Having seen over two thousand, five hundred miles of the United States, at this point, on July 4th, we can safely say: we love America. And nothing expresses this love for America more than sitting on Havre, MT's town green, eating fried chicken and apple pie and watching a terrible cover band play Freebird. We now have some Artillery Shells With Comet Tails and Magical Roman Candles and are going to head towards the highest bluff we can find in these great Montana plains.
We've battled stiff winds from the west for the past few days, but we're finally starting to see some trees and even some hills (mountains? Rockies?) looming in the distance. Jon did his first century (100 miles) and James has been taking turns on the bike daily. "Lupe Fiasco makes things way easier," says James. World Cup soccer matches in the early afternoon also means early, early alarms to finish a day's ride and find a bar. Was anyone else as heartbroken as we were about Ghana's loss?
Most of the last week we've been in Indian Reservations, and its been interesting to hear about life in a reservation. One pastor we stayed with in Wolf Point MT (who also owns a gun shop, awesome) told us about the racial tensions and all the problems that stem from a lack of jobs and the erosion of a culture. Poplar MT, in the Fort Peck Reservation, has the highest crime rate and homicide rate per capita in the country. (We had planned to camp there but after hearing that rolled on through). Homelessness is also a big problem on the reservations, but isn't as visible as in other places - many families "double-up" in houses with relatives; a two bedroom house with over fifteen people isn't uncommon.
The whole trip, but the last week in particular, we've had great luck using church's facilities. The hospitality and generosity of pastors has been incredible. In Glasgow MT we had full run of a church with a kitchen, showers, flat screen TV, ping pong and pool tables, an indoor basketball court.... not exactly roughing it...
Three days until Glacier National Park!
Wanna go pick some more daisies?