Day 5, Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

In spite of noises heard during the night, the night was uneventful, and we awoke refreshed.

Our campsite at Buffalo Horn trailhead, by ourselves out with the bears

Given how good the meal the night before had been, we broke camp and cycled down to the restaurant. Unfortunately, in the mornings they are only open to people staying in the cabins of the 320 Ranch.

The restaurant where we ate the night before – note the spare tire hanging on my bicycle

The 320 Ranch where we ate – the Buffalo Horn trailhead is about a half-mile behind it.

We were hungry, but we knew from talking with the staff at the restaurant that there were places we could eat a bit further down the road. After a few miles of cycling, we found what we were looking for – a bar that also was a restaurant. From now on, in researching these trips on Google Earth, I will also have it show bars.

The bar/restaurant where we had a really enjoyable breakfast

There were other businesses along the road as we approached Big Sky, Montana. We stopped at a service station just before Big Sky for a cold soda. We didn't go into that town (it's on a side road), mainly because there was a lot of road construction there, and we had already eaten. I knew from my research that there were restaurants in Big Sky.

Highway 191 had given us wide highway shoulders all the way from West Yellowstone, but at Big Sky (and other areas farther on) there was highway construction that was replacing the old road (with narrow shoulders) with a more modern road having wide shoulders. In a year or so, all of it will have good shoulders.

The construction lasted a mile or so past Big Sky, then we were past it, and the shoulders were good again.

It was getting hot again, and we cycled quite a ways down the highway before I found a cool stream coming in from the side where I could soak my neck-band for cooling.

Going downhill on highway 191 along the Gallatin River

This section was quite long, but easy-going where it was downhill. As you can see, the scenery was great. I think cycling highway 191 was probably my favorite section of the trip.

Farther down highway 191, along the Gallatin River

Another rest stop along the Gallatin River, looking south

When we got nearer to the mouth of the canyon, we talked briefly with a person in a car who was also a bicyclist. He seemed to think highway 191 was not a good highway for cycling, but I still remember this as a highlight of the trip.

He told us of a back road we could use in cycling to Bozeman, which we ultimately decided against, since the stores (with food and cool drinks) were on the main highway rather than the back road.

Finally out of the Gallatin River canyon, cycling toward Gallatin Gateway

It was getting hot now. Just before we pulled into a restaurant in Gallatin Gateway, we saw a sign indicating the temperature was 92 degrees.

We ate at a place called Gourmet Gas Station, which had good food. But though it was supposedly air-conditioned, it felt hot in there to us.

We continued on, finally turning east toward Bozeman. We found that the high temperature that day was a near-record 100 degrees, which is too hot for me, but I did okay with the water-soaked neck-band.

Arriving at Bozeman, Montana – the temperature 100 degrees

The first motel we inquired at was a bit expensive, and only had upstairs rooms, which we didn't want, because of having to carry the bicycles up the stairs. While I was inquiring about the room, Malcolm talked with the bicyclist we had met earlier in the day, who said the cheaper, non-chain motels were up a street a few blocks east, to the north.

We followed his directions, and found a reasonably priced room at the Royal 7 Inn. Staying in a motel after so much camping seemed like extravagant luxury. It was wonderfully relaxing to take a bath rather than just using the alcohol wipes for personal hygiene.

We ate at a Dairy Queen down the street (yes, another caramel malt was a chosen menu item). It was nice sleeping in a bed that night!

On this day, we traveled 54.5 miles. It took us 10 hours to do it. We were pedaling for a total of 5 hours, 21 minutes. Our average speed was 10.1 MPH – our fastest average speed of the trip.

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