It's only been 3 days since I have updated but we have come a long way!! I guess I left you all looking forward to my new team of inspiration, the Spokes Fighting Strokes Team. Well, sorry, no photo . . . This is how the day went!
July 16- Napoleon . . . Sometime very early in the morning . . . Mike said "Di, wake up, rain is headed this way and we should get up an put the tent away before it gets here!" (Or something to that effect, he had his radar on his phone). Well I agree with that theory so we got up, packed up very quickly and efficiently and it was now 6AM!!! Nice start to the day!! I am so tired of these threatening storms, but today's problem was, there literally was no place for us to get out of any bad weather for the next 100 miles!! There was a place for a tent about 30 miles down the road, but that would not do any good if in fact there was wind and hail and all the mean-ness of a ND severe storm! This all sounds familiar!!! So we weighed up our options and decided it was probably best to stay in Napoleon because they did have a motel for us. But it was 6AM and too early too call to see if there was availability! Too early to call ahead to Gackle to see if they had a motel instead of only camping!! So we sat under the pavilion of the City Park, had our breakfast and coffee and waited. And waited. Time moves very slowly at that hour of the morning, and we watched the sky.
Finally made the call about 7:30 because I couldn't wait any longer and in the wonderfully accommodating style of North Dakota-ites that we have experienced, Dave was exceptional and we went right over and got a room!! He told us to see "Mary" who would be there getting the rooms ready!! We met awesome Mary last night at her Supermarket job. Now she was at the Mozy Inn job and we found out in between these two jobs she dealt Black Jack at the Downtowner!! she is my kind of girl!! She got us all set up and by 8:00 am . . . We were in our room and waiting again for the storm. It was a very long day!!! Mike napped, I searched the Internet all morning for options and possiblilities to get us to Aberdeen to join the Fredericksburg RV Park Reunion!!! I had a lot of help from my friends in the search but it just didn't work out. We walked into town for lunch, had a good look around Napoleon, walked back, waited some more. By then I was feeling like a "housebound Labradoodle"!! ( Haha, had to use that analogy thanks to my friend sharing her dog's similar frustration!!). So I went for a run to use up that pent up energy. Believe it or not riding everyday is addictive!! We had just had a rest day in Bismarck, so was not ready for another one and the weather just frustrates me!! After the run (Mike walked) back to the room . . . And waited. Another walk back into town for the evening meal and entertainment at the Downtowner, the Hot-Spot in Napoleon on a Saturday night!! Actually the highlight of entertainment was keeping our bartender talking because I loved her accent!! And I have a new recipe now for the potluck meals in Fredericksburg!! Right from the kitchen of the Downtowner in Napoleon ND!!
And that was July 15-no rain.
July 17-Up fairly early and had one last meal at the White Maid in Napoleon. Great little cafe as these places are in small towns!! On the road. Mostly flat, cool to start with but noticing the humidity in the air!! Have to stop for these Kodak Moments, I just can't get enough of the peaceful and serene farmland settings!! The road undulated for awhile, but no real issues as the wind started to help us along a bit at times. We were basically going down in elevation with a few rolling spots for most of the day. By the end of the day, and we knew we had a long one because there was just no place to stop between Napoleon and our destination Little Yellowstone Park. We did stop for a small break in Gackle ( I never was able to find out why the heck they named their town Gackle!!). We came across the one and only unfriendly person in ND, working at a dairy queen type ice cream place, so we didn't hang around there long!! Quick snack and topped up our water and we got away!!
The road certainly flattened out and was completely void of any trees or any other structure offering shade!! We had lunch under the shade of a sign posting the speed limit! Not a stretch of the imagination to guess how much shade that gives you!! Riding on, we were making great time. By about 3 in the afternoon the road ahead turned into something similar to that of a tread mill. You could see the end, but it never got any closer!! Between us and that point where the road melted into the horizon, you could see the mirage effect on the road! The shimmering, rippling reflection of what appeared to be water! Certainly we would reach it soon!! We never got close enough to that inviting, shimmering reflection, But what we did reach WAS a point in the road where it really did go over the edge!! Suddenly in front of us, that long, endless flatness dropped over the edge into a Sheyenne River valley absolutely filled with lovely, tall beautiful shade trees and that was our campground for the evening!! It was beautiful and welcoming!! It didn't take us long to find a site, get set up and relax for the evening!! We had just ridden a record setting 93.86 miles!!! Running water, electricity, grass underneath the tent and peace and quiet!! By sunset, everyone else had left the park and we had it all to ourselves . . . . Not even a mosquito!!!!!!
July 18 - One thing you think about when you go down a hill at the end of the day (even if you are headed to the perfect camp spot!), You have to start your day straight back up!!! Oh well, it was the only real hill for the last 100 miles, so I guess we can suck it up!!
We were headed to Fargo today!! Mail pick up!! (Thanks Carolyn!). At this point in the trip to look at the map and think we'll we have to go 70 miles today . . . No Problem!! That is progress!! We did hit some road construction just before Kindred today. It all worked out very well because they have a lead truck that takes the traffic thru and then they held the traffic behind us til it got back. We let the traffic go then set off and it was like having a private highway!! Waved to all the workers on the road, the flag men, the truck drivers. It must have been a closed section for about 5 miles!! When we got just outside of Fargo, there was a bike path to guide us all the way thru town!! Right to the post office!! Well, we did get a little lost around a park, but made it. Fargo is very bicycle friendly and I think every street has a bike path sign on it!! And decals on the street, just in case you didn't read the sign!!
We barely get off our bikes at the post office and we had a young man come leaping over and was filled with all sorts of information and offers of assistance, where to eat, where to stay, what to eat, where to ride, put his card in our hand, if you need ANYTHING just call!! While we were talking to him, another passerby stopped and added his helpful hints and then a third guy wanted to take pictures of us and our bikes!!! It's just crazy!!!
We have been staying in so many motels, for lots of different reasons, and tonight we were looking for the city park but I knew if we went to the park, we would not get back into town and I wanted to be downtown Fargo!! I just had a good feeling about it!! So we opted to follow the suggestion of our helpful stranger! Very interesting!! Shops look very up to date, hanging flowers baskets on lampposts, new building and construction everywhere! Great restaurants!! So cool! I could have talked to our hotel hostess for hours, I just cannot get enough of the accent!! She gave us the best of her advice and once our wonderful showers worked their magic and made us presentable again, we set off into town!! Dinner at The Toasted Frog, obviously a favorite as it was packed on a Monday night!! Sitting in the window, watching Fargo walk past us!! So interesting!!
I don't know where I got my image of Fargo. I guess it was a movie or a TV program, and even tho I never watched it, I think the message was weird things happen in Fargo. It just goes to show you, don't form an opinion from something you didn't even bother to watch!! Or something like that!!
We will be crossing into Minnesota tomorrow. Fargo is right on the border. I have a high school friend there that we hope to catch up with. Very excited to be in state #5! We have done about 1700 miles roughly. Will be doing a bit of a reroute of our original plans as we do have to be back in Fredericksburg in Novemenber!! You could just stay on your bike forever to see it all . . But we can't !! I am already thinking about trip Two!
I am going to perfect my photography and do a photo study of Hay and Hay bales and the different stages, and stacks!!! That will be my first book. My next book will be the people!! I want to be a bit more assertive and ask if I can take people's pictures. The faces to match the stories. Like Mary!! And our hotel desk person!! So many stories, just in their beautiful smiles and warm personalities!!
Next trip . . .