Friday, September 11, 2009

Day One Hundred Ninety-two, 090908 - Hurdsfield, ND

Day One Hundred Ninety-two, Date Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Time in Saddle: 7:19
Distance for the Day: 56.04 miles From New Rockford To Hurdsfield, ND
Accumulated Trip Distance: 9593.3 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 1504’/1669’, Highest: 1697’ Accumulated: 722’
Speeds: Avg: 7.6 mph, Max: 18.2 mph
Weather: 58° overcast turning to brief rain showers throughout the day
Expenditures: $9

I woke up at 5:53am, and noticed flashes of light on inside of my tent – uh oh. When I got up at 6am and first poked my head out, it was still quite dark, and the sky was heavily overcast. The flashes were, of course, lightning, but it was still far away – not even any thunder. I remember: I was in the middle of breaking down my tent, and feeling grateful that it didn’t rain last night, so everything was dry, and then it started to rain. I rushed to finish the breakdown, and headed out to try to find something to hide under until the worst was over. When it started raining more heavily, I settled for a meager amount of protection from a tree on one of the neighborhood streets, and that’s when I finally put on my raingear. With raingear on, including my patented plastic socks, I continued looking for some real cover, and found some under the front entrance of the local high school at 6:53am. Of course, by then, the rain had pretty much stopped, so I took off in the growing light of dawn in search of breakfast, which I never found. I had to content myself with what I was carrying: meat sticks, candy bars, trailmix, and Gatorade – mmm-mm! Breakfast of champions. It was lightly rainy most of the day on and off. I stopped for lunch between 12 and 12:55pm; had the other half of my Subway sandwich. Today, because the pavement was wet, I saw live frogs, insects, birds eating the insects, and saved three salamanders by flinging them into the brush on the side of the road. The wind was picking up out of the west, giving me a nasty cross wind, and I kept having to doff and don my raingear to stay dry during rain, and to keep from getting sweaty when it stopped. Since getting onto Hwy 200, the traffic got heavier with plenty of big rigs roaring by. The day cleared up for several hours, but got cloudy again. I finally changed out my old toe clips for the new replacements I’ve been carrying since Day One. The old ones had been getting weaker (my feet could slip out of the pedals unexpectedly) since before Florida, but not too bad. They got progressively worse, but very slowly over a long period of time. Today, the left clip wouldn’t hardly keep a hold of the pedal at all, so I installed the replacements, and now have positive lock on my pedals once again. They lasted about 9500 miles, so I have no complaints.
I pulled into the little town of Hurdsfield at 5:30pm, but didn’t see any stores or mini marts – just a small diner. I originally went in to just find out if there was a store open nearby, but started chatting with some of the patrons, and decided to get a burger and soda. After more friendly conversation, two people offered to put me up overnight. I had a choice, and chose the one that was closest to the highway – it was the lady who was running the diner – Wanda. I ate dinner, and waited an hour until 7:30pm when she closed the diner and cleaned it up. Her house was just across the street (imprecise: N47 26’ W99 55’), so we went over there just as her husband Terry also pulled in. Terry owned a trucking company that handles big rigs and combines, and Wanda worked several small jobs around the area, and both of them were very nice people. I took a shower, and afterwards, went upstairs to socialize a bit with my impromptu hosts. We chatted for several hours about my trip, and I inquired about their lives out in the vast open farmlands in the middle of North Dakota. They had a nice, neat and clean, well-furnished house, already decorated for Fall. It had been physically moved twice from two previous locations, which I thought was amazing, it not being a mobile home, but a real house. I went to bed at 9:30pm – the sky was still overcast outside, but tomorrow was supposed to be nice. Terry gave me a big hunk of beef and deer salami to gnosh on for my trip, and I gave them my blog site. Nice, nice folks! I slept well on the floor of their downstairs den.

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