Monday, July 13, 2009

The Gerhardt Family

As mentioned previously I was riding along route 1804 between Bismarck ND and Pollock SD enjoying a 90 mile pull and minding my own business when a black SUV passed me about 20 miles from Pollock and stopped about 100 yards away. The was the Gerhardt family from Bismarck who also own 2 houses in Pollock. Dad Ron, mom Joyce and son Tom are 3 of the best people anyone would ever want to meet on the highway while biking, or actually anywhere for that matter. They have made life easier for many many travelers who happened to find them . Actually , the Gerhardts go out of their way to find travelers who need help whether the travelers know it or not.

They were on their way to Pollock for the weekend and as I learned later trolling for long haul bikers passing thru the area. These folks have a thing for taking in stray road cats like me when ever they see one. They are members of a nationwide organization called which offers a place to stay over night with a bed and a warm shower. Wanderers around the country take advantage of this org all the time. Actually Miss Sassy and I have our house listed on the network but I have not used it yet.

Well the Gerhardts are what is all about. They make their house in Bismarck available as well as the 2 Pollock houses that they are restoring. They can not do enough for a traveler. Joyce makes the best bacon/egg breakfast I have ever had and Ron is very helpful regarding the best routes to take and also local history. Tom, the son , does not say a lot but he looks good--he is the news anchor for the CBS affiliate in Bismarck KXMBT channel 12.

Anyway when the Gerhardts found me on Route 1804 they invited me to stay over in Pollock. I was expecting a room but when I pulled up in town about 9 pm, Ron gave me the keys to a fully furnished house and said , "see you in the morning." They do this all the time. It was tremendous and any biker who comes within 200 miles of this area who does not stop and take advantage of the hospitality they willingly offer should have their bike confinscated. My one regret is that I could not stay and visit wit them for a lot more hours than I did. The whole bunch are hunters/fishermen/outdoorsmen. Tom had just finshed camping in the Badlands for a week.

They keep a scrapbook of the travelers they have put up and it is like a who's who of famous wanderers. The guy who walked the L/C Trail stayed with them quite awhile, the guy who kayaked the L/C (this had to be brutal going up the Missouri etc etc--he had to put kayak on wheels for sections where the water was too low) was a guest, as were many bikers.
There are not a lot of options in this part of the world so the Gerhardts really provide a super service.
Apaprently Joyce (a modern day Sakakawea) got it all started with her yen for biking and the rest is hsitory. Speaking of history, Ron knows a hec of a lot about North Dakota and filled me in on a lot of interesting stuff I did not know.
btw--this pic if of Ron G. leaning on a marker that seperates ND/SD --note SD marking.

This is me at the Gerhardt guest house in Pollock (I am wearing the gray shirt). Right next door is "The Last Resort" which is where they stay when in town.

These are my new buds and I really look forward to seeing them again somewhere down the road--sooner than later. You can find thes eneat people on the network. They let me know I could stay as long as I wanted . I had the sense that if I had said I wanted to homestead in Pollock they would have been cool with that.

I missed this when I crossed the ND/SD state line. It seems that these 2 states are the only ones that have these granite markers every half mile the entire length of thier border. Ron told me about it and when I expressed interest he drove me the 6 miles back so I could get a pic. That is me on the right and the marker on the left. On the other side of that marker is S.D.
Very interesting stuff.

Also, because of ll the rain we had to check for rattlesnakes when walking thru grass like this because the snakes have been displaced and you never know where one will end up. Somebody in Mobridge a nearby town got nailed recently by a rattler.

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