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Around the World with Blue Stocking
Kindness of strangers

I went into this little general store in Harrison (Wheat and Thistles) and asked the assembled multitude about local campgrounds. All seemed distant and/or on dirt roads. After the usual delightful banter, the lovely lady behind the counter (the owner, happily) said, "otherwise, you could put your tent in the back yard here". She said it quietly, but I heard it, confirmed it, and did it. A comfortable night ensconced on grass between the storage container and the propane tanks! Thanks again, Nichole. I told her she was a saint. She gave me a hard glance, and we both had a good laugh.

Missed the dern turn

The plan for today was from Canyon Ferry Lake to a state park, but when I got to the crucial point (where I had wifi and all mod cons) I forgot to check my course and I bicycled on past the turn, not realizing my error until it was pretty late and my water was pretty depleted. (Water is a big issue out here in the west for a bicyclist, and I'm going to figure out how to at least double the amount I carry). I stopped at one of the many river access points here I met these great guys from Bozeman, Patrick, Matt and Doug, and some others too. I joined them in the water (they had waved madly to me as I crossed the bridge they were near, actually backtracking at that point). They got my story and fell over themselves to give me some acute hydration (a cold PBR) and to fill my water bottles. I spent an hour with them and chatting with an older MSU graduate, Aaron, who is a sculptor in steel. One of the young guys, Matt, I think, is from New Jersey and he has ocean sailing dreams--we had a great talk.

I got back on the road and stopped in Harrison, a tiny burg where there is a huge encampment supporting the forest fire fighters for the local fire in the Pony area (it's been in the news). More in the next post.

Now We're Talkin'

Here's my "rig" as I have modified it. The center of gravity is down 6 inches or more and forward about a foot. Obviously a lot more stable. Pretty heavy though, and maybe I will shed and upgrade (ie find some lighter substitutes) some gear, like tent, sleeping bag, and, esp., computer.

Nice to be started now on my unstructured bike travel. I am basically headed for Colorado now and I have to stop in W. Yellowstone for mail. So I planned a 55 mile ride for today. After about 35 miles I am now in a very nice home-style truckstop catching up with the blog and resting. This afternoon and tonight I'll be at the Head of the Missouri State Park which was a camping spot for Lewis and Clark and is of course where the Missouri rises. Steve, the nurse, said he saw the ghost of a former land-owner at this park last time he was here. He and his daughters got me a little paranoid about bears, though, so I'm looking for Bear Mace. Like pirates and rogue waves, I suppose, but no harm in a little precaution.

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Who: Paul
Port: Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA
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