7/12/2021 – New Salem to Bismark, ND

46.37 Miles / 1538.91 Total Miles

1280 Ft. Elevation Gain / 64,865 Ft. Total Elevation Gain

While we sat at under the ramada blogging, .last night, the wind was picking up and it turned downright cold. I had to dig into my cold weather bag to pull out a jacket. By the time I went to bed, I’m thinking the wind was 20 mph, so I put my tent fly on to keep from getting cold. It’s a good thing I did that, because it rained early this morning, while I was sleeping.

We slept in, a little, because we had a pretty short day ahead of us. We had split an 80 mile day into 2 days and added little side trip on to see Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. The plan was to head toward Bismark, but at Mandan, we would go off route a little over 6 miles to check out Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, then camp there. Everything was peachy, with a nice quartering tailwind, as we headed east toward Bismark, then when we turned south at Mandan, that turned into a dead on tailwind. Throughout the day we had been climbing some pretty big rollers, with the tailwind giving us a boost. As we rode the 6 miles toward the park, I started having thoughts about how it might just be a hoaky little picnic area, with not much to see. Ed was also secretly having the same thoughts,, but neither one of us spoke up, and if we had, I”m not sure we would have turned around. With the six miles down, we turned at the sign for the park, and now had to ride north for 1.5 miles directly into what was now a 12 mph headwind. Even if the park had nothing to see, with that headwind, I was not going to want to backtrack those 6 miles back to the route and move down the road,

Well guess what. The park was hoaky. We bought ourselves some cold drinks in the gift shop, .to The thing is, if we did turn around, we would be facing 6 miles of rollers, with a pretty stiff headwind.

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