Getting an early start is always more challenging when staying in a motel, today was no different. But with 38° temperatures expected by 2pm, i needed to get an early start to complete the 55 miles to fort Benton. Up and away, i could see that today would be mostly flat with two climbs mixed in. As i climbed a little out of the city, i could see in the distance a mountain range, i assumed that this would be the second climb of the day. The temperature was still cool and riding was fast. I reached the first climb in good time and set on up it. The climb was going fine, nice and steady with motivating music blasting into my ears. It was interrupted slightly when Snow Patrols ‘you could be happy’ came on. Now i like this song normally, but for those who don’t know it, to put into perspective, the song usually sits at second last on my sleep play list and i am not usually awake by the last song. Give it a listen and then decide if its an appropriate song. Despite this, the first climb was soon out of the way and once again riding was fast.
A nice down hill was to be followed by the second climb. As i approached the second hill, i could see that there was roadworks ahead. A car was sitting in the middle of the road that read ‘follow me through works’. I stopped behind the car and the driver got out. He started to explain the situation. I could see where he was going, so before he had even finished, my bike was in the back of the truck and i was belted up in the front. He did explain that the road was not suitable for bikes and that he would give me a lift. I reluctantly agreed and we were off. The drive was only about 1.5 miles but it was pretty much all uphill and the road was pretty bad. He dropped me off near the top of the hill, leaving me just a short climb to the top. On the drive, i did see my first bear of the trip, but don’t worry, it was a stuffed bear that is used for target practise. The rest of the day was once again fast riding. Arriving in fort Benton at around midday.
I headed to the campsite, it was a nice one. I sat for a bit before heading off to get some lunch. By now the temperature had reached the promised 38 and it was hot!! Walking 200 metres to lunch was as tough as the days riding. On my way to lunch i got a massive scare when i local dog took exception to me walking past, however, i calmed down when i saw its size, it was a miniature version of pebbles. After lunch, i headed to the fort museum, to stay out of the heat more than any cultural reasons.
Wondering round the museum a bit, i started talking to the tour guide. I talked with Bruce( named after Robert the Bruce) for about an hour, learning about the history of the fort and about the town. Due to its vastness, this part of the world was a popular place for fugitives and criminals back in the day. Jesse James, butch cassidy and others being regular visitors. From the outside, the fort looks fairly weak, but once you’re locked inside, which i briefly was, it starts to resemble a fortress a bit more. Leaving the fort, i wandered up the road to get some dinner, the walk along the river is very nice and there was also a statue of Lewis and Clark.
Fort Benton seems like a really nice place, everyone is very friendly, everyone waves as they pass. But by now, i was tired, so i headed back to the campsite, set up and headed for bed. Denton is the aim for tomorrow.