My Route

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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.