My Route

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Day 53: Thursday, 23rd August. Destination: Fellmans Motel, Jordan, Montana

Before I start, I have to mention a moment of anxiety last night when I realized that carrying TWO souvenir t-shirts broke my no mementos rule. So, I wrapped one up with an explanatory thank-you note and left it on the cafe doorstep (I was away before opening time). Fuelled by a slice of cherry pie bought the night before, today took me across yet more amazing country. It looked like the surface of the moon, but covered with dried yellow grass and riven with creeks and buttes rather than craters. Technically, the wind had turned to the SE but actually it was calm - a most welcome change.

The only strange thing was that my bike kept on behaving like it'd had a puncture. Most inexplicable. It got so bad at times I had to stop to check the tyres, not believing my own eyes which could see they were OK. Brakes OK, frame OK, chain OK, wheels OK... what could cause this outbreak of phantom puncture phenomenon (p.p.p.)? I thought it was the road surface, perhaps more gluey then usual. Or maybe pockets of negative air pressure dragging me backwards...

But anyway, Jordan is famous for one big thing: dinosaurs. The Garfield County Museum told me all about it: over half (half!) of the 30-some T-Rex skeletons found in the world are from this area. I was surprised that so few have been found, and I don't think any of them are actually complete. They had a triceratops, too. In Jordan, I was still thinking it likely that I’d bump into Bill & Jim some time soon. I strolled down to the only other motel in town to see if they’d passed through last night, or had a reservation for tomorrow. The receptionist thought she might have spoken to a couple of cyclists, which turned out to be a red herring: as became obvious later, they were taking another route altogether, heading to Great Falls via Route 2 which runs North of the Missouri River from Fort Peck (which I would have gone through if I hadn’t detoured via Circle) to Fort Benson (which was on my route as well, although I ended up missing it out). As I hope I’ve made clear somewhere else, my route (the official Lewis & Clark) took me South of the river. Their comments on my blog re Forts Peck & Benton had kept my hopes up we were going the same way. Darn these ACA maps that don't show anything off-route, or I might've figured it out.