Bismarck  Rest Day 0 miles

7/09/19 

We are staying with a family and the wife Nettie has MS.  They warned us when they went to bed that they get up with their 2 dogs at 5:30 a.m. and their dogs get real excited and make a lot of noise.

Well they didn’t lie.  It woke me up with a startle.  I jumped up but others sleeping around me told me what was happening.  It took me a few seconds to comprehend but soon relaxed and went back to sleep.

I got up for good around 6:30 a.m.  And they soon had breakfast made.  Why can’t I sleep longer than that on a rest day???

Around 8:30 a.m. we were off to work on our service project.  This time we went to do some yard work for a lady with MS.  One of the task was to cut vines from the ladies grape vines.  She told us this needed to be done so the grapes could get more sunlight.

We trimmed other trees and flower beds.  We also put in or adjusted trim edgings.  All of this took us bout 2 ½ hours.

IMG_0501

Then we return to Nettie and Jack’s house with dirty clothes.  All our van’s and trailer were lined up beside Nettie’s house so everything is very convenient.

I was so hot and dirty that I immediately took a shower and washed my work clothes. I also pulled my bike from the garage and cleaned it and lubricated it.  I don’t do this enough.

The remainder of the afternoon I rested so I will be ready for tomorrow’s ride. I plan on getting to bed early to get a good night’s sleep.

Napoleon to Bismarck 75 miles

7/08/19  

We started our day off by getting breakfast in the same café that we had dinner last night.  They didn’t open until 7:00 but it didn’t keep me from getting up at 5:00 a.m.

The breakfast was not one of our better ones but it helped us get started.

About 15 miles into the ride I received a phone call and text message.  It was from the company I used to work for.  It said to call when I got a break from the ride.  So at the first rest area I called in to find out they still had me registered as an active employee so when they ran the DOT drug testing list my name came up.  My manager told the manager of safety that I was tied up riding my bike across the US so I got off the hook.  What a message to receive when I thought I was retired.

Once again my Garmin worked like a champ.  I think I could get used to it.  I’ll continue to carry my map just out of habit.

Today was self-supported rider day.  The first couple we met were from Switzerland.  They were headed for Napoleon and were loaded fairly heavily.

IMG_0492

We stopped and talked for about 20 minutes.  They were a young couple but appeared to be strong riders.

Later in the day we ran across another set of 4 riders but this time I and another friend did not stop to talked because we wanted to get in before the forecasted rain hit.

One of our riders, Rich, had to stop riding because his back wheel was damaged beyond repair.  When he got in, by riding in the van, he went to the Bike Shop and got a new wheel.  He’ll be able to ride one more day with us before leaving us for the year.

When we were getting close to Bismarck a car pulled up beside me and told me he saw our news broadcast.  He also wanted to thank us because his sister has MS.

Here’s a link to the news broadcast: Click here

Bismarck is a rest day city.  We are staying with a family, Jack and Nettie, that supports the BiketheUSforMS.  Nettie has MS and they open their home and their hearts.

We were really lucky to get in when we did because late afternoon a storm hit.  There was heavy lightning and rain.  It would have been dangerous to be out there riding.

Tomorrow we have a service project planned, weather permitting.

Kathryn to Napoleon 100 miles

7/07/19  

We had saved 4 pieces of pizza from last night so we would have something for our quick breakfast.  This would help us make it 8 miles to a café/gas station close to the town of Marion.

Our next stop was Gackle.

IMG_0480

According to our map there was a café, but when we got there the only thing open was the COOP service station.  It  had some snack things and sandwiches which we devoured.

While we were eating a father and his 12 year old daughter came into town.  They were going to spend the night somewhere in Gackle.  I don’t know how far they had ridden today.

IMG_0483

The wind was a cross wind from the South Southeast at 15 MPH for most of the day but we had to turn directly into the wind for 8 miles.  We kept looking for the highway to turn back to the west.  We were very happy.

Once we made it to Napoleon we were short of the 100 miles for about a mile so we rode around town until we achieved the 100 miles.

The town had a community swimming pool that had a great shower and they also had a café with a wide selection of food.  When we were just about finished I got a cramp in my thigh and server came by so I asked her to some dill pickle juice.  She knew immediately why I needed the pickle juice. When I started to explain my request she said “your have a muscle cramp right now.”  What a relief.

We slept in the city park, in our tents.  When I got up during the night I looked up at the water tower and saw it was lit up with red, white and blue colors.  Very impressive.

Fargo to Kathryn 85 miles

7/06/19 

The church provided us breakfast.  I just can’t say it enough how much this helps us and encourages us.

We had to weave through downtown  on the trail.  This is the first time I got my Garmin working so it was exciting to be able to see the route as we ride.  The problem we ran into was some construction areas in the downtown area.  Once we got orientated, it was fairly easy since part of the route was the same one we rode to get to the church yesterday.

Our first rest stop was at a convenience store in Kindrod.  I was glad because my food supply in my cubby was running low.  I was able to get supplies for the next rest stop which was at an intersection of two highways.

The roads were good and we had some climbs toward the end of the ride. One of these climbs was near an area where I was involved in a project where I helped in the design and construction a number of years ago. The end to the ride is in a town called Kathryn.  This town has about 50 residence. We stayed in the Kathryn Community Hall.  It wasn’t fancy but we were able to sleep inside.

We had a cold garden hose shower.  The propane heater was not hooked up.  When I took my shower I turned on the hose and started to get wet.  The water was extremely hot since no one had taken a shower in the last hour, so I thought the propane heater was turned up to high.  Little did I know the water was going to go from extremely hot to freezing cold in just a instant.  What a shock but I had to get the soap off and cold water was all there was.

Then I went to the only store in town, which was a bar, it had only chips and frozen pizza. Pizza would be on the menu later in the evening.

The leadership team wanted to find a way to use up some of the community food.  This is surplus food from churches or other donated food.  They came up with a Cook Off contest.  We had to use at least 3 items of food from the community food and then we could supplement it with anything we had.  I was lucky to be teamed with one to riders that was a good cook.  It was a fun competition.

Then back to the one store in town for Frozen Pizza.