NY man cycling to all 50 states describes Montana’s scenery as ‘spectacular’

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Bob Barnes, the man who has cycled to all 50 US state capitals in one year, had to stop twice while he rode through the states of Montana and Idaho.

“The wind doesn’t stop,” Barnes, 52, of Syracuse, New York, told Fox News Digital while he was still in Montana. “You just fight it one mile at a time.”

“It’s just over-the-top windy every day,” Barnes also said. “The wind starts to become demoralizing.”

Even so, he enjoyed the scenery as he pedaled along — and explained how much and why.

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Barnes reached the 45th capital of his trip, Helena, Montana, on June 12 — and his 46th capital, Boise, Idaho, on June 23. Here’s what else he saw on his great American journey — and what he discovered about these two mountain states .

Montana, the Treasure State

Barnes, who arrived in Montana on June 4, lost his phone while he was at a rest stop within his first few days there.

On Facebook, where Barnes has been updating his followers three times a day, he explained that he was eating lunch at the rest stop when he heard thunder and saw a storm rolling in.

Bob Barnes cycled to all 50 states in one year.  On June 12, he arrived at his 45th capital, Helena, Montana (pictured here).

Bob Barnes cycled to all 50 states in one year. On June 12, he arrived at his 45th capital, Helena, Montana (pictured here).
(Bob Barnes)

Before he reached the capital, Barnes lost his phone while trying to outrun a storm.  He got another one about 24 hours later.

Before he reached the capital, Barnes lost his phone while trying to outrun a storm. He got another one about 24 hours later.
(Bob Barnes)

In a split-second decision, he decided to try it outrun the storm.

Just a quarter of a mile down the interstate where he’d been riding, however, he realized he didn’t have his phone with him.

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Barnes went back to the rest stop to look for his phone but couldn’t find it.

He said he had no other choice but to get back on the interstate and pedal on.

“It was a miserable night,” Barnes said of his ride that evening. “It was wet, cold.” He continued, “I had my wallet, so I was happy about that. I knew eventually I would take care of the situation.”

Barnes said he especially enjoyed the scenery of Montana, which he described as

Barnes said he especially enjoyed the scenery of Montana, which he described as “spectacular.”
(Bob Barnes)

Barnes told Fox News Digital that he would encourage everyone to visit Montana.

Barnes told Fox News Digital that he would encourage everyone to visit Montana. “It’s a must. It should be on everybody’s bucket list. And just sit back and enjoy the scenery,” he said.
(Bob Barnes)

With the help of a post office worker just outside Billings, Montana, Barnes was able to find a Verizon store and buy a new phone. It set him back $1,100 to pay off the phone he lost.

In total, Barnes said the cost of all the phones he’s lost or broken was an unexpected financial burden for him on the cycling trip.

“Between three of the phones I’ve had on this trip and the digital camera I left with, it costing $40,000,” Barnes said. “That was a big hit.”

“The scenery is spectacular. It doesn’t get old. It’s amazing.”

He added, “It’s all part of the adventure. That being said, it was my fault I lost the phone. I was trying to outrun a storm.”

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Overall, Barnes said he enjoyed riding through Montana, particularly for the views, which were the best he’d ever seen.

“The scenery is spectacular,” he said. “It doesn’t get old. It’s amazing.”

On his way to Helena, Barnes visited the town of Livingston (pictured here).

On his way to Helena, Barnes visited the town of Livingston (pictured here).
(Bob Barnes)

Barnes tried elk jerky for the first time when he was in Livingston, Montana.

Barnes tried elk jerky for the first time when he was in Livingston, Montana.
(Bob Barnes)

One of his favorite places in Montana was the town of Livingston, which he visited on June 10.

“It was just a really comfortable, inviting town,” Barnes said. “And it looked really nice. It had a certain feel to it.”

In town, Barnes found a campsite. The woman who ran the camp let him stay for just $20 for the night. He said he and the woman became friends and she even gave him some elk jerky to try.

“It was very salty,” Barnes said of the treat — which he’d never tried before.

“It did have a certain taste to it, different than beef jerky,” Barnes added. “I ate the whole thing. It was really good.”

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Barnes stopped for the night in Elliston, Montana, on June 13. The next morning, Barnes decided to stay in town for the day because of the high winds and cold temperatures.

“If it’s one or the other, I can deal with it, but when it gets like that, I kind of get scared,” Barnes said. “You can go hypothermic pretty easily because you can’t escape [the cold and wind].”

Barnes spent two nights at this motel in Elliston, Montana, due to the cold weather and winds.

Barnes spent two nights at this motel in Elliston, Montana, due to the cold weather and winds.
(Bob Barnes)

When Barnes crossed the Continental Divide of the Americas, he stopped for lunch.  He told Fox News Digital,

When Barnes crossed the Continental Divide of the Americas, he stopped for lunch. He told Fox News Digital, “The air was so dry that … by the time I got done eating my sandwich, it was crunchy.”
(Bob Barnes)

During his day in Elliston, Barnes did a lot of planning and preparing for his ride, what he called his “homework.”

“I sat at the restaurant next door [to the motel] for six hours talking to the bartender,” Barnes said. “And I just did a lot of homework. I made myself comfortable in that little town.”

“I’ll remember that town forever,” Barnes added. “It was a Montana experience.”

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Barnes was able to hit the road again on June 15. The next day, he crossed the Continental Divide of the Americas for the third and final time on his year-long journey.

“That was pretty exciting,” Barnes said. “I sat there and had my lunch and I took it in. It was a good moment.”

Idaho, the Gem State

Barnes left Montana and arrived in Idaho on June 19. The next day, he rode to the city of Idaho Falls, where he brought his bike to “the best bike shop I’ve ever seen.”

“They were just on the ball,” Barnes said. “They fixed everything. My bike was as good as new when I left.”

Barnes arrived in Idaho on June 19, after finishing his trip through Montana.

Barnes arrived in Idaho on June 19, after finishing his trip through Montana.
(Bob Barnes)

In Idaho Falls, Barnes brought his bicycle to Dave's Bike Shop, which Barnes described as

In Idaho Falls, Barnes brought his bicycle to Dave’s Bike Shop, which Barnes described as “awesome.”
(Bob Barnes)

After the repairs were completed, Barnes decided to spend the rest of the day in Idaho Falls because of the strong winds.

While he was there, he visited the city’s museum and zoo.

“I had a ball,” Barnes said. “I was all over the place. It was so easy to get around Idaho Falls. Everything was like a mile away from the next thing.”

Barnes spent a day in Idaho Falls because the wind and cold were so harsh.

Barnes spent a day in Idaho Falls because the wind and cold were so harsh.
(Bob Barnes)

When he was in Idaho Falls, Barnes visited the local museum (pictured here) and the zoo.

When he was in Idaho Falls, Barnes visited the local museum (pictured here) and the zoo.
(Bob Barnes)

The next day, Barnes was on his way again.

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He made it to Boise on June 23 — and the following day, he donated whole blood as a giving gesture; he donated blood a variety of times during his trip.

“I was pretty happy about that,” Barnes said. “I like to give whole blood better than platelets. Because [when you donate platelets]you are there a lot longer time.”

Barnes made it to his 46th capital, Boise, on June 23, 2022. He took all of the images shown in this article and shared them with Fox News Digital.

Barnes made it to his 46th capital, Boise, on June 23, 2022. He took all of the images shown in this article and shared them with Fox News Digital.
(Bob Barnes)

Barnes got rid of his bike trailer when he was in North Dakota.  While in Idaho, he told Fox News Digital,

Barnes got rid of his bike trailer when he was in North Dakota. While in Idaho, he told Fox News Digital, “I’m moving so much faster without the trailer.”
(Bob Barnes)

Whole blood donation takes about an hour, while platelet donations take between two-and-a-half to three hours, according to the Red Cross website.

Although exercise is discouraged after donating blood, Barnes still decided to ride after his donation.

“It did hit me pretty hard afterwards,” he said. “I only made it… 26 miles. I was shot.”

Within a few days, he was back to his normal self.

Barnes donated whole blood the day after he arrived in Boise, Idaho.

Barnes donated whole blood the day after he arrived in Boise, Idaho.
(Bob Barnes)

Next stop: the Beaver State

After Bob Barnes left Idaho, he arrived in Oregon, heading for capital no. 47 on his trip: Salem.

After visiting all of the Lower 48 states, he took a ferry to Juneau, Alaska, from Canada and rode on his bicycle to the capitol — as he’d previously told Fox News Digital he would be doing.

From there, he flew with his bike to Hawaii and rode from the airport to the capitol building to complete the remainder of his trip.

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Fox News Digital has been following Barnes’ journey across America and detailing it for readers in this unique Lifestyle series. To catch up on — or enjoy once more! — his previous three trips before the one described here, read more below:

NY man cycling across America names his friendliest state of all

NY man cycling to all 50 states hits major milestone in Minnesota

NY man cycling across America tries this classic Wisconsin dish: ‘They make you smile’