Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride

Saturday, July 19, 2008
Winnett, MT to Sand Springs, MT
45 miles (6257 total miles)

We had breakfast at the Kozy Korner this morning; the owners Buck & Ellen were on duty and Ellen's mother (84 years old, still makes all the pies) was in as well. The Kozy Korner was written up in the Nov. 2005 Gourmet magazine's Road Food story for having the best flapjacks. We ordered one each and they were big as a dinner plate and 2 pancakes high! Very yummy and very filling. We set off with a clear sky and a strong breeze, not quite a tail wind, partly from the side, but close enough. We had a good 5 mile downhill stretch to start and were really zipping along. Then there was a lot of up and down for a while, all around 3000 feet, followed by a nice 500-foot downhill to the Musselshell River. Unfortunately, that was immediately followed by a 600-foot uphill, a little downhill, and finally a 10-mile mostly uphill into Sand Springs, ending at 3700 feet. The wind, of course, shifted to more head as well as side wind so the last 20 miles weren't so easy. Still, we ended at Sand Springs at 1:45 having left Winnett at 8 am, covering 44-3/4 miles in 4-1/2 bike hours. We were tempted to continue on to Jordan, another 32 miles, especially since we would be camping out at Sand Springs and there were motels in Jordan. But we were already tired and the thought of another 30 miles of hills like the last 20 didn't seem too appealing. Our campsite was between the general store and the home of the lady who runs it, Daisy, who has run the store since 1956. She lets bikers camp out in her yard when they need to, because the places to stop around here are so sparse.

The terrain today was pretty much the same as it's been lately, with more pasture and less farm fields. The land was more hilly today, with some impressive canyons and gullies. Some areas had pine trees, like yesterday, which seemed out of place somehow. Mostly there were short deciduous trees and scrub brushes. We saw a couple of deer in one field and then noticed that there were at least a half dozen more sleeping there in the field as well. I wasn't able to get a good picture of them though. We saw a lot of cows as usual but also saw a lot more horses, including one field where there were about 20 of them grazing. As we got closer, they all moved over to the fence to watch us - it was quite a sight to see all these horses lined up along the fence watching us go by. I did manage to get pictures of them at least.

We passed one town today, Mosby, but saw no sign of it. Soon afterward, though, we came upon an unexpected rest area. A very nice rest area, too, with 3 historic markers, our only ones of the day. One of them talked about the time when the whole area was underwater, an ocean that stretched from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico, dividing the continent into 2 sub-continents. It was pretty amazing to imagine. Last night, we met another touring biker, Phil from Dayton, OH, who was staying at the same motel. He had gone over 100 miles yesterday and got in fairly late but he knocked on our door and we had a nice chat. Today, he was expecting to go on to Jordan so we kept expecting him to pass us along the road. He got a late start though and made a few rest stops so we didn't see him until we had stopped at Sand Springs. We were sitting outside on a picnic bench waiting for Daisy who had told us she would not be there until 3. It was about 3 when Phil showed up, so we talked some more while we waited. Daisy returned shortly afterwards and opened up the store for us to get some food and sodas. She had us sign a guest register that she had been keeping since 2005 for the cyclists who have stopped in. Phil looked at the entries for 2005 and found that he had stopped there on the very same day that year when he did the Lewis & Clark trail during its bicentennial! Soon after we ate, Phil went off to Jordan and we set about putting up the tent and getting the web page written. No connection again tonight although Pat's going to wander around looking for one as soon as I finish here.

As you can see, I found a wifi connection. I have no idea whose it is, but it works.

The famous Kozy Korner Cafe

A beautiful old truck in Winnett

Looking back at the town of Winnett from the road

The terrain near Winnett

Some impressive ravines and the ubiquitous hay bales

The McDonald Creek, still with us

Deep cliffs along another creek

The Box Elder Creek, with its own interesting cliffs and dozens of swallows

Looking back from the top of a hill

Clearly there has been a creek here at some point

Hills and scrub brush

Sweeping pasture land and some crops at the back left

Cows grazing amongst the brush

Another view from the top, this time looking forward

More Big Sky Country

Pine trees dot the landscape here

Our nice long downhill into the tiny town of Mosby

Interesting hills pop up now and then

The Musselshell River at the bottom of our downhill ride

A pleasant surprise - a rest area just past Mosby

Historic markers at the rest area

The landscape near the rest area

Another sometimes creek with a little water still in it

A ravine, a little greenier than most, and the yellow flowers that have been lining the road

Another piney ravine with whitish soil

Back to scrub brush, and bigger hills in the distance

The last downhill before the climb into Sand Springs

Our friendly horses coming over to see us...

and all lined up along the fence

The town of Sand Springs

The general store

Our tent and bike, between the store and Daisy's house