55.93 Miles / 1852.24 Total Miles
223 Ft. Elevation Gain / 70,158 Ft. Total Elevation Gain
What is my problem? Am I obsessed with rumble strips? Today, it was a mishmash of all the different types North Dakota has thrown at us, plus a new one. A rumble strip down a narrow shoulder with 6-8 inches of space to ride on either side of it (the right side drops off, and is not rideable). These strips are ONLY to wake or alert sleepy or inattentive drivers. And I get it–there are so few cyclists up here, they don’t need to plan around the 200 or so Northern Tier cyclists who share the roads with local cars a few months out of the year. Still, these strips create a huge safety problem for us cyclists. Today, there was a lot of traffic, from the moment we departed Enderlin, till when we arrived Fargo, and most of it was large trucks. There we were, riding out in the lane, because we couldn’t ride on the shoulder. We survived, so I guess shouldn’t complain.
We got an early start, leaving the hotel at 7:15, just 15 minutes after Sue departed. We passed her pretty quickly, but figured she’d catch up to us when we stopped in Kindred for second breakfast. After 29 miles of a very slight downhill and a very slight quartering headwind, we arrived in Kindred and were greeted by the most massive grain facility I’ve seen yet. It had dozens of conveyers, chutes, tunnels, etc. What are all those things for? While we ate our second breakfast, at Express Lane convenience store, I made a phone call to the facility, to see if they ever do tours. Unfortunately, I never heard back from the General Manager, so no tour.
Sue caught up with us at Express Lane. We were all headed for Fargo, and that was going to be the end of the road for her, as she’s heading back to Ohio on Amtrak, late this evening. We said our final goodbyes and headed down the road. Once we turned north, our headwind turned into a bit of a tailwind, and we were sailing along. Beautiful! When we turned east again, the headwind had picked up, and it was slow going.
We arrived in Fargo, just after noon, and headed to our Warm Shower’s host, Shawn Vasichek’s, house. He helped us get settled and introduced us to his 1-year old Golden Retriever,, Major Taylor, who is one gigantic puppy. He was super sweet, playful and cuddly. We showered and headed out to explore Fargo.
On our way to Shawn’s, we passed parts of River Front Park, and this Veteran’s Memorial caught my eye. The stories carved in stone were really interesting.
Fargo’s old historic train station is occupied by Great Northwest Bicycle shop, the biggest bike shop I’ve ever been in. One of their mechanics went over my bike and made sure the brakes and derailleurs were properly adjusted. I also stocked up on the nuts and bolts that hold my racks on, as I lost a couple of them yesterday and had to borrow from Sue and Ed to keep my right front rack from falling off the bike. I can’t even imagine how badly that would have gone down, had it gotten any looser. The rack would have jammed into the spokes, messed up the wheel and possibly the tire, caused an immediate stop and crash, and who knows what else. No thank you.
There happened to be a very large street fair going on, downtown, and while Ed was waiting for me to get my bike fixed, he bumped into Sue–AGAIN! She was pushing her bike and gear through the crowd. Once my bike was ready, we all locked our bikes together and spent a few hours checking out all the booths, sampling as much food as possible and eating dinner. Then we consulted our GPSs and headed to Moorhead, Minnesota, across the Red River, to check out a historic Dairy Queen.
The legendary Moorehead Dairy Queen first opened in 1949, and, to this day, usually has a long line waiting to order After eating the first Blizzard I’ve had in probably over a year, I said my final goodbye to Sue–for the fourth time–and headed back to Shawn’s house. He had delayed his departure on a weekend trip, to hang out with us, so we sat out in his back yard, watched his chickens run around, listened to music, played with Major, and talked till almost midnight. Shawn is a great guy–another person who would give you the shirt off his back, Thanks for the amazing hospitality, Shawn! We truly enjoyed our stay with you and Major!!
But wait–there’s more. When we went inside to go to bed, Major decided he was going to sleep with Ed on the twin bed, but it was a wee bit too small for both of them, so he snuggled up next to me, then on me, then next to me, then on me….till I fell asleep. You gotta love puppies.