For more detailed maps, scroll down through the blog. Click on any one to enlarge it; use the backspace button to return to the blog. That goes for the photos, too.
Day 52: Wednesday, 22nd August 2007. Destination: Travellers Inn, Circle, Montana
Last night I made it to Wolf Point, and today cut south to a place called Circle. This is a variation to my route and misses out Fort Peck, rejoining the route tomorrow 36m east of Jordan. The good things about this are a) it gets me off the busy Route 2, and b) it means a day without headwind. I arrived around lunchtime and the motel, though basic, has internet so I can get this blog up-to-date. And another good thing, the cafe next door does the best cup of tea since leaving Brighton...
The sky continues to be amazing (as it should, on the Big Sky Back Country Byway), and the only hassle was my 4th puncture of the trip, caused by a shard of brown, beer-bottle glass on the road's shoulder (refer to previous post). The other thing I wanted to mention was a moment of temptation yesterday: as I struggled against the wind into Poplar a freight train, going the same way as me, slowed down for a brief stop. It was one of those endless trains, and there were a couple of empty wagons. All I had to do was carry my bike across a strip of scrubland and I could've hoisted my bike up and ridden the rails all the way to Wolf Point... avoiding the wind and fulfilling a childhood fantasy all in one go. But I hesitated, wondering if I could still say I’d cycled across America if I got on, and the moment was lost.
This evening, as usual, I strolled into town looking for somewhere to eat. I like these moments: feeling light on my feet after a day in the saddle, wearing ‘normal’ clothes and clean after a shower. Not much in Circle except a crossroads and some single-storey buildings that wouldn’t disgrace a cowboy movie. I found only one place open, the Wooden Nickel. Empty, except for a couple enjoying their evening meal. I got chatting to the waiter who was wearing a cool work t-shirt. I’ve been looking for a new t-shirt so I asked if I could buy one: he asked the manager who told me they’d run out. Tinge of disappointment. On leaving, the manager came over and said a girl had recently quit and left her 2 work t-shirts: did I want them? That put a smile back on my face. Yes please and thank you. What makes this special is that I don’t have room to carry mementos, but essential clothing is the exception. Consider this a freshly laundered souvenir.
I've updated my blog. There are 3 reasons why: 1) so it reads from start to finish rather than the other way round; 2) so I can include some episodes that never made it to the original; and 3) to add some photos. A consequence of this is that the blog archive below reads as if all blogs were produced in June 2010. It's just the way Blogger works. The original dates are incorporated in the individual blog titles.
If you want to use the tags at the bottom of each blog, remember to click 'Older Post' when you want to go to the next, newer, one.
The detailed maps also work as chapter headings: they correspond to each of the 12 cycle maps I needed to get from coast to coast.
This Summer, I'm cycling across North America from Bar Harbor, Maine to Florence, Oregon. 4,300 miles, give or take a few. The first three weeks of my trip I'll be accompanied by my friends Edward & Ewa, and the rest will be solo. None of us are fitness freaks, but we do like the outdoors and looking at nice views. We've been in training since last November, and hopefully will be in reasonable shape come our start date, July 2nd.
I'm doing it simply for the adventure, but if you're interested, I'm also going to be raising money for the charity Architects For Aid. They do great work, and you can find out more about them by clicking the link at the top of this page. There's a link to my sponsorship page below.
I'll be updating this weblog regularly, so come back soon, John.
My Favourites List
TV Commercial: "Obsessing over celebrity is wrong..." Yup, the prize for best TV ad - and this will come as no surprise to Edward & Ewa - goes to Wendy's Baconator. Watch it here, if you dare (click on the black & white image of a guy screaming...)
Breakfast: Again, no surprises for E&E - a tie between oatmeal with raisins, brown sugar & maple syrup, and two eggs (scrambled) with hashbrowns and white toast.
State: Tough call, but the M's have it, in a tie between Minnesota and Montana.
The Internal Jukebox
I decided not to take my MP3 Player with me. Too heavy, and I wanted to listen to crickets and birds. But nature abhors a vaccuum so during this trip, from time to time, I've found myself singing or humming an assortment of tunes. In a roughly chronological order, here's the ones I remember:
Heard It On The X - ZZ Top
Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Acony Bell - Gillian Welch
11:11 - Rufus Wainwright
I Saw Her Standing There - The Beatles
The Carpet Crawl - Genesis
Don't Bring Me Down - ELO
You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go - Bob Dylan
That Kind Of Love - Alison Krauss
Fun For Me - Moloko
Work It - Missy Elliott
Mississippi Delta - Bobby Gentry
Where The Lazy River Goes By - Teddy Wilson
I'm Gonna Love You Too - Blondie
Tie A Yellow Ribbon - Tony & Dawn
Big Sky - Kate Bush
Walking On The Moon - The Police
Old MacDonald Had A Creek / The Hokey Cokey (Medley)
Everyday America - Sugarland
Walk This Way - Aerosmith
The Gambler - Kenny Rogers
The End - The Beatles
I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself - White Stripes
and , of course,
(I've Got A) Sore Butt (& My Butt Is Sore)