Friday, September 11, 2009

Day One Hundred Eighty-seven, 090903 - Warroad, MN

Day One Hundred Eighty-seven, Date Thursday, September 3, 2009
Time in Saddle: 6:10
Distance for the Day: 57.71 miles From NW Angle To Warroad, MN
Accumulated Trip Distance: 9286.9 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 915’/843’, Highest: 917’ Accumulated: 279’
Speeds: Avg: 9.3 mph, Max: 14.8 mph
Weather: 47° clear, warming to mid-70s
Expenditures: $10C $18US

I woke up at 6:05am and got up at 6:08am –during the day, there was very light traffic on the road – during the night, there was practically none, so I had a full night of unbroken sleep. As I was breaking camp, I could see the sunrise through a break in the trees that surround this area – a big orange ball at about 6:45am – neat! I finished breaking down, and was ready to roll by 6:56am. The weather was perfectly clear, hardly any haze, but cool. I took a short detour and stopped in at the Moose Lake resort area to visit the Silverbird Resort for breakfast ($10C). I chatted for over an hour with the owner, Leonard Friessen(sp?), who told me stories about some of the animal encounters he’s had, and that the lake freezes so that trucks can drive on it, so they get a lot of ice fishermen. He said he visited his daughter in Winnipeg, once, and was amazed to see a *domestic* animal (a cat) cross the lawn, outside! His daughter laughed. Oh, he also said that if you piss around your campsite, it can keep wild animals (bears, cougars, moose, wolves, etc.) away; I got this same advice from Spencer back in Alpine, AZ.
At 9:48am I got back to the main road and continued south to Sprague. Coming back down from the Angle on the dirt road, I must have passed twenty cars over the hour it took to get from my campsite to the Moose Lake area – very little traffic, but there were a couple of big rigs who were merciless with regard to dust – they kick up a lot of it, and didn’t slow down when they saw me – just roared on past. It wasn’t too bad, as the road was somewhat moist, but I still got a fine layer of dust on me each time. I saw a medium-big furry animal cross the road that looked kind of like a dark, hairy anteater – Leonard said it was probably a “fisher,” and indeed – I looked it up on the web, later, and that was the critter. Never even heard of them, before.

I almost didn’t go back to get my pepper sprayer at the US/Canada border checkpoint. When I hit Sprague, I could have turned west, and made forward progress on my route to Yellowstone. Going back to get that pepper sprayer meant that I would have to head east, which would mean an additional 21 miles. Since they’re a bit hard to come by, and a bit expensive, too, I decided to get it. I made it back to the Canadian border at 2:30pm, but passed the Canadian checkpoint to stop at the duty free store, first, for a much needed bathroom break and a soda ($2). Remarkably, the gal at the store got a call from the Canadian customs people, who thought I’d forgotten my pepper spray, and was going to leave Canada without it! Man, those guys are sharp. After I reclaimed my “weapon,” I left the border and headed back to Warroad.

I got to Warroad at about 4:30pm, and went to the local library to look for wi-fi. They didn’t have any, but I got a weak signal outside the library, anyway, and found an outside electrical outlet I could plug into. I checked email, weather, and routes and terrain until 7:30pm, when the wi-fi signal kind of disappeared (weird). I stopped between 7-8pm at Subway for a meal deal ($7), and also got supplies at the mini mart ($9) in the same building. The sun had set, but it was still light out, and I was getting ready to leave, when a carload of nubile young girls made appreciative noises when they passed me – I smiled and gave ‘em a ‘thumbs-up.’ I like it when that happens. I rode west on Hwy 11 for a few miles, despondent at the fact that the road paralleled some railroad tracks, and knowing whatever stealth camp I found would probably be close to them (trains are *really* loud – even a mile away). At 8:30pm, I found a spot of level, clean-cut grass lawn behind a church next to the building (N48 54.810’ W95 21.260’), pretty much right outside of Warroad. I set up my tent and at 8:45pm hopped in to read, drink soda, and munch on trailmix until about 8:45pm before going to sleep. I was mentally prepared for the trains that were going to thunder me awake in the middle of the night, but to my utter surprise, not one came by the entire night, even though I heard two pass through town earlier that day, *very* loud. How nice!

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