We sit here before you today, in scorching hot weather fresh from a visit to the local hospital in Billings Montana. It’s amazing we’re both still alive to tell the tale of what happened yesterday! But you know life is full of scary stuff and as Anthony’s mum always used to say “if it doesn’t kill you, it’ll make you stronger”. So without further delay lets us tell you about the events of yesterday.
At 4:30am we were woken up by the all consuming calamitous noise of a 5 tonne street cleaning machine being driven persistently back and forth on the street directly beneath our room window, by what can only be described as a disgruntled County employee who was obviously displeased with his present situation, especially when everyone around him was tucked up fast asleep in bed. The whole affair was so ridiculously ridiculous, Anthony frustratingly got out of bed, put his clothes on and was about to march out onto the street and in his sarcastic nature yell, “…Oi mate you’ve missed a spot”. Fortunately Kat was able to placate Anthony with words of reason. Failing to get back to sleep we were showered, packed, fed and ready to roll by 8:45am, which was fortunate really as today’s ride from Big Timber to Billings was going to be 85 miles in 90° heat and full of unsuspecting challenges.
The first 20 miles of the ride were great; we managed to see some more wildlife at really close quarters and took some nice shots. Then another 20 miles, we stopped for lunch in Columbus and ate our ‘fresh out of the tin’ corned beef and mustard sandwiches, we even had time to call TMG and discuss the viability of partying together in NYC on our return …can’t wait.
The time was now 2pm, the Sun was high in the sky and there wasn’t a single cloud to moderate its heat. We cycled on, burning more calories than expected, as we battled through the fierce headwind under false impressions that the cooling effects of the wind were doing us a favour… how very wrong! Another 20 miles later and Kat, suggested we make an unscheduled stop, as she needed to get out of the sun and find some shade. As we pulled into a nearby service station, Kat removed her helmet and glasses to reveal her purist white ‘with a hint of green’ complexion. This wasn’t good! It was obvious to Anthony that she was suffering from heat exhaustion. A few cold compressions, a litre of water and some iced green tea later, we set of again at a much slower pace. Things were looking up as we decided to take a shorter (8 miles shorter) route along the Interstate and into Billings, so not to prolongs Kat’s suffering. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the end of today’s adventure. Just 14 miles away from our destination, Kat fell off Steed, landing heavily on the concrete hard shoulder of the I90. Call it a sixth sense, but right at that moment Anthony checked his helmet-mounted rear-view mirror and saw Kat lying on her side, dangerously close to fast moving traffic. We managed to find a spot a safe distance away from the menacing 18-wheelers to put Steed back together and give Kat some TLC. After a 30 minute rest at the side of the road, we limped the remaining 14 miles, which felt like 40, to our hotel, the Dude Rancher Lodge….
… which bring us to today! Luckily we weren’t serenaded this morning with the dulcet tones of a street cleaning vehikkle and consequently managed to sleep in this morning, but not too long as we had some pressing activities to complete. The most important was of course, to get Kat to the hospital to check over her shoulder injury. Following the advice of the receptionist and manager of the hotel, we found a Same Day clinic where Kat was well looked after and it was concluded suffered minor injuries, which should clear up after a course of steroids and painkillers (lots of rest is not an option).
We hope to take a day off tomorrow, chill out and feel happy that we have finally past the 9,000-mile mark …only 5,000 miles left.