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Ed & Big Sky Pipe 

Oh lucky Kansas

My day is ok but it ends with magic.

Day 5 May 5
Great Falls, Montana 12.89 miles (20.74 kms)

After slogging through snow out to the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Centre I have a nice visit there and the snow is gone by the time I emerge at a little after noon. I make my way back to a bridge going across the Missouri, heading north on Bootlegger Trail which runs pretty much all the way to Canada. I get to just south of a wildlife refuge, and it's getting on to five o'clock at that's it for me. I stop at Big Sky Pipe and I find Ed in the office. I ask for a spot out of the wind for my tent. Ed shows me a shed, containing a table saw, orange plastic snow fencing and about 10,000 empty Folgers coffee containers. "I see you're a connoisseur," I say. The shed will be fine—dry, out of the wind. I have that happy feeling I get at the end of a day, knowing I can read or just doze in my sleeping bag. Ed also lets me know my intended route is gravel and mud all the way to Canada. Tomorrow I will have to backtrack a bit, and head south-east to catch Route 87 to Fort Benton. I am so happy to have been forewarned.

Ed comes out to the shed and he has a chair, an extension cord, a heater, a lamp and a radio! I am amazed. I feel so lucky. I spead out my sleeping bag and get get some things arranged. Since I have light and power I plug in my computer, perhaps to while away a Great Plains evening playing solitaire.

For the fun of it I bring up Network Connections, and there is one. Weak, but it's there! I am laughing. I check my mail.

Ed returns. He has brought me: a Stouffer's Roast Turkey Breast dinner, piping hot; a bag of goodies, "for tomorrow," he says; (banana, diet Coke, Pringles, cheese, chocolate and more); and also a travel mug with a big bad bear and 'Montana Grizzlies' on it. "Hot chocolate," Ed says. "You can keep the mug for a souvenir if you want."

I eat my dinner and sip my hot chocolate, thinking that I have wondered often over the years if I could throw myself out into the world and have it somehow catch me. This evening Ed sure did. I certainly will keep the mug, to remember his kindness and my great fortune.

Home away from Home
  • Day 5
  • Home away from Home

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