Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tough Day Through the Dakotas

The morning started off well and we had a great lunch at a very small town (Hague) cafe.  The hamburgers were only $3 and the atmosphere was 100% small town - I loved it as it was exactly what I was hoping to see on this trip.  Complete with fresh pie crusts on the counter waiting for their scrumptious interiors.  But even in many of the small towns where we've been staying the prices are comparable to what you'd find at any popular restaurant in KC.  I'm still hoping for more Hague cafe prices as the trip winds on. 

See the homemade pie crusts cooling on the counter behind me? 

Swollen Missouri River in the Background

Back to the ride, almost immediately after turning south on Hwy 83, we were detoured due to the flooding of the Missouri River.  Not only did the detour take an additional hour, we were hit by extremely powerful gusts.  The winds lasted all the way to Lemmon and would often push me across the lane.  It was a bit nerve racking crossing the narrow bridge over the Missouri river with semi-trucks coming at me!  We had to ride at 55 instead of the posted 65 because of the wind which delayed the trip even more and by the time we reached our motel tonight I was pretty worn out due to me hanging on to the bike so tightly.  Other than the wind, the wide open spaces in North and South Dakota are beautiful.  There are rolling hills and with no trees.  You can see for miles.  There were no billboards along the side of the road either which provided unobstructed views in any direction.  I had also heard there were a lot of gas drilling pumps up here, but I have yet to see any. 

Hoping for a less windy day tomorrow.  The temp is supposed to be in the high 50's in the morning so may be a bit chilly getting started.  Today is the last day with my pop, he'll be heading back to KC in the morning while I head towards Montana.  It's been great hanging out with him and riding the roads next to him.  I'm a bit worried about him travelling alone all the way home, but he's a seasoned rider and should have no problem - even with only one eye!

Looks like my friend Brian Hougland will be joining me in Missoula and will camp with me in Brownlee campground in Idaho.  Then we'll both head into Oregon and part ways near Bend.  Brian is also a ZMM fan. Friends since childhood, co-soccer captains, now ZMM touring buddies - what will we do when we turn 70?

I mentioned yesterday the meditative aspect of riding, but there is also something that consumes you because so many of your senses are being used during the ride.  You get to smell things (even some you wish you hadn't), hear things you normally wouldn't hear, and see more of the world than you would if you were in a car because you are actually in the scene, not just watching it go by.  When I was thinking of how I would describe this experience on the blog, I couldn't think of the right word(s).  Which lead me to start thinking of the limitations English words have on our experiences.  I've only learned a bit of Spanish, a tiny bit of Korean, and a smidgen of French so I don't know if other languages may have more descriptive words for our life experiences.  I suspect a non-Latin language may be more in tune with those ideas, I've heard some of the Chinese languages express more feeling.  Anyway, my words for it are cool and awesome.  Looking forward to what lies ahead in this adventure. 

On to Miles and Laurel, MT tomorrow.


  1. Hi, I've been to the Hague cafe! You were right by my grandparents house off of Hwy 83. Very pretty area around there, but the flooding is terrible this year. Have a safe trip! Kim

  2. Kim, I would move to that area if you could find me a job. I loved it there but I don't think Margaret would go for it. I bet your grandparents are nice, it seemed like everyone in that town was very nice. K