Monthly Archives: August 2014

Sunflowers

imageWe road by miles and miles of sunflowers like this picture. I eat a lot of sunflower seeds, and now I will know where they probably come from. We have pedaled by lots of beautiful farms in a North Dakota, cattle ranches,  hay, all kinds of different crops, even a few dairies. Lots of fun for an ex farm boy like me. 

More rain

Woke up this morning to 44 degree temperature where we were camped. I did not want to get out of my warm sleeping bag. We did postpone our normal 6:30 am departure to 8 am to give the sun a chance to shine, but didn’t do much good. It went from cold to rainie cold. I wore most of the cloths I brought plus my rain cloths. 

We road 66 miles today. More rolling hills but a little smaller and less steep. I have an app on my phone for bicycle route planning and when I type in the starting point and ending point it gives me the miles, the total vertical feet that will be climbed, the average steepness of the hills, and an elevation profile that gives a miniture look at the route in the sense of up and down. Sometimes when I type it in the evening and look at it my thought is, I think I am going to be sick tomorrow!  The good news is that it looks like tomorrow is flat and slightly downhill most of the day! Hallelujah!!

The place we are staying at tonight is a “Warm Showers” host home, but the owners aren’t home. They have fixed up a little apartment and the door is always open. Instructions on the door and on the answering machine is come right in and make yourself at home. Washer and dryer, shower, 4 beds, nice couch and easy chair and there is no cost. Very nice to be here tonight rather than camping in the rain for sure. 

Our goal is to bicycle about 60 miles tomorrow. We will be camping at a campground called “The Little Yellowstone” and it is right on the banks of the Shoshone River. From the web sight photos it looks like it will be a very beautiful camp sight. Don’t think they have showers, but I have 4 packs of handy wipes, that should do the trick!

We got into the part of North Dakota today that is like Minnosota in that there is a lake about every half mile. Very pretty, and lots of ducks and geese so I shoot them with my imaginary shot gun now instead of pheasant. I killed a bunch of them today! The only problem is there are clouds of mosquitos around them and it is scary when you see this big cloud of bugs hovering over your head as you ride. I pedaled as hard as I could but they didn’t seem to have any trouble keeping up. The worst thing is when a bunch get inside my bicycle helmet and start buzzing around in my hair, whooooeeeee, that will drive you crazy! 

Well, I better go get in my comfortable bed and rest up for tomorrow. Love you all. Dee

Cold!

Who would have thought that 55 would be the high temperature in North Dakota in August, but that is what it was today. With the wind blowing 10 to 14 mph from the NW it was a semi tail wind but it made the low temperature seem even lower. It was only 2 weeks ago that we were cooking with 97 degree temperatures. I got thourghly chilled today. We got our tents set up at the City Park in Hazelton, a town of 200 and then began looking for a Resturant to set in and warm up in.  Only place in town was a tavern and all they served was pizza, so here we set eating pizza and writing our blogs. They have strong WiFi and let us use it. Super!

We rode our bicycles 77.6 miles today with lots of rolling hills. We had planned on no more hills by this time but we climbed at least 50 today. We have come to the conclusion that there are no flat places in all of the USA so we will quit expecting flat.  We did have a nice semi tail wind most of the day which made climbing the hills easier.  By the way, I have decided to call it a back wind because I don’t have a tail 🙂 I was all done in and totally out of gas when we got into camp, but it is amazing the power of pizza and coffee! We crossed the Missouri River today in Bismark and I was amazed at how big a river it is. 

It is supposed to be in the mid 60’s tomorrow, but no wind to help us up the hills.

Well, we have been in this tavern for awhile. Better go get in my nice warm sleeping bag in my tent, and read my Bible and pray for Patty, all my kids, grandkids, and all of you. Love you all. Dee

Hurray! A tail wind!

Left Dickinson this morning at 6:30 am and pedaled 73 miles to New Salem, North Dakota.  It was a very enjoyable day of biking for several reasons; (1) because of having two rest days in a row because of waiting out the storm that hit North Dakota where we were I was feeling very strong and energetic. Everything felt good, even my butt which made for an enjoyable day. I think also I am getting in better and better shape by this many miles of riding. (2) We had a 15 mph tail wind with gusts that were much stronger than that. It felt like I had a motor on my bicycle pedaling was so easy. (3) It did rain quite a bit the first part of the day and along with the wind I got very cold while riding. About 25 miles into the day when I was really freezing there was a little town with a cafe so we decided to stop for a hot cup of coffee. Once we got in and sat down we both decided to have eggs, hash browns and toast with our coffee. The young girl who was waiting on us had no clue what she was doing and told us numerous times that this was her first day. As a result we were over an hour in there eating and drinking about 4 cups of coffee. I didn’t mind one little bit, it was warm. We had conversations with numerous people who saw our bikes. Very nice time.

We road on the freeway, I-94 quite a bit today and with the rain, wind, and road spray we got pretty wet. We stopped numerous times under overpasses to get out of the rain for a reprieve from the wet and stood behind the concrete pillars to get out of the wind. John made me get behind my own pillar when I tried to stand next to him behind one and use him for a little heat.

Today is August 24th, my and Patty’s 45th anniversary. We will celebrate when I get home!

We are planning on riding 73 miles tomorrow as well. I am hoping we have some more tail wind minus the rain. Love you all. Dee

16 mph head wind

We were supposed to get up this morning and be pedaling towards New Salem, North Dakota at 6:30 am, but here it is 9 am and we are sitting in our free RV drinking coffee, reading, and listening to the wind howl and the rain fall outside. We iooked at the weather report last night on my iPad and it had a big red exclamation mark on it because of a big storm with winds up to 30 mph coming through. The big problem was the wind would be blowing from the East and averaging 16 mph. Tomorrow as the storm passes the wind is predicted to be blowing from the West at 10’to 13 mph. We voted on what to do this morning and it was unanimous, let’s have another rest day in this cozy, comfortable, roomy, warm and free RV. We had built in 5 extra days in our planning for events like this. 

Once we had voted that the wise thing to do was hunker down and wait out the storm I needed to call our new friend and ask if it was OK with him to take advantage of his hospitality. As we were discussing how early to call he knocked on the door, and came in and said, “there is a terrible storm building out there, it will be dangerous on a bicycle with the kind of wind gusts we have around here in a storm like this, and  I think you boys should stay here for another day”. OK, we will do that, thank you very much! 

So, we will have 2 rest days back to back. That will feel so nice. I will get a lot of reading and writing done today. Thank you all for your prayers for us. This couldn’t have worked out better considering the circumstances. Love you all. Dee

Nice people everywhere

John and I tend to attract attention because of being on bicycles that are so loaded down with gear. People ask us questions and interact with us and we get lots of waves and smiles on the road as we ride.  A car stopped by our camping spot yesterday with what appeared to be two older married couples. They started asking John questions about our trip and talked with him for a good 15 minutes, and then one of the guys handed John $40. John politely tried to refuse but the fellow insisted saying he wanted to help us even a little bit to accomplish such a noble goal. Nice guy that John is he split it with me and we went to a restaurant for lunch.

Last evening the lady who was in the office of the RV park and campground when we checked in came by our camp in her little golf cart that she uses to patrol the park with a fellow that she introduced as her husband. She said, I wanted my husband to meet you and to hear what you are doing so we talked for almost 30 minutes. We said good night and they buzzed off.

This morning he came back and said, I know this is your rest day and I also know we are going to get some more rain so I would like to offer you my RV for the rest of today and tonight. Again we politely said that we were doing OK in our tents, but he insisted. We began packing all our stuff up to move to his RV, and as we were about to head over there he came by again and talked with us for over an hour. Come to find out he was a Christian and he was also the owner of the park and was really wanting his RV park to be a place of service and a place where people could experience the love of Jesus. He said most that were there came because they wanted to work in the oil fields or other jobs being created by the oil in the area. They came because things were bad where they had come from and most were desperate and had very little, and surprisingly most were older. He communicated that he really cared for these people and wanted to help them. He prayed for us that God would guide us and protect us on our trip. We gave him our Blog sight info and he said he would keep up with our trip and pray for our successful finish. He also said that if we had any problems on our trip to call him and he would come and help us. John jokingly said, what about if we are in Maine, and he said, you will have to give me a couple of days. Very nice guy.