he drives in his fast cruiser which feels no wind leaving me there to defend myself against two Greek Twins.
It takes me 4 hours to cover the last 30 miles…it took me 90 minutes to do the first 25.
As I make my last turn West I realize how far North I have come…
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I arrive in town tired but not exhausted at 11:30 AM…it gives me enough time to find a laundromat, eat lunch, buy groceries for dinner and set up my bed place in a church on a hill overlooking Glasgow.
I tried to get a haircut too but this is Saturday and everyone has gone home…everyone except Zephyrus and Boreus that is…
As I sit and write this story some riders are still struggling in….caught in the vice of 2 Greek Wind Gods somewhere to the East. For them the trek takes 8 and a half hours…those who ate breakfast in town and left late.
As I listen to them tell their stories they share many spilled tears…been there, done that, three years ago on another stretch…
She gives and She takes…
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The Yin and Yang of Mother Nature…
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