Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Glendive, MT to Baker, MT

Yes, I know today was going to be a rest day!  Last night before we turned off the lights Cal looked at the weather forecast for today and the next several days.  Today (Wed) the wind was to continue blowing out of the west northwest, tomorrow (Thurs) it will be blowing out of the south southeast.  Cal is riding to the south southeast and he does not want to ride into a headwind, so late last night plans changed.  He rode 70 miles today and we will take a day off in Baker. 

The morning was clear, sunny, and a perfect temperature.  As soon as we left the motel in Glendive Cal began riding along I-94.  Yes, in Montana you are able to ride your bike on the Interstate Hwys. There is a smooth wide shoulder and things went well.  Montana’s I-94 does not have much traffic in comparisons to Interstates elsewhere. 
Riding Along I-94 east of Glendive, MT

Riding Along I-94 east of Glendive, MT

After exiting the Interstate the terrain was fairly level for the first 16 miles, however then things changed.  It was up and down, but mostly up! Cal gained a 1000 ft in elevation on his way to Baker. Again today we travel through all agriculture area – pasture and Angus herds, wheat, more wheat, and hay.

Montana Wheat Fields

A Gravel Road toward a Town over the Ridge
Montana Angus on the Range

Montana Angus on the Range near a Windmill

Angus Cattle Cooling in the Water

As we came over a ridge approx. 5 miles north of Baker, MT, all of a sudden there were oil wells, everywhere.  Baker is an Oil Boom town right now.  It is unreal all the industry related to oil and the oil depots in this area.  We had no idea! However at dinner tonight we were talking to an electrician who is working on a job in the area right now and he said this oil business is interesting. They are continually drilling and capping, and only when the price is high enough do they actually pump it out of the ground. If the price of crude is $100 they are pumping!  He was surprised we had found a motel in the area.  In these oil areas, you can hardly find accommodations – even a house to rent. A group of guys working in the oil fields may be living together in one house, splitting the rent.  One waitress said that the houses may be trashed when they leave, but you have charged a substantial amount for rent. Last night in Glendive, we were one of the few non-pickup vehicles parked in the motel parking lot.  In Montana you need a pick up to haul the hay or the testosterone!

Oil Well North of Baker, MT
So tomorrow we will relax here in Baker.  The town is actually larger than I expected, but that doesn’t mean there is anything to do here!!  One of the BNSF rail lines comes through so there are several grain elevators as well as oil depots. 

Cal has ridden 1400 miles so far.  700 of them have been in Montana.  This is a huge state! It is said that it is nearly as far from the northwest corner of Montana to the southeast corner of the State, as it is from Chicago to New York City.  Another little known fact is that the western tip of Virginia is as far west as Detroit. And the southern tip of the Great Lakes are as far south as Northern California. 

Our daughter who works and lives in the Middle East has commented on the clouds in the photos I have taken.  Yes, the skies/clouds are beautiful and I suppose thus their State’s nickname.  “Big Sky Country”!

Baker is 12 miles from the North Dakota border – that is the very southwest corner of North Dakota.  We figure we will have 1 ½ days in North Dakota, so by the end of the week we will be in South Dakota. Honestly each day we chip away another chunk of miles, and we will be home to eastern Iowa before we know it.     


  1. Rachel and Cal - Love the pictures and narrative. We are enjoying it. And that PDG Cal is pedaling away for Polio is neat. Don and Doris G.

  2. We're home from Ireland and I've now caught up on your blog. I've loved reading, looking at the pictures and following your route on Google maps. Glendive is where our sister-in-law grew up.

    Glad to hear things are going well. Look forward to future blogs. Our prayers continue with you!