Friday, June 17, 2011

Galata to Havre, MT

This morning since there was no eating facilities near the Motel Cal rode 18 miles to Chester, MT for breakfast.  At that point we were able to access the internet and add the photos to the blog we sent last night.

It was cool again this morning, but not as cold as yesterday.  I am waiting on ‘summer’!!  I know it is ‘east’ somewhere!! I want to wear sandals and capri’s, not sweatshirts, wool socks and closed shoes. 

Cal continued riding east with another tail wind – not as strong as yesterday, but still effective. 
The landscape did not change much – wheat field, fallow fields – often in alternating strips and some pasture.  Farmsteads are miles apart, but every little settlement had 2, 3 or 4 grain elevators along the railroad. The populations of the settlements along Rt.2 are 20, 871, 210, 102, 275, 157, 126, and then this afternoon we arrived in Havre!  Population of 9000 – largest town for hundreds of miles! They have a Super K-Mart, and a Super Wal-Mart!!
Small Town Montana, Motel and Fuel Station - Where we overnighted
Strip Farming of Wheat

Strip Farming of Wheat

Northwest United States has been having an unusual amount of rain this spring.  In this area any low spot is now a lake or pond.  All marsh areas are full of water.  I have had a great day identifying different duck species in these marsh areas and new ponds. I have seen several species new to me. My binoculars and Bird Guide are as handy as the camera.  I have not spent this much time ‘duck watching’ since a college class, but I enjoy it.   

A rather unexpected aspect – mosquitoes!!  As I was sitting, waiting and reading, Cal pulled up beside me asking for the OFF repellant spray.  Mosquitoes were swarming him.  

The BNSF railway is one busy enterprise.  I do not know how many trains we saw today.  Also due to this business, it brings big time employment to this area – we see work depots, trucks and pickup trucks all along the road. The railroad has a major impact on this areas economy.  Farmers need the railroad to ship their grain.
Lothair Montana, Three Elevators Along the Rail Road

Row of Grain Storage Bins

As we entered Montana we read a sign stating that the Montana American Legion places white cross markers along the highway to show the sites of fatal traffic accidents.  “Learn from those who passed this way”.  We have seen numerous makers, of which some are decorated.   

In the past few days, I have seen daffodils, tulips, iris, and lilacs in bloom – fresh and still with buds. Here in Montana the rural homes use lilac bushes as wind breaks, so right now you see a whole row of beautiful lilac in bloom – I cannot imagine the smell!  Yesterday I also saw a crab apple tree just beginning to bloom. It is surprising how the seasons differ right here in the U.S.  All of these things were finished blooming in Iowa before we left home on Sunday, May 22.  Spring is just arriving in northwest Montana. Thus the reason many of the motels and restaurants are just opening for the season.
Windbreak with a row of blooming Lilacs


  1. We're enjoying your pics and posts! If you run out of mosquito repellent... listerine mouth wash (the horrible tasting original) has been known to work. 15mph is probably top speed for those buggers. We'll keep praying for a good strong tailwind so Calvin can outrun them!

    Summer seems to be lagging but it's somewhat of a good thing...we need the snow to melt as slowly as possible. We also need a break in the rains for the flooded midwest's sake.
    Kathy and Lou

  2. Love the lilac windrow! Wish we were travelling with you!