Day 18: Shelby, MT to Havre, MT

Brian Richardson

Today we were blessed with a tailwind, which is quite the boon for a biker; it’s like a buy-one-get-one-free sale for miles. We took advantage of the conditions and rode 103 miles all the way into Havre (pronounced “have-er,” “hay-ver,” or “haw-ver,” depending on who you ask).

As of yesterday, we are officially through the Rockies and into the Great Plains. We’ve been told by a few people that the best views are behind us and that it will be flat and boring from here until the end of North Dakota. I was given a similar warning during my cross-country ride in 2015 when we left the Colorado Rockies and hit the Plains of Kansas; everyone we talked to would comment on the monotony of the open fields. Based on my experience, however, the Great Plains are anything but boring.

It’s true that the scenery is not always as dramatic as it is in the mountains out west, but it has its own, more subtle, beauty. Today we saw four or five pronghorns standing out in the wheat fields, we watched giant freight trains travel back and forth on the tracks that run parallel to Highway 2, and followed the rainclouds as they circulated around us. With so much flat, open space, you feel like you can see the curvature of the earth on the horizon in every direction.


We could tell that we were within a few miles of a town when we could see a grain elevator rising up above the road ahead. Most of the towns we passed through today had populations of about a hundred. Havre, where we are camping tonight, has a few thousand people and feels like a metropolis by comparison. We’re camped out in a park in town and will probably be going to bed pretty early after our century ride today.

Double rainbow in Havre after a quick evening shower

Double rainbow in Havre after a quick evening shower