Saturday, June 12, 2010

Minot, ND to New Town, ND - day 25 - June 10th, 2010

Miles biked today was 82 miles - with rainy and dark cloudy skies on and off all day.

We got out of bed at 5:00AM this morning as we knew that we had at least 80 miles to bike today to get to the next town that has a hotel. Before leaving Minot we stopped at Denny's for breakfast as the next place to stop to eat was 60 miles before we could come to a town with a cafe or diner.

After paying $18.00 for pancakes and sausage at Denny's we headed out under a 20mph crosswind and rain. Not very desirable biking conditions - we had 17 miles to make before we would turn west and be able to take advantage of a tailwind. We could have grumbled and complained about the wind and the rain but we prefer to look at it as "Spring Cleaning" for us and our bike. lol 10 miles out of town a gust of wind actually blew the timing chain off - after a 10 minute fix and idler adjustment we continued on to hwy 23 where we turned west. It took us 2-1/2 hours to do the first 18 miles due to heavy crosswinds and rain. Also a good share of the 18 miles had a rough shoulder due to heavy farm equipment leaving tire lug impressions in the blacktop.

Immediately upon turning west it felt like someone kicked in the afterburners as we took off downwind - the next 18 miles took us exactly one hour. We had clear sailing for the first 40 miles on highway 23 until the truck traffic picked up and things started to get a little tense. After 75 miles we were very happy to arrive in New Town and get on the bike path and away from the trucks and heavy traffic.

In New Town the bike path went up and down some more hills and we came upon a beautiful bridge that took us over Lake Sakakawea and to our hotel. Prior to crossing the bridge we went up to the scenic overlook that overlooked the lake and bridge and beautiful rolling hills. It was still cloudy out so we couldn't see as far as we would on a clear day but it was still an incredibly beautiful view. A young couple from Wyoming came up and we spoke with them about our travels and what they were doing in ND and then they offered to take our picture and wished us a happy anniversary.

After leaving the scenic overlook we crossed the bridge and headed to our hotel. We arrived here about 2:00PM and was told that we couldn't check in until 4:00. Now we had spent the last 7 or 8 hours biking under some undesirable conditions so we would have preferred to get cleaned up but we waited patiently in their lobby until 4:00 so we could check in.

We will have approx 75 to 80 miles to bike tomorrow to get us to Williston where we will rent a car and take a week off and do some site seeing and meet up with Matt and his family in Sylvan Lake (Mount Rushmore area). We have also been told that it is extremely hilly from New Town to Williston so we will have our work cut out for us.

Happy trails.

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