In Bozeman our Warmshower host Cate met us as the coffee shop and led us by bike to her house near the campus of one of the big Montana colleges. I knew we were in for a wild ride with her when she led us down back alleys and winding dirt paths. We couldn't help but laugh as we had near falls on our fully loaded bikes. Stay with Cate was a great choice. After unloading the bikes she took us back out into town.
I've noticed that after being on the road with just the three of us, it's easy to want to keep it that way as we enter towns. It's more comfortable with just the three of us, exploring the town at our own speed. With Cate leading us about town, I could tell the guys were getting antsy to break off. I call this the tourist particle: where you just want to experience the town at an arms reach. This is the easy and selfish route. It takes effort to build new friendships, but it's usually worthwhile. It was worthwhile with Cate. We fought our urge to break off, and in doing so, we saw her town through her eyes; which apparently is margaritas, riding through the bmx track, and playing pool.
I've learned that we are not the only ones experiencing our trip. Every one we meet and stay with is experiencing it in one way or another, and it's selfish of us not to let them in.
We had an embarrassingly normal start around 1:30 pm from Bozeman for a short ride to Livingston for the night. The sky was threatening to rain all day, and we were safely tucked into a coffee shop in historic Livingston when the clouds got serious and began to downpour.
Our Warmshower host for the evening was a man named Eric. He was the oldest person I've met named Eric. Must have been on of the first. He had a small cabin in the back of a woman's house with a beautiful yard. A large tricycle sat in the corner of the yard that Eric tours on, would love to have seen it on the road.
Eric looked after the woman, Debbie, and he was kind enough to look after us for the evening. He was knowledgable, humorous, inquisitive, and will talk your ear off if you let him. Consider my ears off.
Eric called us two days after we stayed with him to check in on us. Glad we got to share the experience with him.
(The photos below are of Cate at work, hiding out from the rain in Livingstone, and Eric)