Day 26 (94 miles)

Trip Start Jun 13, 2008
1
25
36
Trip End Aug 09, 2008


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Flag of United States  , North Dakota
Friday, July 11, 2008

our luck with the wind still hasn't changed... as we woke up this morning, we lamented the fact that we've only gotten one day of the prevailing winds in the last week. we do feel fortunate, though, because that's about as bad as our weather luck has been. being wet on the bike would be much more uncomfortable than working a bit harder, even if it's easy to forget that when the wind really gets going. today the wind was having a little laugh at our expense because our route always had us going either due south or due east, and it was coming from due southeast, so it was in our face at every turn. luckily, the wind wasn't as strong today as it had been (5-10 mph with gusts to 15 or so), so it would have been much worse. nonetheless, with so many miles, today was the longest day in the saddle and one of the lowest average speeds (12.5 mph as opposed to a more typical 16-17) and we got to our home stay quite late...

around mile 30, we found hope...and we ate a second breakfast there. we were welcomed into town by a really great water tower that was painted up with a smily face. we found a great little cafe serving up egg mcmuffin style sandwiches with humongous pieces of sausage. add a side of chocolate milk, and you've got some calories to help fight off the wind. we took our time in the cafe, hoping for another miraculous change of wind, but after an hour we had to face the fact that we weren't going to be so lucky yet again, and we set off into the wind again.

over the next sixty miles, we saw the terrain start to change again. southeastern north dakota is geographically considered part of the corn belt rather than the plains, so we started to see more water and more trees. but...i don't have any pictures because i was too busy pedaling and didn't want to lose any momentum. the ride seemed to drag out forever, though, and the sky kept getting grayer and grayer as the clouds rolled in.

when we pulled into west fargo, we were welcomed into the house of betty and carl. the couple we stayed with in williston put us in touch with them, and they were nice enough to host us. poor betty had been looking after her grandchildren for three days and her husband was out of town on business until last that evening, so she was looking so overworked. she had cooked us an amazing feast with four different types of grilled meat (and i sampled each), a couple different salads, a ton of fruit, and her friend brought some delicious toffee cookies. it was the most amazing meal! i got to sleep on a couch in their basement, which was quite exciting because it was the first non-floor sleeping arrangement for me so far in the trip. what luxury...

after dinner, julie and i went grocery shopping in west fargo. a big storm was brewing, and the sky was constantly lit up with lightning bolts. i took a few minutes to sit in the semi-dark parking lot and let the wind swirl around me while i watched bolt after bolt jump from cloud to cloud. i don't know why, but i find electrical storms incredibly beautiful...it must be something about the (literally) charged atmosphere. it's a shame we don't get them like this out west.
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