Got to New Meadows before noon and headed to the library to use Internet and explore tent options. I am staying at a motel. To some of you the word 'motel' may counjure up dreadful images. Countryside motels though can be lovely. They are quiet and usually have some outdoor space with chairs for relaxing in the shade, I've put a picture of this one below - it's quite typical.
Onto the tent saga........ (you may want to stop reading now)
I had two real options
a) divert south from Cambridge to Ontario, OR. Here there is a big enough outdoor shop to stock a suitable tent. There will not be another such shop near the route for a very long time (that I could see - not at all knowing the geography). This would be 50miles there plus 50miles back, along a probably busy highway and then navigating round a city which may or may not be bike friendly.
b) order a tent online and get it posted to me somewhere.
There were pros and cons of both but I went for option b. The first job was to book somewhere to stay for the next couple of nights. It being the Independence Day holiday. I decided to stay at the Frontier Motel & Camping in Cambridge for the next 3 nights to get me past July 4th. I also decided I did not want to cycle to Ontario in holiday traffic so either option would take some time. With that in mind it would be potentially the same amount of time lost, and much more pleasent, to wait in Cambridge and get the tent posted to the motel which they were happy to support. I could also take time and chose a suitable tent.
So the tent is ordered. It may turn out to be a bad decision as Amazon originally quoted delivery date of July 5th and now say they will be in touch with a date. Hmmm. Anyway I don't have to be in Astoria until the beginning of August so I have time and waiting in Cambridge sounds nicer than a horrible long highway ride. There is a bike path through Cambridge on a deserted railway line so I can do some nice day rides out of there.
I'm sure there were options I didn't think of, such as trying to get a pole repair kit and fix, but a lot of the poles had cracks and I was not convinced this would work. It's hard sometimes being abroad and having to make choices on my own. I felt under pressure to sort something quickly (although there was no real time pressure). I'm sure there are lots of things on this trip which I could do differently and or better but you live and learn!
PS - If I was doing a South Pole to North Pole cycle ride I would be 3/4 of the way there now (see below)