David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
05/14  twitter.com/d16n
05/14  It's peanut butter jelly time
05/15  Military Ridge
05/16  twitter.com/d16n
05/17  Geologists fed me watermelon
05/18  Big Rocks
05/19  The sneaky hills
05/20  Go and Stop
05/21  Whole lot of bluffs
05/22  twitter.com/d16n
05/22  Smells like the North Woods
05/23  Stop and they'll get you
05/24  twitter.com/d16n
05/25  Solitude and Dragonflies
05/28  Big timber
05/29  Not too proud to push
05/30  Stupid four-wheeler driving losers
05/31  twitter.com/d16n
05/31  There be dragons here
06/02  Duluth
06/03  Cruisin' the coast
06/04  I am so biking through the North Woods in a cold rain!
06/05  International Wolf Center
06/06  Finally heading west
06/09  Home on the Iron Range
06/10  Rain and loons
06/11  West of the Mississippi...I think
06/12  No more forest
06/13  "Thank you for not wearing spandex"
06/13  twitter.com/d16n
06/16  Flat
06/17  Ticks, rain and work
06/18  Wind
06/19  Deer and hawks
06/20  Perfectly centered
06/23  Peace and Turtles
06/24  Chugging along
06/25  twitter.com/d16n
06/25  Push up, roll down, repeat
06/26  Rain Delays
06/27  I must be getting "west"
06/30  twitter.com/d16n
07/02  twitter.com/d16n
07/03  Duct tape, hose clamp and a big iron bar
07/04  The Enchanted Highway
07/06  Something good comes of the rain
07/07  "Do not feed the prairie dogs"
07/08  Biking with bison
07/10  Yellowstone River Valley
07/11  A scarcity of roads
07/15  Tongue River Road
07/16  Reservations
07/17  A short unremarkable day
07/21  "I'm done when I'm done"
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Reservations

2010-07-16

I woke up to the crowing of roosters. Several times. I occupied the last motel room and the neighbors owned a sizable flock of chickens who would walk right into the room when I left the door open.

It turns out I was on the Cheyenne Indian Reservation. I was not impressed. Every business was protected by iron bars and sometimes fences. I think it is very likely that I saw more garbage today than in the aggregation of my trip thus far. Although Highway 212 had a sizable shoulder, much of it was strewn with broken glass -- for miles. Although I'm told the Cheyenne are nice (and indeed every one I talked to was), I'm also told they will steal you blind given the chance.

I didn't east breakfast in Ashland because the cafes didn't open early enough. After a bunch of hill climbing and a full 5 miles of downhill coasting I made it to the next town, Lame Deer, which had a permanently closed cafe and the charred and smoking remainders of another building next door (apparently it was some sort of children's home that was the victim of arson).

After noon I made it to Busby and the DnD Trading Post, a small store operated by Debbie from Virginia. Because the heat was kicking my butt I stayed there for a couple of hours while Debbie gave me glimpses of life on the reservation between tending to customers.

First of all DnD is a convenient store operated like a bar. Everything is behind the counter. There is no browsing. This greatly reduced shoplifting (as in 6 figures). The year before Debbie took over the store it was broken into 52 times, but things improved greatly now that Debbie actually lives on the premises and installed some security measures.

As I'm told (repeat, as I'm told): Indians will not buy a pack of cigarettes or a full case of diapers. It isn't because they can't afford them outright but because buying one at a time ensures they won't have to share with peers. Up to 25 people live in a house, and there is always somebody home. If everybody were to leave at once their neighbors would steal all their stuff. Teenagers die by the score because there are absolutely no driving regulations on the reservation and most folks are drug addicts. What government there is is totally corrupt and the culture has absolutely no work ethic. I could go on but it's rather depressing.

I had to buy water at the DnD rather than use the tap because some company had polluted all the local ground water with gas.

I finally met more cyclists. As I was preparing to leave DnD and considering how my rear tire had suddenly gone flat, David and Andrew pulled up. They were from London and had 84 days to get from Oregon to New York and were ahead of schedule. I talked with them for a good hour before fixing my tire and leaving into a hot wind.

BTW, I was wrong about the humidity. It is something like 13%. So it's a dry heat. But for some reason there is still a lot of haze.

After Busby I pushed on for another couple of hours before the heat began to win its war again. I found some large stacked square bales and laid my sleeping bag out behind them in the shade. After a bit I thought to check my thermometer. Ninety-five degrees. In the shade. At 6 pm. I decided I would sit behind those bales until the temperature fell to somewhere below ninety.

And that's when I started getting stressed. You see, because of my job there are just certain windows where I have to make myself available. And it seems like those windows keep getting longer while my ability to navigate between those windows becomes increasingly difficult. Stopping for five or more hours to ward off heat stroke is a swell idea, but it doesn't help me get to a hotel by Monday morning. As far as I can tell, my future route holds more and more temporal uncertainty while access points become more and more evasive. I'm once again considering that it might be time to switch to Plan B.

Anyway, after an hour or so I hit the road again. I made it to Little Bighorn just before it closed, so I wasn't able to see much.

By this point I was in Crow Country and it was getting dark. Whereas the Cheyenne are "nice" I was told that the Crow are "mean." So of course I get completely turned around in Crow Agency before getting out of that town. I wasn't navigating properly because, frankly, I was a little scared.

I followed a feeder road for a number of miles before cutting off onto a gravel road where a passing car regarded me fairly suspiciously (as I suppose it might as a white boy on a bike way after sunset in this area probably isn't all that common). The car looked like it might turn around so I dragged my bike under a gate and pushed it into the middle of a wheat field where I shall sleep tonight with no tent. If I can. Between barking dogs, some very upset horses and the Interstate it's kind of loud here.

good morning chickens


sanctuary


burned building in Lame Deer


pine trees!


it really isn't humid


no trees!


Little Bighorn


good night Montana

contact me at le@liverworks.com
< 2010-07-15 Tongue River Road 2010-07-17 A short unremarkable day >