HuHot

So we barged into this Mongolian buffet one evening  very hungry,  and searching intently for a quick and ready Chinese buffet. I waited by the door,  bike attire and all.   Oli made a bee-line to inspect the buffet line for an adequate selection.   Seeing that we were on the fence,  the manager chatted me up.   “So you must build up an appetite.   Lots of bikers come in here. ”
” have you hu-hotted before? ”  no,  I said,  and as oli shook her head and headed for the door, ” and it looks like we still will not have”.  I have been asking Oli for about  week now whether she’s HuHotted before…. 
Subway,  then head for?   We Re in Mandan now.

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Sunday August 31st

Leaving Bismarck

After 4 nights in the camper of our wonderful hosts (Steve,  Dawn,  Jaké,  Troy,  and Jack the dog).,  we’re off to get more rain pants,  breakfasted at the King.   Were so thankful to have had the lodging,  and company.  We thoroughly enjoyed The cookout,  the bike repair lessons,  and getting to know out hosts. Last night’s storms wee powerful as we lay I’m the camper.

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The bike shop is full service,  and well-staffed,  which cannot be did of many Bismarck businesses.

Moving West, New Salem camping in a park area… SALEM Sue world’s largest Holstein
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Fiberglass cow..
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Guess he took this trail to his last battle
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Cool German historic community

TUESDAY August 26th

LEAVE Strasburg through Hazelton
Nice riding,  cool air,  smooth wide shoulder,  wind very low.   Arrived in Hazelton  2pm.  Road construction through the whole town,  all roads are torn up (replacing all water pipes).   “it’s about time”  said the store clerk.   “we weren’t even able to drink it for a while now.”

Arrived in Topp motel, Strasburg,  after 25 miles in the cold rain.   The only hotel in town,  the  leak a day owner said it’s her or ê5 more miles to Bismarck.   We knew that she was right. After paying our 60$, we settled-into our nest.   Having no cable TV,  no heat  and a mostly clean room,  we bathed,  watched Mash,  and planned routes.

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Part way to bismarck,  we stopped for a break adjacent to a cemetery.  (this place has power,  water,  shade,  and an interesting operation taking place.

A man working for a vault  company is prepping for a funeral service.   He sets this  steel-lined  concrete vault onto the top of this rectangular dug grave.   He also puts up a sun shade and chairs.   In this part of the country,  it’s common to bury the casket in a  vault.   Here,  they also bury feet to the East.  He,  like most in ND,  is affected by the oil rush North of here.   His company can’t keep a worker in that town,  so he travels a lot more than used to (goes through more tires  gas,  new truck has high milage already…)

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We Arrived in Bismarck and at Dawn and Steve house.   We’re in a camper  it’s nice,  we feel lucky to have met them,  both kind easy-going people.  They own a bike shop located at their house .   She’s been very helpful with location of shops,  a day letting us do laundry.   Steve was at work,  and when he came home,  we got to see how nice he is as well.   They all have been helpful and I’ve enjoyed chatting with them.  Troy worked on my brakes (after a long day at his day job).   It appears that something’s fishy with my front wheel,  and possibly my front fork is not a touring one,  but instead a narrow road fork.  Not much clearance for new shoes.  

We’ve been managing affairs here,  not with great efficiency   but plugging G along.   I’m at the joint doc we begging for a shot in my hip,  hope it happens,  and hope it helps. I’m having pain at upper,  inner leg/hip area (been there since the beginning,  but bigger mountains await us yet.   It only hurts when pedaling with a load,  and I’m somewhat used to it.   But need to stop with the NSAIDS.  

We’re sleeping fine in the camper out hosts provided us.   It’s nice having a place to sleep and shower  and bonus having the bike shop there https://m.facebook.com/brokenspokebs?_rdr
and great people.

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These fellas were loitering on the bench at a mall in Bismarck.   JEFFERSON WASHINGTON AND REAGAN.   The plaques highlight their conservative achievements,  along G with some obvious history.   What an honor for Reagan to be among the old greats!

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The road signs I’ve spotted indicate a strong G religious and conservative Republican element in ND.   I suppose,  the oil and possible pipeline are strong clues as well.   The economy here is very strong for most people.   Although a lot of infrastructure is dated or basic (maybe just the parts I’ve seen).    There is probably a fair amount of new construction and affluent housing as well.   McDonalds pays $11/hr.  Doctors from Bismarck travel throughout ND,  apparently filling voids of specially trained folks.   Several people I spoke with have jobs within the oil boom realm or at least have lives somehow changed by the boom.  

Monday August 25th

Presented with Another brutal wind-bashing.

This morning was noticeably colder than before   we woke to 50’s and the NW wind kept us cool and hard-working.   Stopped at a store in Herreid SD. Here we met Herman Schumacher.   He was cheerful and inquisitive.   We exchanged introductions and some life information.   His ancestors were German and Russian.   This seems true of many in this area of the country.   He built the store,  and another building (something to do with cattle) .   He described himself as a cattle feed businessman. He has a Google presence,  operates a cattle business,  and seems to be a big part of this community. Some of the search results were disturbing ; http://www.opednews.com/populum/pagem.php?f=News-Conference-to-address-by-R-CALF-USA-090622-114.html
After discussing some of Maine,  and New York (his friend lives in Hamburg) he returned to work.

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The convenience store sells ammo!

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Need a shower this bad?

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Met Viki,  who operates the Blue Room Bar in Strasburg  ND.   It’s cold here,  40’s at 900Pm.  She was an interesting woman.   Her story was that of a Minnesotan transplant,  trying to fit-in here (after 8 years,  it’s still a challenge).   We discussed TV,  books,  Minnesota,  and ND.   She recommended a local campground.   We’re here now and alone.   Noone else here tonight (sept a wanderer for a free hot shower).   Ate Beef soup can and salad for dinner.   Left clothes on,  and turned-in
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A nerd was walking down the sidewalk one day when his friend, another nerd, rode up on an incredible shiny new bicycle.

The first nerd was stunned by his friend’s sweet ride and asked, “WOW! Where did you get such a nice bike?”

The second nerd replied, “Well, yesterday I was walking home, minding my own business, when a beautiful woman rode up to me on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, ‘Take what you want!'”

The second nerd nodded approvingly, “Good choice. The clothes probably wouldn’t have fit.”

Sunday August 24th

SOUTH DAKOTA’S LAST WINDY RIDE

Woke at BOB’S RESORT CAMPGROUND,  left 900 AM  East on 212, to North on RT 83, with a NW wind 21 mph.   It’s debilitating.   We make 4 miles per 1 hr.  Oli is napping in a field,  we have no possibility for shade.
The Prairie grass has these stiff reeds among it. They make lying  down  a chore requiring much preparation.  Also,  the Prairie flies are a persistent pest while resting.   As we Ride,  the bees periodically get caught In helmet vents.   Now that sunflower crops surround us,  we do have more of the bees,  flies hit us at higher speed,  propelled by the wind.  

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The sunflower beauty is fantastic.  

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Saw some of these around (not my pic)

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Saw these too,  but alive even!
I’m reading Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose (audio  book).   I found  that the task of reading is arduous after a full day of pedaling.   I tend to doze off before finishing 2 paragraphs.   The audio book is superior in this regard.   I can listen while biking County roads.

SOUTH DAKOTA FEELING

In other states,  Many more people were curious and interested about our biking and the adventure we are on.   Here in SD,  folks may also be interested,  but they hide it well.  Or perhaps they are more of a *mind your own business * type of people.  So,  just after we discussed our woeful present situation,  and I made this last entry ….

We Met Gwenn and her son Zach.   She stopped to see if we were OK (resting in a ditch in the wind storm).   She offered a ride to Selby,  we gladly accepted. She’s a food service director,  and her son,  Zack,  is a 9th grader at a different school   she asked the usual questions : where from,  how far per day, we graciously entertained her with our story.  Upon arrival at Selby,  she asked how we cooked meals,  if we used a fry pan?   We described out process to her she then offered us fish that Zack had caught earlier today – Walleye.   We accepted with some hesitation,  since the chore of properly storing,  transporting,   cooking,  and cleaning the dishes is a concern.   We did take the gift however ,  thanked her,  and said our goodbye’s.  She is a thoughtful,  kind lady and good model for the young man.

These vast tracts of land,  with few services between require that we plan well.   We’ve been grilling the locals as to what lies ahead.   They’re friendly  and provide invaluable information.   Google and maps aren’t always sufficient for these purposes (items grocery store may have,  whether a convenience store exists – really small towns have  dynamic business lists.   We’ve had several ties when Google maps listed a store or lack thereof,  and the opposite was true.   I suppose a slow economy can wreak have on a small town.   And surely new stores open.   The same is true of bridges and construction.   It’s always safer to ask ahead.   Many locals are happy to share and want to be of assistance.. I cannot count the number of times people have approached  us and offered directions and / or asked questions.

Saw many cool birds at Sand Lake conservation areahttp://www.fws.gov/refuge/sand_lake/
Among the many birds I saw,  was an Eagle.   She was Perched on  a post.  I approached slowly and it let me get to within 25 feet!   I did not have the camera handy,  as I was in shock – awed by her beauty.   She cawed several times and flapped her grand wings to leave.   Very soon after,  she  was gliding and circling high. Silhouetted by the setting sun – sublime.
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Our site in the Mound City Park,  SD

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Had bathroom,  hot water,  powered Pavillion. Across from the courthouse  (woke in morning,  Noone cared,  tent still setup,  court employees filing in.

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Our Mound city camp site.

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Again,  SD,  anything goes.
In SD,  anybody can drive anything pretty much anywhere  we learned that the Indians don’t even need a license on the res .

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Casinos at many convenience stores..

Saturday August 23

Wind Rain Dog odometer
Breakfast at the resort on crow Creek and some other recreation area.   Stayed in a great vacant newly constructed storage garage.   This place was perfect,  had open garage door,  smooth cement floor,  fairly clean,  bar the dust,  next to the hotel.   In effect,  we ate dinner,  used hotel restrooms,   walked to this camp spot,  had protection from bad storms rain and wind,  woke , walked to breakfast….next doot

ICE BUCKET Challenge is all the Facebook rage. Trying to get Oli to do one.   

43 miles today.   Oli lost her odometer.   We had 18.MPH headwind for a while.   We decided to ask a guy on the Prarie for a ride further down.   He said no,  was late for a wedding.   His dog was a sweet, gentle,  not too quick Lab.   After realizing that we lost the odometer,  we spent about an hour looking for it.   The dog latched onto US and would not leave us alone,  following us everywhere as we looked for odometer.    We did find it,  then moved on.   The dog would not stop following us.   We found another house 2 miles down the road  they weren’t home,  so we tied the dog there  with a note (previous house owner said this was his friend) .   Rain is dreary,  ending now 730, found camp site at Bob’s resort. On RT 1804 before being North on 83.
Crisp morning,  68°,  dry air,  E.  Wind 7mph big day ahead,  no services for 46 mi.
Slept at Bob’s Resort,  a tent site,  electric,  next to nice bathrooms with hot showers.   We hung out in Bob’s store at the tables,  eating our food (and food we bought from him).   We did so until the rain subsided,  then got to building tent.
Bob is a gruff,  Hunter  fisherman type,  he’s the only one working the store 7am,-9PM (I think),  operating a store,  He also has a small restaurant,  the RV sites (40) and a hotel (100/night). He charged us 16$

Friday August 22

After dinner at Spring Creek,emptied their all you can eat salad bar🐷 then found a huge WIP storage building, smooth, not too dirty cement floor, open doors, nice Island breeze. It rained for a few minutes, we missed it, yay
http://www.springcreekventure.com

We were now about to penetrate a country at least two thousand miles in width, on which the foot of civilized man had never trod. The good or evil it had in store for us was for experiment yet to determine, and these little vessels contained every article by which we were to expect to subsist or defend ourselves. However, as the state of mind in which we are, generally gives the coloring to events, when the imagination is suffered to wander into futurity, the picture which now presented itself to me was a most pleasing one. Entertaining as I do the most confident hope of succeeding in a voyage which had formed a darling project of mine for the last ten years, I could but esteem this moment of my departure as among the most happy of my life. (Meriwether Lewis)

John Bakeless, The Journals of Lewis and Clark

The SD miss RI river tourism
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visitors center was great, and Jennifer. WAS VERY FRIENDLY
PIERRE) Pierre is a pretty city, small and tidy. The park has beautiful grass and is well appointed. It’s close to stores. The river trail is picturesque.