Forgot to say that yesterday, Caroline clobbered me at trailers vs. roofracks. At one point she led 46 to 4. By the end of the day, the score was 127 to 57.
On the road at first light today, temperature around 15C. We’ve done this drive twice before, so we didn’t stop to see Sue the giant cow at New Salem, or the badlands either. As we climbed out of the badlands, the temperature shot up from 15C to 21C in about half an hour, and then crept up to 23. There were enough rainshowers to clean off all our windshield bugs; convenient since I forgot to bring glass cleaner, and the wiper washer can only do so much.
There were a lot more dead things than just bugs. I’ve never seen so much road kill in one day. Couple of deer, couple of badgers(?), couple of coyotes, raccoons and skunks all over the place, and countless little critters like rabbits and squirrels. I got so tired of it that when a squirrel ran out in front of us and did the dance of death, I braked hard and he survived.
Gas at Miles City, because it’s close to halfway. Lunch at Billings, for a break. Tried to get coffee at Subway, they didn’t have it. Tried next door at Domino’s, they didn’t have it. Crossed the road to A&W, they didn’t have it! Bought some at a gas station, and as we pulled out, there was a Mountain Mud espresso stall.
Stopped at a rest stop and chatted briefly to a truck driver. With all our stops, we had passed him two or three times. Did he remember our Ontario plates? No, he had noticed Caroline’s red hair.
Rolled into Bozeman at around 1430 with about one gallon of gas remaining, so we fueled up first. Caroline’s legs have been better today, but she was still keen to stretch out on a bed before we did any walking, so we napped before shopping for books and snacks. And windex. It’s turned cloudy, and the temperature has fallen back to 15C. As always in Bozeman, the number of roof-racks, bike racks, cargo pods and kayaks has put me back in contention, but Caroline and her trailers are still leading at the end of the day. Dave and Anne used to play black horses versus white, so in their honour, Caroline counted seven white horses after seeing none all morning.
Boodles won’t re-open for years, some of the locals say. Apparently they haven’t even found a location yet. This means we’ll probably eat at the Ale House, which is okay, but big and noisy, or The Wok, which is cheap, quiet and sometimes good. We might try the Italian place, but we have to hope that they’ve forgotten my tactless remark when I learned that they only carry Italian wines. “That’s just wrong!” I blurted out in the lobby before leaving. They don’t actually force you to eat Italian food, you can get a steak, so I don’t quite agree with the implied position that only Italian wine is worth having, but to be fair, they went to enormous expense and effort to have a staggering selection of wines from all over Italy.
So far, so good with rooms, comfy beds, nice decor. Tonight we have a fridge, so we’re chilling all the beverages we brought from home. Mostly Diet Pepsi, which tastes different here, and Nestea Zero, which is scarce in the states.