Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day One Hundred Ninety-seven, 090913 - Regent, ND

Day One Hundred Ninety-seven, Date Sunday, September 13, 2009
Time in Saddle: 9:32
Distance for the Day: 73.66 miles From Glen Ullin To Regent, ND
Accumulated Trip Distance: 9807.1 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 1863’/2326’, Highest: 2552’ Accumulated: 3783’
Speeds: Avg: 7.7 mph, Max: 25.9 mph
Weather: 47° mostly clear with some low cumulo-stratus around the horizon, slightly breezy
Expenditures: $4

I woke up at 6:52am, got up at 7:08am, broke down, repacked the trike, and was ready to roll at 7:41am. It was so quiet at that stealth camp site, I didn’t even need my earplugs. It did get a little breezy after 1am, and that woke me up a little, and it got cooler, so the cold kind of seeped through the bottom of my sleeping bag – that was a bit of a bother, but not enough to get up and do something about it. I need to remember to use my air mattress in my hammock, if I suspect it’s going to get cold – the circulation of air under me can penetrate from beneath in the hammock, because my sleeping bag insulation is squashed flat by my weight, and is rendered less effective. I went to the same mini mart I visited the evening before for a breakfast of hot coco, muffin, and Danish ($4), and continued on at 8:27am. Today and yesterday, I saw a number of pheasants fly away from me along the road They’re pretty small, smaller than a chicken, but they have beautiful plumage (I saw a number of dead ones on the road; I guess they are prone to crossing the street when they shouldn’t). I made it to Gladstone a bit after 2pm, after another 10 miles of slightly hilly dirt road (ugh!) I looked around for a store or mini mart, but there wasn’t anything. Poop! I saw the first of the Enchanted Highway sculptures – the outlines of swans against a sunburst of stainless steel rods; but I couldn’t get close enough to it to take a decent picture of it. While in Gladstone, I ate the 2nd half of my Subway sandwich from the day before, and a PayDay bar, and then continuing to head south into a 15-20mph south headwind at 2:41pm (double-ugh!) It was a good 30 miles to the next big town, and I hoped it would be bigger than Gladstone. After struggling against that headwind, and stopping at each sculpture to take pictures, I finally did make it to the town of Regent by evening, and immediately found a good stealth camp by the town’s baseball field (N46 25.141’ W102 33.536’). I set up my tent just after it got fairly dark, around 8:30pm, and hopped in to go to sleep right away. Fighting that headwind all day pooped me out more than usual. Unfortunately, I have to say that the ‘Enchanted Highway’ wasn’t very enchanting for me. The sculptures were *pretty* cool, but seemed to be oriented more toward a child’s tastes. Much more annoyingly, two-thirds of that 30-mile road had *large* expansion gaps. So, every few seconds it was, ka-THUNK… ka-THUNK… ka-THUNK, of head-into-spine jolts, for twenty miles! I think I’ve said this before, but if I ever get my hands of the neck of whoever invented expansion gaps, I’m going to *throttle* them. These were so big, even cars would easily feel them. See the sculptures online, if you have to – otherwise - *avoid*.

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