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 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.
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)