I amazingly left my motel room by 9:15 dropped some post cards off at the postoffice and was on the road by 9:30. Next motel night I’m going to make sure I can stay until checkout but I had a lot of miles on the plate and nine was kinda late. I had about 18 miles of climbing to get over Rogers Pass and then I thought I’d be on easy street. How wrong I was. The ride over the divide turned out to be the easiest part I the day. Once I crossed the Rockies the weather changed and the wind was super strong from the north. I could see dark clouds ahead and put my rain jacket on in preparation. A couple of times the wind gusts were so strong I got blown off the road and had to gather myself before continuing on. I new from my map that there was a restaurant in about 8.5 miles so I just thought to my self get there have a long lunch and let the storm blow over. Of course the restaurant has been closed for years and the next town was at least twenty miles north or south and I was going east. I started riding north and quickly realized I’d never make it twenty miles into the killer winds so I turned around and kept heading east towards Great Falls. The winds were rough and made the big hills really tough. Going down the wind wasn’t to much a factor but going up I had no momentum and the wind was blowing me everywhere. I my progress was so slow but the rain never came so that was a plus. Every once and a while I’d stop for a snack to keep my energy up and I’d also snap a pic of the mountains behind me. I finally made it to a town called Simms and crushed a burger and fries at the local cafe. A guy and girl that worked there were asking me all sorts of questions about the trip and the girl really was excited about what I was doing. Another waitress came into the conversation and said she wanted to do something like that one day.
After lunch,at 4:30, I had about 30 more miles on the day but at least it had flattened out. A head wind made the going slow and a cold front must have blown in with the storm because it was getting chilly. I stopped for a coffee and to warm my hands about 12 miles out of town and was glad I was almost there but those last miles just wouldn’t go by. At this point on the ride I was on an access road running next to the freeway. A couple of jerk trucks flew by way to fast and close but I guess I’m getting used to that.
A few miles outside of town it started to rain a bit but then it let up as soon as it started. I finally road into the heart of town after seeing the industrial out skirts and I think they named the town incorrectly,maybe Mediocre Falls would be more appropriate. All of the hotels and motels looked really shady. Lots of abandoned buildings and no people or hope by the looks of things. After Missoula, this place was like going from Disney Land to Cleveland. Looking thru my map there was no park to camp in near town(probably a good thing ) so I went in search of the hostel I saw listed in on the back of the map. Town isn’t large or anything and I came in on 1st ave so 716 2nd ave wasn’t too hard to find. As my luck would have it the hostel didn’t exist. I was looking up and down the street but no 716. I found 15 and 18 and so on but no 16. I was trying to come up with the next option and a long haired guy came out of one of the houses I was staring at. He asked where I was headed and all that and told me he once rode from Montana to San Fran and then to Texas. I mentioned I live in Texas and he’s like I went to school in Denton. Anyhow somewhere in the conversation I was asking about the nearest campground and he was telling me it was a ways out of town and invited me to camp in his backyard. I took him up on the offer and thanked him. He came out with a Busch light that was appreciated but not that good at all. I asked about a place to eat and he told me about a pizza joint in the neighborhood that you either love or hate. After crushing a whole pizza by myself I’m neither here nor there with the place I was just super hungry and needed food. Love it or hate it. At adventure cycling when I was asking about what towns to go thru someone mentioned a bar in Great Falls that has a mermaid swimming behind the bar and that sold me. Anyhow after a long day in the road I didn’t really care if I went to see this bar or not but it just so happened that the Sip and Dip was three blocks from my backyard campground. So of course after a mediocre pizza I regained enough energy to at least go see the mermaid. (earlier in the day I kept replaying the seen in Zoolander when he’s like merman cough cough merman) the Sip and Dip was awesome, a scene fresh out the 70’s for sure. The only problem was the pool was drained and being worked on and there was no mermaid but Pat the organist that sings as she plays and looks like she has been doing it since the 70’s was great. After two porters (from Harvest Moon brewery in Belt Montana) I was ready to head back to the backyard and hit the bag. Ninety miles on the bike, more good people and a great time in Mediocre Falls.