Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ashland, MT to Broadus, MT - 44 miles

Today was a rest day for many of the riders...After yesterday's 80 mile marathon in the heat, most riders opted for staying in Broadus and not being shuttled back to Ashland, MT to do the 44 miles that they were shuttled yesterday...To quote Frank H: "I saw it from the window of the car, I don't need to see it on my bicycle!" But yet there were 8 hearty souls shuttled back to Ashland, MT at 6 am this morning!
While they rode, I took the opportunity to roam around Broadus, MT and take in the sights.
Broadus, MT is on the Warrior Trail, a stretch of Highway 212 that runs from Crow Agency, Montana to Belle Fourche, South Dakota, which is the shortest distance between Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument and Mount Rushmore.


I found out why the streets of downtown Broadus are extremely wide. According to the deed, the streets have to be large enough to allow a team of  horses and a coach to turn around.

Also, the founder of the town for whom it is named spelled his name with 2 d's [BROADDUS] but as a result of an administrative error it was recorded with on 1 d. [BROADUS].

Between 1865 and 1877, as American Indian Tribes desperately tried to retain their lands and culture, and the soldiers of the U.S. Army strove to enforce an edict from Washington, D.C., many battles of great historical significance marked this corridor.
We are staying in the Broadus Motel, which is located in the heart of the town and is on the Warrior Trail.

Outside of the hotel is a painted horse that has a beautiful scence painted on its body.
The first thing on the agenda today was getting laundry done, so Marnie R and I walked over to the campground about 5 blocks away to do laundry only to find out later that the town laundramat was just catty corner to the motel. Ooops... it was an adventure!
We even directed Josie and Keith to our laundromat in the campground!
After the laundry adventure I took a ride on tomorrow's route and went over the Powder River and took some photos.
The river is still swollen, but not as bad as I am told it was.
The famous Powder River..."Mile Wide, Inch Deep, Too Thin to Plow, and Too Thick to Drink"

The Cry of World War I... 'Powder River Let'er Buck'

At the museum I visited Mac's Museum which is a one-man collection of over 22,000 seashells [largest west of the Mississippi], 1723 arrowheads from nearly every state, 2230 mineral specimens, artifacts, and much more. I walked through the pioneer cabin which was fashioned after the L.A. Huffman photograph "Interior on the Powder River." I sat at a desk in the Butte Creek School which was brought to the museum from its original setting 30 miles away. I walked through the Auto Barn that had a sheep wagon as well as antique cars, horse drawn buggies, wagons etc. and I walked into the Jail House built in 1919 by the Milwaukee Railroad boiler makers. I wandered through "The Town" diarama that had a printing press, barber shop, drug store, hotel, grocery, bank and dry goods store. And finally I saw lots of beautiful saddles and rodeo memorabilia, barbed wire and spurs.
The newest addition to the museum is a wonderful collection of local history and styles from the historical friends and neighbors told through vintage clothing.
The water is still very muddy!
And there is still a lot of debris in the water.
I also stopped at several informational signs which told me a lot about the area I was riding and we are passing through on our adventure.
Informational Sign - Cole Porter's Hit Song "Don't Fence Me In"
Informational Sign - Dinosaur Remains
Informational Sign - Lewis & Clark
Informational Sign - Broadus, Montana
A large stone with a steer's head carved in it....
Once again, the landscape and the scenery is stunning!
The road to Hewlett, Wyoming...our destination for tomorrow!
The never ending road!
The scenery....just takes my breath away!
I went to the Powder River Historical Museum on the town square in downtown, Broadus, Montana at the 'crossroads' of Highway 59 and Highway 212.
The World Famous Copper Moon Milkshakes now have their own billboard!
After a wonderful day almost all of the group went to dinner at "The Judge's Chambers Restaurant" and we had a wonderful meal. I had the lamb chop special which was heavenly. I felt like I was back in my Mom's house. After dinner was over, the Owner/Chef came out and explained that the credit card machine was on the fritz and I got concerned...I had a few dollars cash but I didn't think I had enough for this meal...then I got the check...It was only $17.00 ... I was expecting NYC prices ...$40.00 +.  What a shock to realize that you can eat wonderful food and not pay through the nose!
 As we were leaving the restaurant we were treated to a a double full rainbow so big that I had to take photos in sections to get it all!
 Left Side
 Right Side
 Left Side
 Right side
And just so that you know my wacky sense of humor is still here...
Tomorrow we are off to Hewlett, Wyoming!

Hardin, MT to Ashland, MT -- 80 miles

This day didn't start off all that well, as I managed to slam my index finger in the door of the support vehicle. Just another event in the Klutzy Judy competition and I am winning hands down...well, actually, I would say my digits are suffering more than anything else. At this rate I could only imagine what will be in store for me in the month of July!

Shortly after leaving Hardin, MT the riders traveled through Crow Agency and some took a detour to Garyowen, MT which is the site of the the Battle of Little Big Horn, also called Custer's Last Stand. It took place on June 25, 1876, as part of the Indian Wars. It was a victory for a large force of Lakota Sioux and their allies, including the Cheyenne, over the 7th Cavalry of the U.S. Army, who attacked their village. We were there 135 years +4 days after the fact.

The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Park memorializes the U.S. Army's 7th Cavalry and the Sioux and Cheyenne in one of the Indian's last armed efforts to preserve their way of life. Here on June 25 and 26 of 1876, 263 soldiers, including Lt. Col. George A. Custer and attached personnel of the U.S. Army, died fighting several thousand Lakota, and Cheyenne warriors.
Last Stand Hill at Little Bighorn Battlefield. In July 1881, First Lt. Charles F. Roe Supervised the erection of an 18-ton granite shaft bearing the names of the fallen U.S. 7th Cavalry soldiers.

The riders then travelled through Busby and Lame Deer, Montana on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Lame Deer is also home to Chief Dull Knife College. Lame Deer, MT is also the start of the the 1989 movie 'Powwow Highway' a road movie based on a novel by David Seals.  The plot is that the tribe is suffering and greedy developers try to talk the council into voting in favor of a strip mining contract and one character is trying to find himself and they end up on a road trip down the Powwow Highway and they come to realize the realities and dreams of being Cheyenne in modern-day U.S..
Then it was on to Ashland which is home of the St. Labre Indian School which began in 1884 with the construction of a log cabin school operated by four Ursuline Sisters. Today the school has expanded to include many buildings including a chapel, inspired by the teepee of the Plains Indians. 
Due to a hotel issue...The State of Montana Department of Transportation bought out all of the rooms in the Western 8 Motel in Ashland because of an 18 month road project so we (one night reservation) had to find alternative housing. We did, but it is in Broadus, Montana -- 44 miles away on a day of riding that was already 80 miles!
So what we did was shuttle the riders who didn't want to ride anymore than the allotted 80 miles were picked up at the Western 8 Motel in Ashland, Montana and shuttled to the Broadus Motel, in Broadus, MT.
Informational Sign - The White Man Settler in Eastern Montana
The Broadus Motel where we are staying for two nights.
Marnie R arriving in Broadus, MT after a very long, long day in the saddle!
Marnie R and Dan K pose for a picture to commemorate their accomplishment of riding 122 miles from Hardin, MT to Broadus, MT.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Billings, MT to Hardin, MT -- 53 miles

Yesterday, Monday June 27, 2011 was a rest day for the group, so not much went on other than the typical rest day stuff...laundry, clean the bicycles, chill out...I went to a couple of bike stores and just pretty much bummed around, not accomplishing much, but he ride today went quick;  so I suspect that the two home cooked meals we were treated to in Billings, MT played a large part in that.

The first meal on Sunday night (6/26/11) courtesy of Brian and Shelly Cornell, was a wonderful BBQ in his back yard.  We had a wonderful time enjoying the weather and the company and eating chicken and burgers and dogs! Then it was off to the Symphony in the Park...It was a wonderful evening!

Brian is still on the job, but he took time out of his busy schedule to host Rich G's bike tour, just like he did in 2008! Thanks and Kudos for an awesome meal and great time.

The second meal, on Monday night (6/27/11) courtesy of Hewes and Susan Agnew and Paul and Alice Gromlewitz, was another wonderful back yard affair with homemade Gespacho and Lasagna. Too much delicious food, wonderful company and another evening enjoying life on the deck! Who could ask for more.

Rich's wife, Mary arrived on Sunday and it is great having her here. She is a good luck charm! 2 days---2 home cooked meals! Mary should stay for the rest of the tour...we won't have to see another restaurant!

Didn't take many pictures since I was negligent again and the battery died, so I have to recharge it to download the last couple of photos that are on it. Then I will update the blog with the photos.

I stopped at the Hardin Depot, a historic train depot and just rode around town taking in the sights.

Tomorrow finds us riding a minimum of 80 miles and if some are so inclined, they can ride the additional 40 miles to the hotel in Broadus, MT. The hotel we were supposed to stay in in Ashland, MT, got bought out by the Monatana Department of Transportation for 18 months due to a large road project they are doing and the motel owner, had to go where the money was. So we are going to be shuttling people from Ashland, MT to Broadus, MT tomorrow and then the following morning we will shuttle them back so that they can start where they left off and not miss a single mile!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Columbus, MT to Billings, MT -- 46 miles

Today we traveled  from Columbus, MT to Billings, MT. The ACA Maps have us riding the Frontage Road through Youngs Point, Park City [population 870] and Laurel population 6,255] before we enter the big city of Billings, MT [population 89,847]. There has been a lot of discussion on how best to enter and ride through Billings, but I think the guidance of Billings residents Paul G and Hewes A has solved a lot of the concerns of the riders. Once again the terrain is flat to gradual downhill and  coupled with such few miles, riders were be in Billings early to enjoy the town, stop at the bike store and be ready at 3:30 pm in the lobby of the Riverstone Inn for the shuttle ride to Brian and Shelly Cornell's home for a BBQ and then a Symphony in the Park later in the evening.

Once again, the scenery is striking...I have run out of words to say about it, other than to take some pictures and post them, because we all know a picture says a 1,000 words.


That was really it for the ride into Billings, but once in town there was a lot to see and do even though it was a Sunday. The streets were pretty much empty but I had a great time tooling around town.
 These painted bronze/metal animals are scattered all around town...
Pretty Horsey!
 Proud Ram shows off his multicolored coat!
 A stop at the Yellowstone Art Museum...
This is quite the ? I suspect it would steal all the leftovers, if it had the chance!
 After the Museum, it was off to the Dehler Park ballfield. This bronze is a tribute to Local Legend of American Legion Baseball Ed Bayne.

 This statue is of Dave McNally, another Billings Legend in American Legion Baseball.
 While there I was able to watch an American Legion Tournament between Cheyenne Post 6 and Helena Post 4. It was a very good game and the ball park is outstanding. I even got a foul ball!

If you didn't know, Billings is home to the Mustangs, who played the first game of organized professional baseball in Billings against the Salt Lake City Bees on Tuesday, May 4, 1948.  3,280 fans braved near freezing temperatures and Gene Brocker's long double in the ninth inning which scored Kenny Jensen from first base, giving Salt Lake City a narrow, 3-2, victory and spoiling the Mustangs home opener.

If you are not a baseball fan, you might want to skip the next couple of paragraphs!

The Mustangs finished that inaugural season in last place. But the next season they finished second and made the playoffs. In 1964, the league was downgraded to short-season rookie league status and Billings dropped out of the Pioneer League. The Mustangs returned to the league in 1969 and won back-to-back championships in 1972 and '73. In all, the Mustangs have won 14 Pioneer League titles, more than any other team in the Pioneer League. The last championship came in 2003, with field manager Rick Burleson leading the club.
The year 2011 will mark the 38th consecutive year the Mustangs have been affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds, one of the longest running player development relationships in professional baseball. As Cincinnati started the 2011 season, 10 former Mustangs were on the Reds' active roster: Jay Bruce, Juan Francisco, Paul Janish, Logan Ondrusek, Drew Stubbs, Joey Votto, Sam LeCure, Jordan Smith, Travis Wood and Chris Heisey. Additionally, four other Mustangs were on the Reds' 40-Man Roster: Carlos Fisher, Philippe Valiquette, Chris Valaika and Todd Frazier.
Other current Major League players who wore a Mustangs uniform include Edwin Encarnacion, Craig Tatum, Austin Kearns, Adam Rosales, Adam Dunn, Todd Coffey, Chris Dickerson, Enerio Del Rosario, Marcus Mateo and Dewayne Wise.
Other notable alumni include: George Brett, Paul O'Neill, Trevor Hoffman, Tom Browning, Ron Oester, Gary Redus, Dick Stuart, Kurt Stillwell, Gorman Thomas, Reggie Sanders, Skeeter Barnes, Scott Williamson, Al Cowens, Kal Daniels, Rob Dibble, Lenny Harris, Ruppert Jones, Larry Rothschild, Larry Shepard, Scott Sullivan, Nick Esasky, Eddie Milner, Jamie Quirk, Eddie Taubensee, Jeff Montgomery, Joe Oliver, Jack Armstrong, Tom Foley, Butch Henry, Jim Hickman, Reggie Jefferson, Don Wakamatsu, Keith Lockhart, B.J. Ryan, Ben Broussard, Aaron Boone, Paul Bako, Ray King, Danny Tartabull and Jason LaRue.

Tomorrow is a rest day but we are scheduled to go to Hewes A's house for a BBQ at 5 p.m.