Day 34: Fort Benton to Denton, Montana

Today I was facing two big climbs, one early in the day and one  towards the later part of the day. I stopped at the Wake Cup cafe and it was a wonderful place. Their brews—both coffee and tea—are top notch as was the breakfast. With a name like “Wake Cup,” they could cater funerals as well.

If in Ft. Benton, do check out the Wake Cup.

While having my breakfast, I started chatting with two gents in there from Alberta Canada. They were about my age and their hobby was collecting old tractors and the like. They drive around the countryside looking for old, rusting, tractors and farm implements and add them to their collections. Outside, their very large truck and trailer had an assortment of rusty iron already collected.

I could just see me calling Jane to tell her that, “Hey, Honey, I’ve found a new hobby! I want to collect old tractors and maybe some steam engines. Wouldn’t that be cool? What’s that honey, something about filing papers in the morning?”

Before I could get in any trouble, we parted ways.

I headed out from Fort Benton to an immediate climb and within three miles had removed all of my warm clothes. It was going to be a hot day.

I worked my way to Geraldine, Montana. In the cafe there, I sucked down three large lemonades in record time and hardly noticed. The heat here on these plains can be so oppressive and you just evaporate your liquids. I went outside to make a WiFi call to Jane and then talked with an older fellow on the porch for a while. He is a farrier, a fellow that does horseshoes. He had been kicked that morning and decided he would wait a few hours before going back to work on the horse again. I can’t blame him. The horse was probably just upset about the heat too.

Late in the day, I rode into Denton. My map information listed the town park as a possible place to camp. After some chow, I found the park. It was nearing sunset. There was nobody around and the restrooms were locked up and the swimming pool was being rebuilt, so all the water there was turned off. I saw a church behind the park and found a water tap on the side of the building, filled my water bottles and went back.

The Boy Scouts had, as a project, built a covered picnic area, so I put my bike in there, spread my sleeping bag out on a concrete picnic table and went off to sleep. Believe it or not, I slept well.

My concrete sleeping pad.


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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