*Found by DBC Member Ralph*


The clusters of humanity were few and far between as Jim, Mark, and I bicycled across
Montana in the summer of 2015. We were in the second phase of GYMRAT (Get Your Mind
Right America Traverse) which included biking up the Going To The Sun Road in Glacier National
Park, crossing the border into Alberta, and then traversing Montana to Teddy Roosevelt N P at
the border with North Dakota. We had witnessed amazing views of the Rocky Mountains,
Waterton N P and Whiskey Pass in Alberta, unbelievably long trains hauling anthracite coal
pulled eastward by 5 or 6 diesel engines, both squalid and progressive Indian reservation land,
straight roads stretching until they disappeared into the horizon, and very few places where we
could refill our water bottles and get something to eat besides the power bars in our seat bags.
And then finally we spotted some rectangular forms in the haze rising above the sun heated
highway. It was a very small town with a gas station, a small general store that was closed, a
few single wide trailers sitting in the sun, and a bar that was open! We leaned our bikes against
the side of the bar surrounded by 9 or 10 pickup trucks with dually wheels. We opened the
door of the bar and found ourselves facing a big, burly bartender who greeted us with a deep,
gruff “CAN I HELP YOU?”. I said: “Do you have any coffee?” and he answered: “AROUND THE
CORNER”. So around the corner of the bar we went. Now you have to picture three guys
wearing spandex riding shorts and wildly colored biking jerseys walking through 9 or 10 dusty,
pickup driving cowboys sitting and discussing the many problems associated with ranching in
Montana. We felt a little (to say the least) self-conscious.
The bartender followed us and started making a fresh pot of coffee even though there already
were a couple of half full pots. He asked us where we were going, how far we had ridden, etc.
We told him that we were riding across America over five, yearly 10 or 11 days of riding. He
then informed us that he had once ridden across America on a bicycle, but that he just rides his
Harley now! Needless to say, we were surprised and impressed! We talked about bicycling for
a while and then the bartender asked us if we liked cinnamon rolls. Our answer was a
resounding YES! He went to the kitchen and brought the thickest, lightest, sweetest tasting
cinnamon rolls I had ever seen and proudly informed us: “My wife baked these.” He informed
us that they cost $1.50 apiece. They tasted wonderful and each one provided enough energy to
bike at least another 30 miles.
Happy and filled with cinnamon rolls and coffee we walked past the ranchers to the front door.
As we passed the bar the bartender asked us if we had noticed the sign above the door as we
came in. We hadn’t and he told us to take a look when we go out. Outside we turned and
What a lucky and moving find in the big sky country of Montana!

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