Friday, August 13, 2010

Montana road trip

Last month, I did a solo drive down to Bozeman, Montana, to ride in an amazing stage race, which I blogged about on the Speed Theory team blog. In the interests of brevity, and keeping it mostly cycling-focused, I skipped mentioning a few details...

First, I had a slight money debacle. I currently don't have a credit card, because after I lost it back in May, I didn't want to tell the bank and have to memorize another number (I have the memory of goldfish). I stopped in at the Speed Theory store before I left Calgary, and half an hour out of town I got a call from Speed Theory saying I'd left my debit card at the store. Crap! I was running a bit late (who, me?) so I didn't turn around, but hey, no problem - I had a bunch of cash in my wallet...

It wasn't until I got to the border that I realised I was forgetting a little detail about the whole different currency thing. I had to exchange $10 with some other travellers just to get my visa-waiver to enter the States. With the $4 change from that, I bought a gallon of gas, which was enough to get to Bozeman Fri night, and then to the TT Sat morning. After the TT, I couldn't rely on my winnings (having come last), but thankfully I met a French Canadian expat, who exchanged my remaining $60. I had enough to get another tank of gas, buy half a pizza Sat night, and after my host bought a couple of tubes off me, I had enough to get back to Calgary!!

I realized/learned/was told back when I was a
stingythrifty rock-climber, that communities are much happier to see you if you spend money while you're there, so I always make an effort to fill up with gas and buy food in whatever town I stay in/near. Obviously I couldn't do that this time around. Instead, I subsisted mostly on canned beans and canned fish, which I brought as a backup, for the road-side bivvy I expected to need on the way back on Sunday.

Surprisingly, the combination of garbanzo, black and lima beans didn't make me more farty than's possible my body was in a state of shock that weekend at the treatment it was receiving.

Driving down, I was pretty amazed by the Montana scenery that unfolded before me, even just what was visible from the highway. Wanting to do the trip in a reasonable amount of time (ended up being 9:30 hours there, and just 8:15 on the way back), I didn't stop to take photos, so here are a few of the pics I shot from my car, generally while straddling a couple of lanes...

No comments: