Miles: 48.8

Total Elevation Gain (ft): 636.5

Weather: Sunny, Warm

Hillbilly Insults: 1

Roadkill: 9 (1 Chipmunks, 1 Birds, 5 Rabbits 2 Skunks) 

Bugs Swallowed: 1

Mean Dogs Chasing: 0

The Wind and the Sun were persuaded by Don King to have a rematch on pay-per-view to settle, once again, which was the stronger. They saw a weary cyclist coming down the road, and the Wind said: “Remember that vagrant wearing his winter coat in August?  That was a pretty cheap shot. Below the belt. An easy KO for you.  This time, whichever of us can cause that jackass to dismount off the bike shall be regarded as the stronger.  You begin.” 

So the Wind retired behind a cloud, and the Sun began to broil as hard as it could upon the cyclist, but the harder he tried, the more water the cyclist drank as he pedaled and thanked the sun for the hydration reminder.  The sun gave up in despair.

The wind came out and blew a mighty tailwind in all his glory upon the cyclist giving him a great boost.  Then swiftly and dastardly reversed the direction of air, creating s headwind so strong that the cyclist felt like an insect on flypaper.  Every rotation of the crank-arm pained each corpuscle in his body and the psychological effects were worse. Exhausted, cranky and sore, the cyclist stammered to a halt and got off the bike, clutching his intestines.  

Unfortunately, for the cyclist, this was a 12 round bout. Yet, he only stopped 10 times because the Sun, fearing the loss of the title belt, went into a rage in the 11th and bit the ear off of the wind.  DQ'ed and angry, the Sun flared and tore up a Vegas casino. 

George Carlin's "seven dirty words" looped in my head all day as I trudged through a headwind that was a tailwind just yesterday.  I'm just an eighth-grade educated Quaker boy and I'm befuddled how such a drastic change could happen so quickly.  The Chinook winds trounced, battered, shellacked and winnowed my efforts today.  I should have noted the omen when Katy said to me, "It's gonna be a short day, only 48 miles."   

Two-thirds of the way in, I needed a rest and took a long break on a Sioux reservation 12 miles from Wolf Point, MT.  I met Thomas Firemoon, a local entrepreneur, running a small convenience store.  He's a wunderkind;  former Navy, headed various store start-ups for Wal-Mart, acted as retail manager for 400 people and is a consultant to the flagging ALCO chain. Thomas' main interest is helping out the Sioux and we chatted about how treaty violations are still prevalent all these years after Sitting Bull's time. 

I asked if he had to pay taxes from his business to Uncle Sam and he nodded affirmatively. When I said "How does that square with the Sioux being a sovereign nation?," he smirked and we bid farewell.  

If any reader gets near Fort Peck, MT, stop by the Nakoda Trail Stop where friendly service isn't just an empty slogan.

I pushed my guts back in and slugged out the dozen or so miles to the end.  I asked Kathleen to find us any place in town where I could shovel pasta down my gullet. We ended up in a motel restaurant and while I waited over an hour for my Chef-Boyardee style chicken Parmesan with horrible service, it was as delectable as anything one would find in the best Parisian bistros.