Day 33: Great Falls, Montana to Fort Benton, Montana

59,07 Miles for the day, 1255 miles total. One of the aspects of being on such an adventure is seeing things that one would not normally see. Parked outside of the breakfast restaurant was a 1977 Cutlass Electric Transformer automobile. They only made a very limited number of them and to see on the road is a very rare event indeed. It only had something like an 80 mile range and the owner doesn’t take it very far, mostly outings on a nice day.

A rare seventies American made electric car.


The ride out of Great Falls, MT, was eye candy. The route followed a bike trail that parallels the Missouri River. There are supposed to be five falls along the river, but my route only took me by one dam.


Lewis and Clark and Sacagawea were all trying to tell me I was going the wrong way.

There was one point where the trail went under an underpass tunnel and I missed a turn and rode on for another mile. Once I realized my error, I doubled back. I then missed another turn and started down the road that runs in front of the Malmstrom Air Force Base. I decided to follow it as it meets up with the intended route. Along the way I stopped to use my bank card at an ATM and it was declined.

The lamination on the card was coming apart, so I begged some adhesive tape at another ATM and was able to get it to work. Now I await a new card.

The terrain is changing dramatically. Gone are the green mountain forests that I have been riding through. They have been replaced with fields of wheat and oats that go off to the horizon. The roads are straighter and the climbs and descents are less dramatic. The heat is also increasing, gone are the cool nights. I’m entering the high plains of the mid-west.

I have been seeing these rather lethal looking plants along the way, I certainly wouldn’t want to fall on them.

The day’s ride was long, hot and when I arrived at Fort Denton, I called it a day. I was just spent with the heat on the prairie.

In Fort Denton, Lewis and Clark and Sacagawea were still trying to help me find my way. Now Sacagawea has her son along.

I roamed around the town for a while, found food and talked to a few nice ladies in front of the hotel. They advised me on accommodations and I went to check out the town park. I couldn’t figure out the sprinkler schedule they had posted, so I went to the private campground, the Benton RV Park in town and set up there. The showers and the WiFi were excellent. The town park was free, but had neither. After setting up my tent a fierce wind storm blew up, so I ran for cover in the bathrooms and worked on the WiFi connection from there until it ended. The tent survived undamaged.

The campground was loaded with rabbits and I was fearful they would try to chew their way into the tent to see if I had any interesting food. Some of the other campers complained that the rabbits would come right into their tent if they left them open. Later, a cat showed up and the rabbits all magically disappeared.

Monty Python warned us about rabbits.

The air got dramatically cooler and I went to bed.

Author: Dennis Blanchard

Dennis Blanchard was born in Bristol, Connecticut. He and his wife Jane moved to New Hampshire in 1980 where he has climbed thirty 4000-foot mountains, biked the trails and enjoyed the wilderness. Never living very far from the Appalachian Trail, Dennis was always aware of the seductive siren’s call to hike it. Dennis is an electronics engineer who has freelanced for amateur radio, technical and motorcycle adventure magazines. He now lives in Sarasota, Florida.

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