Day 30

Chester, MT to Harlem, MT
$20 :: snacks, grocs, hardware, gas
106.3 mi :: 6.54 hr :: 38.4 mph :: 15.3 mph :: 2080 mi

5:50AM: Noel is up. I’m thinkin’ about it. I know I should get going while the day is cool. The soft park grass feels good.

6:20AM: I haul my ass out of bed. Don’t feel like wheat germ for BF so I munch on a bagel, PB, cream cheese.

6:50AM: Set off riding w/ Noel. Have to slow down a little, but enjoy talking a while.

9AM: We stop for coffee & junk food at a little bar. I got there first after taking off ahead. When ready to go, we agree to split up due to difference in paces. I was getting bored listening to him too – he’s lonely for companionship & goes on a bit. Nice to open it up & cruise for a while.

Noon: Havre. Eat lunch at Subway, call Dad, work on bike, still no sign of Noel. Guess I lost him.

3PM: Chinook. I don’t like it from first view. Grain towers on the tracks opposite carnival rides – the fair is going on. I take a look, but I’m not comfortable. A drunk outside the convenience store/bar/casino (there’s a chain of them here) asks me questions about the bike. Starts making a big deal out of how much I paid for it. I don’t like this guy or this place, so I just take off tho I’d planned to check out the museum. I’m agitated for half an hour until I soak up some calm prairie energy. Eat some lunch by the road.

5PM: Harlem. This place is better. Calm. Still a cowboy railroad town, but with some serenity. Kids playing, city pool, a park to camp in. A lady & her son Austin from Eugene, OR give me water & the scoop on where to camp & shop. Austin asks me a million questions, some of them good.

Outside Havre met Wayne & LaVonne, doing a perimeter tour counter-clockwise. I like them, joke about meeting in New Mexico in December.

Have a feeling that I’m going to meet someone important – it’s lending a manic spin to emotional expectations.

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