Day 19: Havre, MT to Malta, MT

Evan Malinchock

My day started in the worst way, at the worst time, in the worst place imaginable. I was woken at 1am by Brian running his tent up to the (half) gazebo where I had my sleeping bag laid out. This series of events was far too confusing for an Evan that was just now abruptly awoken from his slumber but it all made sense in an instant. A wave of water from the sprinkler nearby worked its way up from the foot of my sleeping bag to my face leaving me wet, awoken, and above all, pissy.

I quickly picked up my sleeping bag and pad and rolled up my panniers and tried to find somewhere dry for the time being. While one half of the park was being sprayed down the other half remained dry as I seeked shelter near a tree. After an agonizing and freezing thirty minutes I ran to where the sprinklers were just on and set up my sleeping pad and bag directly under a street light, where I would try to sleep with little success until I was awoken at 6:30 by an eager Brian.

I packed up my sopping wet clothes and bag and rode 100 yards to a grocery store where I was met by an equally ticked off Wes and Brian. They have been waiting for a good bit so they took off and I promised to meet them in less than 30 minutes. On my way out bad thing #2 happened, my earbuds decided to stop working all together, so I went to buy some BlueTooth ones in the cheap. Of course these promptly ran out of battery.

Then on the road my bike decided it was time for me to have the first crash of the trip. While adjusting my light the handlebars turned throwing me off the bike, miraculously landing on two feet on a sidewalk. Unfortunately though, one of my panniers was laying next to me with a broken clip. After a half an hour of jerry rigging my pannier clips I then hit the road.


I'm thankful to say that the rest of the afternoon was not nearly as eventful as my morning portion but nonetheless it set a tone for my day while we rode rough roads for 90 miles in the hottest weather yet through a literal swamp that's infested with bloodthirsty mosquitoes. But through all of this suffering and massive annoyances, I have a massive stupid smile on my face right now, and honestly I can't wait for tomorrow. This is the magic and the spirit of the bike trip, it takes one (or many events) that could ruin someone's day and turns it right. It just takes one good meal, tailwind, or view to wipe away all sorrow in the moment and even if you cannot remember that positive you always go to bed with a smile on your face.