Thursday, July 9, 2009

Beulah ND to Bismarck ND

This ride from Beulah to Bismarck was on Tuesday and it started with an almost tragic event. Although the circumstances involving a stuck door, the bike and me falling when the door suddenly became unstuck are still hazy the end result was that my 4th of July flag stick suffered a compound fracture. This was huge --after bucking that wind for over a week , dodging road tar and feeling mentally beat up I almost cracked. I was on the verge of dropping to my knees , grabbing my head and wailing "WHY?????", but then I quickly regained my composure and moved away from thye edge of that cliff because I remembered the mantra "There is a solution to every problem" which is heard almost daily in our home.

After quickly assessing what materials I had on hand I grabbed a plastic knife and fork and my trusty role of electrical tape and went to work. Solution to problem solved and I am ready to face the day (and that east wind) with a smile on my face and a song in my heart , which was that old Dion classic "Keep away from run around sioux".

I have seen some wide loads rolling down the highways so far but this is the widest, and this was on that road being repaved. It met me when I was by myself but I had to wonder what happened when it met all those construction trucks and equipment, because it covered both lanes and most of both berms. In this pic it actually moved over for me waiting in the grass.

After seeing the remains of countless dead snakes who lost battles with road vehicles, this was the first actual live I saw in action. I tried to scare it back but it basically ignored me. There was not a post or anything I could see to prop my bike up with so I could get off and either throw it back the way it came or throw it across the road.
So I left it to its fate and wondered as I rode away "Why do snakes cross the road?". Maybe it is a Darwin survival of the fittest(and/or smartest) thing where only the dumber snakes try to cross highways which would leave the smarter faster ones to populate the snake world. Maybe these smarter snakes even encourage the dumber ones to make the trip.

This is a typical scenic pic of the countryside during the days ride. Note the smoke stacks in the background which indicate the direction of the wind. Since I was standing south of these stacks it does not take long to figure out which way is east and the way I am peddling.

Tuesday was day 9 of the strong east wind and my route would take me about 45 miles directly into it to the town of Washburn before turning south for 40 miles to Bismarck. I was stupidly determined to make the whole distance and finally managed to get it done but at a cost. On Wed I definitely realized that I am not 59 anymore and if I am going to complete this trek I had better start using my brain instead of my ego because my body can not keep up with my ego for many days in a row.
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