Day 9 – Shelby to Havre

This is part of a series of posts written during my cycle from Vancouver, BC to Minneapolis, MN in June 2013. For the most part I followed the Adventure Cycling Association’s ‘Northern Tier’ Route, but deviated where I saw fit. It was a great experience, read on to find out more…

I overslept slightly this morning, but was still on the road for just past eight. I knew today was going to be tough, with the weather reports last night indicating that I should expect a strong headwind. I wasn’t disappointed.

Montana Plains

Montana Plains

There was only one true town on route today — Chester, just under half way between Shelby and Havre (my start and end points). I made it there in good time, despite the wind, only challenged by the monotony of the terrain: pancake flat fields and not a lot else. After a quick lunch, including taking on a lot of fluids, I started to leave town. Just as I was getting on my bike I was told by a farmer that there was a severe thunderstorm / tornado warning out for the area! She said that it wasn’t due until later, but that I better move quickly if I wanted to get to Havre.

Nothing but me and the wind....

Nothing but me and the wind….

Easier said than done: the wind picked up as the day went on, drying out my mouth, nose, and eyes. 10 miles down the road from Chester I ran into another cyclist called Ed Devlin, he’s cycling from his home in Virginia to Alaska — it was particularly odd to see him as we’ve previously talked online.

Eventually, the wind reducing me to a crawl by the end of the day, I pulled into Havre, diving into the first place that sold soda to quench my thirst. Reluctantly I checked into a motel – I don’t want to be camping if a tornado rolls in! All I can do now is hope the wind is better tomorrow; for me today was the hardest of the trip so far.

Looking slightly deranged: headwinds taking their toll. Picture taken by Ed Devlin

Looking slightly deranged: headwinds taking their toll. Picture taken by Ed Devlin

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