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 60: Thursday, 30th August. Destination: Blossom’s B&B, Missoula, Montana
Lovely, calm day down the valley to Missoula, which was shrouded by an LA-type smog caused by a summer's worth of fires in the National Forests of Montana and Idaho. Destination: the national headquarters of the Adventure Cycling Association, where I'd made plans to meet up with Bill and his son Tom, whom, if you recall, works there. Jim had flown back from Great Falls a few days earlier, so I missed meeting up with him one last time. Cycling through town I got my 6th puncture just across the street from the ACA office. Cause unknown.
So anyway, we all met up; I had my polaroid photo taken with Bill to go on the wall of fame beside the front door; I fixed my puncture (getting good at that) and we all headed back to Tom's for a delicious meal made by his wife Ruth. Then, we all jumped on our bikes and cycled across town to see a ball game - Missoula Ospreys vs Great Falls White Sox. Missoula is nestled in a valley between the Continental Divide and the Rocky Mountains, and the amphitheatre of seating around the baseball diamond is itself encircled by the mountains that surround the city providing a grand backdrop. Plus, there's an osprey nesting on a tree at the edge the playing field. Though I don't claim to know much about baseball (except from what I learned reading 'Peanuts' cartoons), the game was fun to watch and there was plenty of popcorn and beer. Everytime something good happened (to the Ospreys) the tannoy system blared out "We Will Rock You", and when something bad happened (to the White Sox) it played "Another One Bites The Dust". A good evening for Queen fans.
One other thing to make a fine day complete: Bill had booked me into (and paid for) a lovely B&B just across the street from Tom's, called Blossoms. A little bit of luxury after all those motels, and once again I find myself overwhelmed by the hospitality and kindness of the good people of this nation... but it doesn't stop there... (read on in Pt.2)
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)