2011 Ride

Keystone XL Supporter Buys Me Lunch

Day 6: After a hearty breakfast at Jonny’s, videotaping some powerful words from Jake Goodbear, and saying farewell to our wonderful hosts, it was back to Frazer to retrieve the trike from the school garage. There we were met by a police car that trailed me with lights flashing the 18 miles from Frazer to Wolf Point.  My thanks to Officer Drew Acheson for the escort, and to Jonny BearCub for arranging it. It’s always comforting knowing someone has your back. Then did a fascinating interview with Drew’s wife, Julie, about building their home green. Later stopped into The Herald-News and local radio station KVCK in Wolf Point, which Harvard had driven ahead to arrange prior to my arrival, before he had to leave for home (sad). I can’t thank Harvard enough for his amazing support this past week.

Rolled up to the Wolf Point Cafe for a quick lunch before hitting the road south, only to learn that they didn’t accept credit cards. As I was counting my quarters, a local farmer sitting two seats down at the counter kindly offered to buy me lunch. I told him I should tell him why I was riding before he agreed to do that, but despite his desire to see the Keystone XL pipeline built, Craig still bought me lunch. By the time we finished eating, we found we agreed on much more than we disagreed, including the Wall Street protests, and even found some areas of common ground around the pipeline issue. If only Congress would engage in this kind of civil dialogue, many of America’s most pressing problems could be solved.

Rolling out of town, I came to the mighty Missouri River. Before crossing the bridge, I walked down to water’s edge to take in the beauty of this magnificent force of nature that would be threatened by TransCanada’s tar sands pipeline. From the Missouri River south, it was long rolling hills all the way to the town of Circle. The seemingly endless ridge lines made for one of the toughest ride days I’ve ever pedaled.  Helping lighten the load were two more hawks, 3 curious horses that I thought were going to run with me and more thoughtful-looking cows than I could count.

70 miles later and totally exhausted, finally rolled into Circle as the sun was starting to set, only to learn that the only motel in town had no rooms available. When I told her I would take anything, she offered me a room that hadn’t been cleaned (for $20). I gladly took it (it was clean). A real stroke of good fortune.


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