Stage 22: Townsend to White Sulpher Springs, 40.5 miles

Last night  at dinner we started talking about the enormous long trains that we’d seen all day and continued to hear rumbling through Townsend. We could also hear the loud tooting horn as they approached crossings and Justin said that in some places (including his home of Flagstaff) they toot and whistle through the night… So after dinner we went to our motel rooms and I forgot about the train noises… but yes they did continue through the night and I woke up with the 12:30am and 5:30am passing trains. So it was a pretty rubbish night’s sleep and although I can usually sleep through anything I was already half-awake with shin pain so was then wide awake each time!

I might as well have slept on the train tracks! Photo by Adam Faul

One of the big worries before I came out here was that I remembered James saying how badly he’d slept (when he ran LA-NY) and how he’d had dreams of running and didn’t ever feel truly rested. I need my sleep but also sleep very well anywhere so it’s been a big relief to sleep about 8 hours a night on the trip so far. Last night was not one of those nights. So I awoke feeling like I’d been hit by the train in question and the prospect of running just over 40 miles wasn’t appealing. But the weather was kind again – not too hot and mainly cloudy. I ran with Justin in sight for the first 16 miles and we had Margaret crewing us every 8 miles. The route had some hills and I felt my left calf was quite tight, the right shin is getting better. So I jogged most of it, walked a few of the hills and had an ok run to finish in just over 8 hours. At 24 miles I was ready to crawl into the back of the van for a nap; I didn’t though it was tempting!

The route today was all on US-12 East again, not a bad road but some serious amounts of roadkill – a few deer but mainly prairie dogs who must be one of the worst animals at crossing roads!

So shall we cross now? No – let’s wait for that big SUV to get closer…

We could see the Rockies in the distance and passed very few houses – again a real feeling of the space Montana has!

Tonight we went to a local diner and I had a hot beef open sandwich with sweet potato fries and pecan ice-cream to follow.  I’ve now iced my shin and calf and hope for some ok running tomorrow as we continue east towards Harlowtown.

2 responses to “Stage 22: Townsend to White Sulpher Springs, 40.5 miles

  1. Steven 'stevels' Smith

    Aren’t sweet potato fries just awesome?
    Did one of the prairie dogs try to cross in front of you? Did you have to ‘swerve’?

    The headlines would be “Prairie Dog Takes out British Runner”

  2. Cheryl Turkington

    Hi Jennifer,
    Well done for keeping going though you found it tough – glad you were not listening to Jim’s advice!! Also, I found out this morning that Richard Z-Z IS Northern Irish!! He lived there for 17 years. Was a relief to be assured that I do actually still recognise my own accent!! Hope you have a really great day today. The open spaces of Montana sound divine.

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