It was 90km from Wolf Point to Circle, MT and I crossed the Missouri river for the first time. So now I had left behind the meandering "Milk River" which had just as faithfully accompanied my progress along US 2 as the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad with its enormous trains full of coal, oil or wheat.
Going south at Wolf Point instead of continuing on Hw 2 all the way to the Great Lakes is due to a change of route the ACA implemented because of the enormous amount of truck traffic on that route originating in the Brakken oil fields in the northern part of North Dakota.
The emptiness of northern Mointana now became even more visible. Nothing in terms of villages or towns. Fenced-in pastures for miles with hardly any cattle on them, wheat fields and suddenly a white building on my left which turns out to have been an active little school from 1928 to 1964. But where were the children to come from? No other building visible in miles and miles!
A light to moderate head wind was slowing me down but I was in good spirits. However, a nagging problem came into my conscious mind ever more urgently: My behind hurt! I couldn't ignore it. There is too much pressure on my right pelvis bone and I just can't find a premanently comfortable position. I'll have to experiment a bit (again!) with height and saddle position....
People I met, 1
I finally reached Circle, MT, and came around the bend to the RV park when an old car passed me. "Hey, guess you on the way to my place. It's over there! Back soon."
That's how I met Jim, my companion-to-be for the afternoon and the evening.
Jim owns this RV park of 4 acres (16000 sq meter) which he also lives on. The laundromat he installed was part of his plan to "reduplicate" himself.
"What does that mean?", I asked him and he explained that it was the opposite of what most people were doing: "I want the place to work for me, so I don't have to work for the place. The RVs bring me money once they're hooked up and the laudromat makes me money. All I have to do is the maintenance once in a while."
I found out later in an "honest moment" that Jim paid 250000$ for the place including land, installations and the laundromat which doubles as his office and living room. He sleeps in an old trailer with a very loud AC. When we talked about the income tax structure in Montana and public health and compared that to Germany and other European countries he outrighth called those systems of solidarity "communist" and a robbery of every hard-working entrepreneur. And that after he had told me the story of his broken leg a few years back: The local practitioner had mistreated his fractured leg and he had to go to Glendive (or was it Billings?) to see a specialist who said the fractured bone would have to be broken again to set it right. And Jim told the doctor that he didn't have insurence. What did that doctor say? "I don't care about the money, lets get you treated and let's do it now!" Jim ignored my question what would have happened if the doctor had insisted on being paid.... So much for logic ...
Jim is divorced, has two sons whom he goes hunting with and who still like his companionship even if the ex-wife has custody of the boys, and is trying to "put me to jail", as Jim puts it.
Jim is very much interested in "history", as he puts it, and retells stories of fighter pilots, Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway. "I'm not sorry we dropped the two A-bombs on the Japs - after how they treated our boys when they managed to take them prisoners", was one of his more moderate statements. Jim believes that all Germans were "only" brainwashed by Hitler and his regime supporters and that after the war most Germans actively turned against all Nazis and even killed some ... and yes, he thinks he knows what the Holocaust was ...
This "Nigger's administration" has done nothing at all for the country. Obama-Care? Bullshit. Every doctor in Montana will tell you that that is killing the health industry! Wow! Health services as an "industry"?
People I met, 2
I also that day met some other, quite different people. Dick and Amy Hofacker were admiring my bike and we got into a nice conversation about cycle touring. They invited me into their house because of WiFi - which didn't work for me but that definietely had its advantages: we talked. Amy is a school teacher in the area, visiting her parents' house here in Circle. I also met Tim Warner, Amy's brother in law, who actively manages their father's farm (I hope I got that right - if not write me, please!) and these people very openly presented their view of things. When I asked in a general sense if farming, and especially buying a farm in the area (instead of inheriting in) was financially sound they explained Amy's father's policy of cautious negotiating and thorough research before investing and taking risks and that, yes, if even a former owner of an auto repair shop decides to turn farmer this can worl out well.
I learned a lot about their family history which was well researched and very much present to everyone in the room (to everyone except me, of course!) and I don't want to write details lest I have them wrong - so please Dick or Amy: Fill me in with an email, if you like, I would appreciate it.
Very nice people indeed.