Wednesday, June 29, Little Yellowstone Park to Fargo

  Last night a couple pulled into the park with just a plain pickup truck with a cap. We started chatting with them and found out they were from Central Texas and had spent time working on computers and other things in China for 6 years and  also spent some time in Thailand. They are also avid bird watchers.  They had been in Wisconsin for something and were now wandering around seeing the countryside and bird watching. For sleeping, they just had a mattress in the back of their pickup truck, a pretty simple setup.    We were worried about headwinds today so got an early start and left about  6:45 .  We crossed the Sheyenne River and climbed up out of the valley shortly after leaving the park. We noticed that there were almost no lakes and ponds along this section of the road. We went about 17 miles or so then ate a big breakfast at the TraXside Cafe in  Enderlin North Dakota. (Generous portions of pancakes, ham and eggs)  The town had a sign as you entered that they were “bicycle frie

June 28, Tuesday, Gackle to Little Yellowstone State Park,ND

The bike hostel we stayed in is called the "Honey Hut."  When we turned on the side streets of the little town of Gackle (we asked and found out that there had been a Mr Gackle) we started seeing signs saying cyclist housing with an arrow and followed them alongside a house and across a back yard and we felt uncertain but people up on the deck assured us we were at the right place. On the back of the house on the other side of the deck was a door into a room with several beds, a bathroom and washer/dryer. Why the name? The owner is a 5th generation beekeeper that grew up in the town and they stay there during the summer.  They place bees all over the area during the summer months to pollinate the crops then truck them to California for the other nine months of the year to overwinter in a milder climate and pollinate there. It takes 30 semi loads to mhouse ove them.  We were the only ones staying there, but at times in past years they have had multudes of tents behind the hous

Monday, June 27, Hazelton to Gackle

The Hazleton Community Park was a  quiet restful place to sleep—it also probably didn't hurt the weather was very nice.  Large round natural concretion at the park in Hazelton  Today we had mild winds at our backs, sunny skies with a few white clouds, pleasant temperatures and low humidity on low traffic roads—what more could we ask for! After riding about 15 mi or so we saw a small grove of trees fairly close to the road so we decided to take a break there as we could sit in the shade. We ended up spending about 40 minutes there because in amongst this little grove of trees were a number of birds. Kay first saw an orchard oriole, then id’ed about 10 species by sound recording of their songs and 4 or 5    by seeing them. Also, as Jim went back to the bikes, a buck ran across the road just ahead of him and into the trees. Just west of Napoleon there is a large lake, maybe a mile diameter, and saw some people fishing there. They were catching Walleyes and Northern Pike from the shore

Sunday, June 26, Mandan to Hazelton

Began the day with a little bit of comedy: we went to get breakfast at the motel but the door was locked.  We had specifically checked the time the night before so thought we would give them a few minutes and return to our room--and we were trapped outside as we left our key in the room.  So we rang the doorbell and finally got someone to get our door unlocked and let us get our simple motel breakfast.  We had about a 5-mile ride to First Lutheran Church of Bismarck which originally was Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church. The Sermon was on the woman who washed Jesus feet with her tears and hair.   Point is not to become too self-righteous and realize  we're all sinners. After church there was a celebration of the 50th wedding anniversary of their pastor and his wife, and so got some cake and cookies and juice. We had a fun visit with a couple named John and Bonnie, they're approximately 75 and been married about 54 years.  They were farmers and  about a decade ago,  retired an

Saturday, June 25, Richardton to Mandan, ND

Image Slept in a little bit this morning and had the leftover sandwich from the Sit-N-Bull bar for breakfast. Today was also predicted to be quite windy, 20 to 28 mph, but was now a tailwind. It was only about 53 when we left and stay cool so we wore our tights for the first time in a while. We were thinking of stopping in Hebron to get something to eat and as we rounded a curve, we saw some bleachers with a whole bunch of pickups nearby (and also some porta-potties) so we stopped. There was going to be a mud run that afternoon for different classes of trucks from stock to souped-up to open class.  They would be timed running through about a 150 yd long mud pit. We learned that this mud run had been going on for about 10 years and it can take as little as 3 seconds to win the money for a souped-up model in the open class. They also had a food truck there so we were all set. The only thing hot to drink that they had was coffee so we had that and a couple

Friday, June 24, Medora to Richardton

  We left Medora a little bit before eight with some clouds and a mild wind from the side. While we were still in town, on the main drag, right by what is probably the biggest motel in town, a buck with velvet on his antlers came trotting up the side road to the corner.  Our route led us along the edge of Theodore Roosevelt national park, which has a badlands-type landscape. We also stopped at the Painted Canyon visitor center as it was also the rest stop,    and looked out over the landscape of the canyon. At one point along the road, we saw evidence that a pipeline had been installed. Since we had started to see oil wells and tanks, we figured it was an oil pipeline. When we came upon where they were installing it, we chatted with the supervisor, and found out it was a water pipeline. We made it to Dickinson which is the end of section three of our route maps. We got food for lunch from Family Fare which we smiled to see as that is the local grocery store that we shop at in our town.

Makoshika State Park(Glendive) to Medora, ND

Image Last night because the campsite was so isolated and the sky was so clear, we slept out under the stars. It was amazing to watch the stars, and unless you stood up and looked down into the valley, you wouldn't see any man-made lights. When Kay walked over to watch the sunset, she came with bad news. While near the bikes, she started hearing a loud hissing sound that seemed to come from the front of Jim's bike. Jim's front tire had deflated again, that's like the fourth time on this trip. So the first order of business for Jim this morning was fixing the tire. The ride out of the park was very pleasant as mostly downhill including the 3/8 mile,15% grade switchbacks, which we took slowly and cautiously.  After leaving Glendive, the land for the first 15 to 20 miles was very productive-looking with very green and lush fields until we got fairly close to Medora, then had more hills and outcroppings with poorer ground. Had a great lunch