July 17

17 07 2009

Day 40:

Another great day in North Dakota! We logged 71 miles and are now within 20 of the Montana border. It was hard getting up this morning, at least for the three of us who had to endure Mom and Dad’s snoring all night! But, we made it to Joyce’s Cafe on Main Street (music playing through speakers on street lights was a nice surprise) for breakfast and were on the road by 9:30. The sun was shining, the wind quiet, and the temperature just right at 70 degrees when we headed out. We cruised through the early miles until lunch at the Ray Cafe, with almost 40 miles behind us. Lunch was great and we enjoyed chatting with waitress Anna (see picture). After refueling, we were once again on highway 2, enjoying our nice wide shoulder and beautiful rolling hills, noting the mile markers counting down to the Montana border. Though we didn’t take many breaks, it was nice to finish a long climb and take a little break in the sun once in a while to get everyone caught up. Usually Mom and Dad headed off first, while we enjoyed our extended road side rest, until heading out to catch up. We continually passed oil pumps on either side and were cheered on by the honking of truck drivers all day…no wonder all the hotels are bustling with oil workers. Luckily, we had made a reservation in Wiliston, where we arrived around 5:30. Hungry as usual, we headed next door for an earlier than usual dinner at the Trapper’s Kettle Restaurant before settling in for the night.

I have to admit, I had my doubts about North Dakota…I expected the endless, hot plains, desolate flat roads, and fierce headwinds. Well, after our last day in this state, we have been pleasantly surprised. First off, the terrain is not at all flat. We climbed long gradual hills and enjoyed descents equally as long, where Jake demonstrated his “no handed” riding! At the top of every hill was a gorgeous view of the rolling hills surrounding us, as well as the never ending landscape in front of us. Never did I ever expect this from North Dakota. And, with the wind almost nonexistent today, we made very good time. With tailwinds forecasted for tomorrow, he have planned our first century ride (100 miles)…wish us luck! If all goes well, we will be entering big Montana with some very big miles. With a long day ahead of us, we are all ready for some much needed rest.

Maggie

P.S. Thanks again to the Lothrop Family for looking after Tracker!!