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Sunday April 25, 1999, Bozeman, MT

I have made it through the mountains! I have been very occupied lately with the trials and challenges of biking over some of the most raw and rugged terrain in the country. Montana has broken me. Five high mountain passes in the last three days have challenged the limits of my endurance. The mountains out here, are incredible. They inspire a sense of numb awe which does not translate into any known language. Feeling this country on a bicycle is completely new and fosters an advanced respect for the forces that have shaped and reshaped our planet. Crossing the mountains on a good bicycle is hard enough, I can't imagine how the early western settlers crossed this land with everything they owned loaded into a wooden wheeled wagon. And just how did they survive the often inhospitable climate of the high country without polypropelene!?! It is nice to be through with that part anyway. People tell me that eastern Montana is boring, flat and windy? Maybe after a few weeks of crossing the mindless, flat plains of the midwest, I would be happy to have a few mountain passes, but for now I have had enough!