7/15/2021 – Gackle to Enderlin, ND

73.87 Miles / 1722.44 Total Miles

978 Ft. Elevation Gain / 68,957 Ft. Total Elevation Gain

The sleep was great, last night, in The Honey Hub. Sue awoke early and got out the door just after I crawled out of bed. She had a longer 74 mile day than me and Ed, because she was able to book a room in Enderlin. Ed and I called to book a room, and both hotels were sold out, so we made a reservation for the Little Yellowstone Campground, next to the Sheyenne River, which was just a 58 mile ride. We said our goodbyes to Sue, because this was the last time we would see her. From Enderlin, she was heading to Fargo, the terminus of her tour.

We left the hostel with enough food and hydration to get us through 50 miles of riding, because today, we wouldn’t see civilization again, until we took a 6 mile detour from the route to stop in Litchville. The entire day was spent riding on a long straight 2-lane road, with quite a bit of farm traffic. Did you catch the work “straight” in the previous sentence? We’re talking no turns, no curves–just rolling hills, corn fields, cattle, hay bails, wind breaks, silos, farm machinery, ponds and lakes, and a few farm houses.

Just because I keep posting photos of cows, doesn’t mean I’m obsessed with them. Today was the first time I saw a herd of cream colored cows. They were very well mannered, standing at attention and keeping their head and eyes on us as we passed by.

We were a little shocked to see that we were crossing the Continental Divide again, per the photo below. The last time we crossed it was at the top of Going to the Sun Road, in Montana. Ed did a little research, and it turns out that there are 6 different Continental Divides. This one runs east/west, dividing the Hudson Bay from the Gulf of Mexico.

When we were 2 miles from the turn off for Litchville, the last town with known food, before our campground, I received a message from Sue. She was 6 miles up the road at a convenience store on the route, that was not on our radar. She reported that she had found, “A Jackpot”: Hot food, chocolate milk and ice cream treats (after just a few days with us, she knows us so well!) I caught up to Ed to let him know, before he made the turn to go off route 6 miles for food. Avoiding the extra miles was a plus, and we actually knew that this place served the kinds of food we would like for our last hot meal, before dinner and breakfast cooked over the camp stove. Thanks for running recon for us, Sue! Lunch was great!

After lunch, we had another 7 miles to go to get to our campground. When we pulled in, the place looked really nice. It was clean; had electric hookups and a couple of water spigots; there was only one other camper; and there was an abundance of shade to keep us cool for the rest of the day. When we checked out the water spigots, though, the were missing the handles, so there really wasn’t water after all. This was going to be a big problem. You can’t cook or clean, without water, and we need water to stay hydrated, when we ride, and I was already down to just one water bottle on my bike.

The decision to ride 17 miles down the road, to Enderlin, was an easy one. I sent a message to Sue to let her know we were coming her way with no plan, and asked if we could share her room. She had just checked into a room with 2 beds, so things worked out perfectly, which goes back to that question I keep asking: Are we blessed or are we lucky? We had to battle a bit of a headwind, on the way to Enderlin, so it took us 1.5 hours to get there, but when we arrived, it was good to see Sue again and even better to have a place to sleep for the night.

After stashing our bikes and gear, showering, and taking care of some personal business, we hopped back on the bikes to ride into town, for dinner at the Traxside Cafe. When I started riding my bike, the right front rack was rattling like crazy, so I had to stop and check it out. Turns out that 2 of the 3 bolts that hold it on the bike were missing. When did that happen? That rack has been carrying a heavy pannier full of food and cooking/eating gear. I knew that I did’t have any of the kinds of bolts required to properly attach the rack to the bike, but Ed and Sue were pretty sure they had some options. We would work on that when we got back to the hotel, but first we needed to eat dinner.

I was dying for some vegetables, and the meal below, stuffed pork chops, had 2 vegetables, so I ordered it. I almost died when the waitress brought my plate out. The canned peas looked and tasted worse than anything I ever ate in almost 32 years of Army food. The sad thing is that I ordered this plate, because I wanted a healthy meal, and this is what I got. I ate all of the mashed potatoes (made from potato flakes) and gravy (probably came out of a can), and 2 bites of everything else. What a complete waste of money. Finding healthy food is a challenge, on cycling trips. I really need to find a way to eat better.

,Tomorrow, we’re riding to Fargo, where we’ll be taking another day off, to see the town.

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