Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day One Hundred Ninety-eight, 090914 - Rhame, ND

Day One Hundred Ninety-eight, Date Monday, September 14, 2009
Time in Saddle: 8:11
Distance for the Day: 77.04 miles From Regent To Rhame, ND
Accumulated Trip Distance: 9884.1 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending: 2326’/2998’, Highest: 3017’ Accumulated: 2149’
Speeds: Avg: 9.4 mph, Max: 24.2 mph
Weather: 70° temperate, windy, clear
Expenditures: $17

Woke up at 6:07, got up at 6:35am to clear skies (with some clouds around the horizon) and beautiful Venus; ready to roll by 7:13am. It was very windy all night, and that kept me up a little, blowing my tent around. There were mosquitoes – I got hit three times in the legs before putting on my rain gear. I went to the local mini mart at 7:30am for a breakfast croissant, choco milk, Danish, and cookie + a soda for the road ($15). Very surprisingly, for this small one-dog town, they had wi-fi, so I checked and handled email, weather, and posted a blog I’d forgotten to enter (#177) (thanks for bringing it to my attention, M!) I had to append it to #176 to keep it somewhat chronological. I then took off to continue on to Scranton at 9:45am. It’s a somewhat long haul, almost 50 miles, from Regent to Scranton, so I stocked up a little extra on drinks.
I was able to go 28 miles before my right knee started hurting at 1:30pm. At 2pm it got worse, so at 2:15 I took a rest break – I thought I’d try to keep an eye on the pain pattern, to see if there was anything I could do to resolve it. There are a LOT of insects in this part of North Dakota – amongst the fields of hay, corn, barley, several times a minute I would have to swipe gnats away from my goggles, and occasionally they’d get inside my goggles, so I’d have to take them off and poke them out with my finger. I stopped in Scranton from 4-4:30pm to stock up on liquids and food items ($8), and continued on towards Baker. A few notes: the roads overall in ND have been great, except for two 10 mile stretches of dirt gravel. They don’t have much shoulder, but they’re so lightly traveled, it wasn’t a problem; gazillions of grasshoppers that jump up and hit me in the face, chest, arms, or under my legs; I think I’ve discovered a way to fix my painful knee syndrome – just hit a level or downhill segment of road (or even stop), and push my heels forward and lock my knees to the fully extended position and stretch ‘em for a couple of moments several times, the pain goes away for quite a while, and if I do this every now and then, the pain never gets a chance to start – cool! I’m slowly gaining altitude as I continue south and west. I reached the town of Rhame near sunset, and looked around for services, but there was just a bar with a soda machine outside, so I got soda ($2) and found a patch of lawn behind the firehouse (N46 14.009’ W103 39.228’) that was pretty concealed, so set up my tent, cloaked my trike, and was in bed by 8:30pm, munching and reading until it got too dark to read, at about 9pm. I went to sleep, but at 11pm they let loose the “town horn!” I just happened to be at ground zero (it was on a pole above the firehouse), and was so loud, I clapped my hands over my ears and went into a fetal position for almost a minute, before it slowly wound back down. Yeesh! Then, at 5am, a train came rumbling through with horn a-blast. I was about 200 yards from the tracks, so of course, it woke me up, but not like that town horn!

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