Day 59 – Glen Ullin, ND to Dickinson, ND – 52 miles
We had a great night’s sleep at the Rock Roof Inn B&B and woke to a great breakfast of fresh fruit and a Denver egg scramble with toast and homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam. Our fellow tandem team left about 45 minutes ahead of us and were planning to ride the interstate the whole way. We left with Tim at about 6:45, planning to follow the Adventure Cycling route on Old 10 (“Old Red Trail”), which also follows the railroad tracks. It was a beautiful morning – cool, sunny with a bit of fog in the distance – it just looked pretty! Shortly outside of Glen Ullin, a train passed us and we all marveled at how long it was! We joked about counting the cars, but it was long past us before we thought to do so.
Shortly before we got to the first town, Hebron, we caught up with the train, moving very slowly around a bend. So we counted the cars! We counted 99 cars with 2 locomotives. We thought of Ronnie & Bella’s grandson, Spencer, who would’ve loved to be there with us, watching the train!
We went into Hebron and stopped at a convenience store for snacks, coffee (Jim) and potties. 🙂 Then headed out of town on Old 10 again. Lots of cattle ranches & grazing land. (Not sure of the terminology.). The road alternated between brand new asphalt & some pretty rough stuff west of Hebron (similar to our Michigan roads!). Also, while the ride to Hebron was pretty flat, the ride after Hebron had more hills but it was still very nice. As we approached one field of cattle, from a distance, we thought we were seeing white rocks on the hill. But when we got closer, we realized they where white cattle laying in the field. And as we rode by them, we seemed to stir them up a bit and the calves ran over to their mothers when they saw us approach.
Pretty soon we started noticing dark clouds approaching. We were getting close to Richardton, so we figured it was a good time for a meal. But when we rode thru town, there wasn’t anything open. We noticed a Cenex out by the interstate but didn’t want to backtrack, so we decided to ride 5 miles to the next town, Taylor. By the time we got to Taylor, the wind had picked up quite a bit with the approaching rain. It didn’t look like anything was open except for the nursery. Shawn asked a girl working outside if there was a place for food in town and she said the closest place was in Richardton (later another gal working there said the “Sit n Bull” bar had good food but didn’t open until 2pm). We asked her if we could wait out the rain in the nursery store and she said, sure & would you like a smoothie? So we hung out in the gift shop area of the nursery, drinking smoothies while it rained outside. Brrrrr! It chilled us! We chatted with some of the people working there & one of them said it has been an unusually wet summer – we’ve heard that a lot this summer! The other thing we learned at the nursery was that we were on Mountain Time!! Uneventful, but a pretty good milestone. ( Too bad it wasn’t flatland time )
The rain lasted about 30-40 minutes & then we were on our way again, riding rolling hills and fresh asphalt. We had a nice long downhill to the Knife River before climbing, climbing, climbing & more climbing to a very high point – in fact there was several huge communications towers because it was the highest point for miles! As we climbed the hill, we all joked about all the white pickup trucks in North Dakota. Then we played, guess the color of the car / pickup passing us. As we’ve gotten closer to Dickinson, we’ve noticed fewer pickup trucks, so our theory is that farmers like white pickups & oil workers drive anything. 🙂 Not sure how to test this theory – Tim suggests going to the pub in Dickinson & polling the patrons.
Coming out of Taylor after the rain, we heard the dreaded but familiar ping of a spoke breaking. We checked the internet & found the address of a bike shop in Dickinson. We rode right into town only to find that the bike shop is no longer there & the phone has been disconnected. Jim has his handy dandy Kevlar spoke repair thingy to get us to the bike shop in Medora, 40 miles down the road. So we got lunch at a nearby bagel shop & checked into hotel options. While there, another cyclist saw our bikes and stopped in for lunch too. We didn’t catch his name, but he is an architect from Vermont, riding from the west coast to NYC. He needed to use the shop’s wifi to do some work, so we didn’t talk too much. We found a hotel close to the interstate with rooms available & headed straight there. We ended up getting there at quarter to 2 – nice how the time change works for us! That gave us plenty of time to do laundry, write the blog & get the Kevlar spoke fix on the wheel.
Dark clouds are rolling in again & it’s just about time for dinner with Tim. We’re going to celebrate a new map set & a new time zone!
Quote of the day (say this one with an Aussie accent):
– “We can now lay claim to faster than a stationary train!”
Riding with Tim:
Rocks? No, cattle!
Lunch in Dickinson:
A jackalope! Cool!