2011 Ride

Spirit of the Buffalo

Day 3: After my first good night’s sleep in about a week, started the day feeling refreshed with breakfast in a Malta diner. Ended the day 88 miles later exhausted but happy at the dinner table of Jonny BearCub in the Fort Peck tribal sanctuary. Just as I entered Fort Peck, was joined by a large hawk or eagle (couldn’t tell which in the fading light), who flew with me for about 50 yards or so, then glided in front of me and alighted in a tree. A very auspicious sign…

Earlier in the day, came across Sleeping Buffalo Rock at a roadside stop. Montana’s native people revere this boulder that was once perched atop a ridge overlooking the Cree Crossing on the Milk River. It resembled the leader of a herd of reclining buffalo in an outcrop of gray granite. It looks very much like a reclining buffalo. When you run your fingers over the rock, you can even trace the ancient markings that define its eyes, horns, backbone and ribs. Native peoples of the Northern Plains have long honored the Sleeping Buffalo’s spiritual power. I left my own small offering to the Buffalo Nation before continuing the journey east.

Harvard thoughtfully shuttled me some lunch to fuel me through the long ride day. Eventually made it to Glasgow, where we rolled into Stockman Bar for a couple of beers on the house, compliments of Jay Durham. On the way out of town, was flagged down by Julie, who had seen the logo on my trike while I was topping off my tires at the gas station and wanted to give me a contribution. I’ll never cease to be amazed by the kindness of “strangers” (who are really just friends we haven’t met yet). Right about sunset, made it to Nashua, where we dropped off the trike at the home of Mark & Linda Nielsen. Then Harvard drove us out to Jonny’s house, for a warm home-cooked meal and even warmer company. We broke bread with Jonny and Phyllis RunsThrough Spotted Wolf, Vina “Cookie” Smith, Mason RunsThrough, Jr., Jamie Rosewitz, Mike Thompson, A.T. Stafne, Janet RunsThrough Goodbear & Jake Goodbear. Topped off the night with some locally-brewed beer. Don’t think I’ll have any problem sleeping tonight.

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