Kent has had enjoyed another great day on the trail, starting out with eating Spam by his helmet light waiting for day to dawn. A few hours later he rolled into Ovando, where he enjoyed a second breakfast at the Stray Bullet Cafe, and took the opportunity to change the brake pads on his bike while waiting for his food. He said it was a bit rainy, but the roads were still pretty good.
Back on the trail, he continued on to the checkpoint at Lincoln where he arrived and called shortly after 2:00 this afternoon. He found a welcome there twice over, with a hotel sign reading "Welcome Adventure Cyclists" and a guy from a motorcycle tour who recognizing him from the blog and wishing him luck in the race. He also got to return to a mini-mart that he visited five years ago, and was enjoying a Polish dog, Cheetos, and coffee while we talked.
Kent mentioned that he saw a skunk on the trail, and I honestly don't think I've ever heard anyone sound quite so excited or enthusiastic about encountering this particular critter. Personally I was glad to hear that the skunk ran away instead of choosing to defend itself. I don't imagine anyone smells too great after a week on the trail, but odeur de skunk would surely not improve matters!
While Kent is not the fastest rider out there, he has certainly gone the farthest when one considers the 570 miles he rode to the start -- nearly 1200 miles since his rollout from the Bicycle Center. And he is still feeling very good and loving the experience of riding through this beautiful country. The next few days are likely to be cold and rainy -- in fact, the National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for portions of southwestern Montana -- but as he mentioned this morning, his years of riding in the Pacific Northwest have been good practice for those conditions. If the SPOT is still doing its thing, he's stopped for the night somewhere close to Marysville, midway between Lincoln and Helena, perhaps falling asleep to the sound of raindrops on the tarp.