Friday, September 11, 2009

Day One Hundred Ninety-one, 090907 - New Rockford, ND

Day One Hundred Ninety-one, Date Monday, September 7, 2009
Time in Saddle: 8:26
Distance for the Day: 55.01 miles From Webster To New Rockford, ND
Accumulated Trip Distance: 9537.2 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 1279’/1504’, Highest: 1623’ Accumulated: 1959’
Speeds: Avg: 6.5 mph, Max: 20.2 mph
Weather: 58° mostly clear, breezy
Expenditures: $26

I woke up at 6:08 got up at 6:15am to a cool, clear and breezy pre-dawn morning. Again, due to the lower humidity and wind, my gear was totally dry, which I really appreciate. I secured my hammock and sleeping bag, and rolled out by 6:35am. I started down Rte 20 from Webster to the town of Devils Lake, where I got some trailmix at Wal Mart ($5), and then had an early Subway meal deal lunch ($8) from 9am – 10:40am. I checked my notebook charge, and it still seemed to be fine, so I wrote blog stuff and topped-off the charge on it while I ate. I also called and contacted my next Warmshowers hosts, Ron & Joyce G in Bismarck, who said they were ready and willing to have me over I told them I should make to their location in one or two days. Went past the actual Devils Lake, which was white-capping from all the wind, and then into the tiny town of Fort Totten, where I stopped at the market to get an ice cream. They didn’t have any, so I just got a soda, instead ($2). I left at about 2pm and headed west on Rte 57, and then south on US 281.

I got to Sheyenne by 4:12pm, and found it to be a two-dog town – only one tiny gas station, and it was closed. It took about two hours to go 10 miles against a headwind of 15-20mph, and all the while, the sky was getting more and more overcast. Also, my knees started to hurt, so I had to rest a couple of times. This was a surprise: I crossed the Continental Divide at 5:32pm/1619’ ASL! I didn’t think it would be here. I thought it would be in the Rockies somewhere, and certainly not on a north/south road like Hwy 281. Strange. It was ten more miles to New Rockford, and starting to get overcast and looking like the rain that was predicted. With nothing better to do, I pushed on, and made New Rockford by 6:20pm. I stopped in at the mini mart there and picked up a soda ($2), then stopped in at the only restaurant in town, and got a burger and choco malted ($9). I don’t usually eat two large meals in one day, but fighting that headwind really made me burn the calories. In fact, the wind was so strong, it blew my trike’s flag off its pole – the blinkin’ thing just vanished! Now, once again, I was in the market for a new flag (Demitol). The weather was quickly going downhill, so I thought I would look for a stealth camp in this town. I found a likely location near the edge of town next to a small power transformer station on a mown grassy area next to a horse corral (N47° 41.088' W99° 8.202'). There weren’t too many mosquitoes, so I was able to hang out reading my book for quite a while before they did finally start to find me. Seeing no traffic past that spot, I set up my tent when it got dark. I *did* get a visit from three curious horses who gathered at the nearest fence to see what I was up to. I had an apple, so I took it out and got their immediate attention. I ate it, and also took bites out of it to give to the horses, too. All four of us enjoyed that one apple very much. I got in and read and ate a bit, but went to sleep not much later, at about 9:30pm, still high and dry – so far, so good.

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