July 11

12 07 2009

Day 34:

Where to start for today … gun fire, breakfast at the grocery store, the wind or Zach’s incredible deal …

Last night, after settling into a nice sleep in the middle of the town park we were awakened by a gunshot sometime before midnight. The locals came out of their homes to see what was going on but no one seemed to know who was shooting or at what. The rest of our night was uneventful and we woke up to a cool but dry morning. Traveling 3 blocks from the park to the local grocery store ( the store had no windows at all but we did not get the story) we went to the back corner of the of the store where the owner – family business for the last 76 years – cooked us breakfast by getting the ingredients off the shelves of the grocery store and sending us to the coolers to pick out our beverages. He is the only game in town (and for miles around) for breakfast and he cooked a great meal with more than ample serving sizes. He only has a small grill so he had to cook our meal in shifts. By the time we finished our grocery store breakfast it was 10 o’clock. Another late start to the day.

Leaving Hope we once again faced our friend the wind coming full force from the northwest and by the time we finished a late lunch 2:30 we had only put in 25 miles. We lingered over lunch with a couple of newly weds (Cormac and Lindsey ) from Boston who were honeymooning by biking across the country. Our first “small world” story of the day is that they are good friends with Irene Jenkins, Maggie’s assistant hockey coach from St. Paul’s. They gave us some great pointers as well as referred us their blog at LindseyandCormac@blogspot.com. They also complained that the wind has been consistently in their face. Seems like the wind is a challenge no matter which way you are gong. Cormac and Linsey took advantage of the train for part of their journey through Montana to beat the wind and the mosquitoes. The mosquitoes are said to turn a white horse black in seconds! Mom and Zach think the train sounds like a great idea.

Shortly after lunch we met another couple traveling form Vancouver BC to Bar Harbor. They gave us some great pointers with respect to traveling in Montana. Thanks.

As we attacked our last forty plus miles late in the day … again.. the wind gave us a break and diminished completely. We made pretty good time through the rolling countryside of North Dakota. About 7:30 we rolled into the bustling town of Pekin (Population 202 ). We thought we would get some dinner at the local bar and then continue a view miles off route to camp in the Tolna town Park. We met another cyclist form Minnesota who was planning to spend the night at the park in Pekin and we thought we might join him after dinner and not go onto Tolna. As it turns out there is a hunting lodge in Pekin and Zach took charge so we would not have another night in a town park especially since showers were forecast. Over dinner of great pizza at the Peek-Inn Pub Lorie, the owner made numerous calls on our behalf and located the owners of the lodge in the next town. Long story short Zach negotiated a great deal for our nights lodging in an apartment in the lodge complete with laundry facilities. The owners Les and Keith were so impressed with Zach they stopped by the Peek-Inn pub for a beer and to chat. They even offered to provide us with a car so we could travel to Tolna to attend the street dance and fireworks. They thought Jake would have a great time with the local young women. Thanks for the offer guys. They even stocked the fridge with soda for us. The lodge is a nice place and the price is right. A notice over the kitchen sink reads, “Absolutely no cleaning of fish or game in the rooms” and may indicate that cyclists are not their main customer

While at the Peek-Inn another customer mentioned he had a cousin in New Hampshire … you guessed it … she lives in Dover. Peek-Inn Proprietor Lorie and customer Gary were awesome in helping us plan our evening and tomorrow’s travels. Thanks to both. Stop by her bar if you are in town and say hi.

Showers all round, laundry (thanks Mom), some TV and bed. We will all sleep well tonight.