b'Day 24JUNE 21South of Dupuyer, as we travel farther from the Rockies, we encounter a series of river valleys made up of tributaries feeding into the Upper Missouri River. Emilie is a bit discouraged since she had the impression that crossing the Continental Divide meant it was all down hill to the Mississippi River. Not here. We descend a mile, ride the flat surface for a mile, then climb a mile. Wash, rinse, repeat. While one week earlier we were fighting to stay warm in 33-degree weather, now the temperature exceeds 90 degrees. There is a constant cross breeze which slows us down as much as the hills rising from the river valley. At the peak of one of the climbs, a badger crosses 20 yards in front of me, pauses to show his teeth, then disappears into the brush on the side of the road. Outside the town of Vaughn, just shy of Great Falls, we stop to ask a farmer tending to his barn with his young son if he knows of any local campgrounds. The places he mentions are in the opposite direction of our route across Montana. He tells us we are welcome to camp on his farm, as long as we dont mind the sound of roosters in the morning. This farmer, Steve Pozder, takes us for a little tour of his barn and shows Emilie how to milk a cow. Steve then welcomes us into his trailer and treats us to dinner, promising buttermilk pancakes first thing in the morning. After setting up our tent alongside Steves barn, we fall asleep to the gentle clucking from the nearby hen house.BEGIN: Dupuyer, MTEND: Vaughn, MTDISTANCE: 77.10 milesTRIP TOTAL: 1,076.10 miles Day 25JUNE 22We pass on Steves offer of buttermilk pancakes, intent on covering as much mileage as possible during the cool morning. We work our way southeast on 89 from Vaughn through Great Falls, on what we later learn is the busiest road in Montana. The ride is slow, especially in the Great Falls traffic on the arteries coming in and out of town. Just east of Great Falls, we stop to swim in a watering hole which is actually a creek feeding into the Missouri River.In the early evening we stop at Kens East Side bar in the town of Belt to grab dinner and inquire about camping. We meet Ken Burley, the owner, and a cast of locals at the barWally, Smokey, and Tina. Again, we learn there is no camping anywhere even closeboy, Montana is a BIG state and our map-reading and trip-planning skills are failing us at this point. Tina Boberg, from the bar, offers up her couch and we catch a ride to her place just down the road in Geyser, MT (pop. 505).BEGIN: Vaughn, MTEND: Belt, MTDISTANCE: 61.88 milesTRIP TOTAL: 1,140.30 miles22'