Thursday, June 23, 2011

Port of Piegan - Bozeman

'have a nice day', the border control officer told me after checking my visum and ID. He asked me where I was going but didn't payed real attention to it. There I was, back into the US and into nomandsland. I was still cycling very close next-to the Rocky-Mountains and the cold westernly winds were anoying.. Still it was better than the rain or headwind. Going south to Babb I learned that the going-to-the-sun-road was still blocked by heavy snow. I decided to cycle to Browning and then to Great Falls, I'll stay on this side (east) off the continental divide for this trip. Leaving Babb , like ten houses or so.., took me to a desolated campground. The grass was growing out of control and the reception area was a mess. I think they went out of bussiness last year. The campgrounds were empty except for a young Canadian/London couple that were exploring BC and the Rockies. Since there were some nice buildings like sanatary and cookingplaces that were deserted lang ago, I took the decision to sleep into the ladies restroom that looked ok to sleep on the ground. I blocked the door and slept until I heard a car stopping. The guys were about to fish in the lake the next morning. Time to go and after another 2 kilometers I had my second flat tyre. A small metal paperclip went into the middle of the tyre where the kevlar should've protected it.. Bad points for Schwalbe this year on these tyres.. After fixing it I cycled into St. Mary, the port to Glacier National Parc. I went to the grocery store and took a look to the extraordinary hotelchain into the little town. Since the pass was still blocked by some meters of snow I went southbound to Browning but ... some hills were standing in the way. A few hills - the biggest one was 2,1 km high - were conquered during the day. I fell into Browning cycling upto 65 km/u with backwind. In Browning I found a gasstation to buy some food and.. I ran away out of town rather quickly. Some of the most poorest and most drunk native Americans were literally hanging out on the streets over here. They were not aggressive but had the tendency to clamp on to you to ' get some money for a sandwich'. If you replied that you'll buy one for him, he dropped of.. strange isn't it ? Well, the local Radioshack was closed so I had to cycle two more days to Great Falls to the next store where I could buy a AT&T simcard. I pitched up the tent in the stoney prairies some fifteen miles southeast out of Browning. The owner of the land , a native American gave me permission. Later that evening I contacted the streetgang once again on 40 meters. The next day I headed for Choteau.

After a nice beafsteak and fries-meal in Dupuyer for 9$ and finding out that my portabel 70/2 antenna needs to be soldered again at some point at the coil in the middle of it, I arrived in Choteau. On I found that there was a OM living around here. David,AD7BK had a swr-meter but no soldering-iron. A buddy of his brother had one. He was a kind of dangerous looking MC-guy and Vietnam vet. that I normally don't hang around with and since it was fathersday he celebrated it with his daughter and granddaughter. Rick lived in a house together with Joyce, they proposed me to pitch up the tent in their backyard and so I did. I bought some beers and piza for all of us and drunk our way into the night.. My nicotinelevels are filled up again .. In the morning they served some breakfast for me and I went on the road again to Great Falls this time to buy the simcard that I found over the into the late afternoon. Cycling out of the city I met Mr. Delano who was spraying his frontyard. I needed some water to fill up the bottle and asked some to him. Hey gave me a Mountain Dew pop and a little time later his kind wive served me a meal with freshly made chickensoup and sandwiches ! I met all the family of them who were over there to have campfire in the garden later that night in wich I gladly participated. We talked a lot and I met Dirk, a fireman in town who was one of the sons of Delano. They made me breakfast in the morning with everything on it and made me lunch to take along the road, great people !

Cycling to the south upto Belt, I discovered that my refill AT&T card doesn't hook up with remote 900 Mc towers. I could see them but it was a no-go for my desire. It was possible with my Mobile Vikings simcard but not with proximus.. Edge is no problem on 1800 mc towers but their coverage is smaller.

I stopped for the day north of Neihart on a Stateparc campground with ten places with no-one on it.. I Hung up dipoles for 20 and 40 and was able to work Europe again ! UA3TCJ and RW4WB/3 who gave me 5 by 5 , not bad ! I heard 9A9A, DF2PY and a pileup from EU to some DX that I couldn't hear. I worked some NA-stations on 20 and once again some guys of the streetgang on 40 meter on 7177 Mc.

After sleeping quite well I headed up into the mountains to a height of 2,25 km into the Kings Hill Pass. I tried 6 meters once again but no successs this time. 2 meters was also quite dead here, except for the local repeater for the 50 or so people living in Neihart were I visited the recommendable grocerystore with at least 5 gossipwoman al over 60 years old waiting for you :-)

Cycling into White Sulphur Springs I didn't found a place to sleep quite easily. I tried the local expensive campground who asked me 20$. I got in for 10 ! Great showers and fireplace and lots of old kind RV-people who gave me fruit, meat and bread all over. Some of them were Vietnam veterans and could talk.. After a long morning cycling into the heavy headwind and going up I reached Clyde Parc after I went trough Wilsall were I met .. Billy from the rockgroup Morphene .. while I was there sitting out in front of the local grocerystore eating a banana and drinking milk.. He asked where I came from and he replied that he knew Belgium very well and he did. He stood on stage on almost all of the concerts like TorhoutWerchter , Pinkpop, the Botanique, Rugged, Antwerp conscienceplace etc..

He toured in Europe for months with K's Choice and knew Sarah quite well. He also toured here in the US with DEUS and knew the size of Toms underwear hahi.. Incredible isn't it. This is really the outback here.. He stopped making music because one of the bandmembers died on-stage in Italy of a fatal heartstroke. Nowadays he's doing some farming over here.

I wanted to ask him more intelligent questions but since I'm not into Rock and Roll we talked about other things. I wished Tanguy or any other R&R guy was here .. Well, he had to go with a sixpack in one hand to take care for the animals and I took off also into the thunderstorms which I could avoid somehow.

I reached Clyde Park and found a place in the gardenhouse of a young guy named Grant, to sleep in. Grant went away to Bozeman for the weekend. I tried the local repeater and Garry, KD7WLX replied. He invited me by radio to come over to the ARRL fieldday of his radioclub in Bozeman for the weekend !

Whow, that will defenitly be another great experience ..

Another dream coming true so close to Yellowstone ..

So many wonderfull and great things and people all over this trip, just wááy to great !