Sunday, July 5, 2009

Watford City to Killdeer 3

About 30 miles south of Watford City is a very small village of Grassy Butte which has a convenience store that was closed today. What was open is the old Grassy Buute post office which was/is a log cabin with a sod roof and was used until not too long ago. It is now a museum of loocal history and the person to talk to is Bea Fleck (in blue) and her daughter Kathy(?) . Bea is bursting with info on any topic you care to bring up. Apparently there were several "characters" who lived in the area and Bea has the dirt on all of them.

Every time I stopped to look at something Bea would fill me in on it. As she wa s doing that I was thinking what an interesting battle it would be if Bea and Ella Mae Iverson from the Culbertson Museum were paired up in a Texas Cage match--sort of an info off. The words would be smoking and people would have to listen in shifts because too much info would be flying around for anyone to absorb more than 4 hours worth at a sitting. Having spent time with each of these nice ladies I personally would pay big bucks to see them go at it and I think it would be a toss up regarding which one would come out on top.

Bea is a wonderful warm sweetheaart person and would not take any payment for the water she gave me to fill my bottles. In addition there was a nasty looking storm brewing in the West and Bea was insisting I stay at her nearby house until it passed. As I looked at that storm I said ,"Bea it looks like the wind is going to be blowing from the west and if that is the case I want to ride with it at my back even if I had to wear a scuba suit. I was tired of riding into` it and had forgotten how it felt to have it push me forward. It was 5 miles til I turned east and I hustled off to be in position when the storm hit.

This is a shot of the storm from the Grassey Butte post office. It was lightning and making a lot of noise and I was pumped.
Btw--those are 2 pretty god looking horses in that field.

Shortly after I turned East on route 200 I saw these 2 characters approaching from the east. Of course they were smiling because they had had a tail wind for the last 4-5 days. If I had met these 2 on this road on horseback about 150 years ago I would have been sure they would mug me but seeing the bikes they rode and that loaf of bread all squashed down by a bungie cord (see pic) I felt reasonbly safe stopping to chew the fat with them, and besides the wind had not changed direction yet anyway. These guys are real bikers and were heading to Roosevelt Park..

This is Doug fron Canada heading to Alaska and Stuart from somehwere in the USA riding the Virginia to Seattle route. Stuart is the cute one. These are the type of guys I want to meet at the end of the day so we could have a longer conversation, maybe sitting around a fire roasting marshmellows or parking on barstools sampling exotic beers, or both.
Really enjoyed the time we spent, my kind of real biker people. The only issue is that all Doug wanted to talk about was "great tail winds I have known". That must be a Canadian thing and it got boring after the first dozen stories.

Anyway we took pics of each other promising to post on our respective blogs. Stuart's blog is . It is a cool blog--I like the guy's style,but believe me I will be checking that sucker regularly and my pic (along with some flattering words)better be posted within 3 days or else this particular post and above pic will be heavily edited. I am serious.
They had to get going because they would be turning north in a few miles towards Roosevelt Park--of course the wind was picking up from the south and they did not want to miss it. Although I did not mention it to their faces I hated those smug relaxed tailwind smiles they had pasted on their mugs the entire time we were together.

Ok , here is that storm again behind me and it is really lightning/thundering and as I rode east I just knew that at any minute there would be a dramatic shift in wind direction and very soon I would be sprinting before it, sort of like a Clipper ship on the ocean or a surfer riding the curl of a big wave, or floating on a cloud in a bicycle shaped glider. I am pumped big time.
I waited and kept riding . I waited some more and kept riding but it was not happening. The wind continued to be a crosswind from the south. Then it shifted ever so slightly to a south west south direction so it was kind of behind me --sort of a quartering wind(of course I could hear Doug/Stuart laughing that happy tailwind laugh from 10 miles away).
Although I was not compalining because this was a hell of an improvement of what I was used to and the closest thing to a tail wind I have felt since Oregon, but it was like that storm was showing me a little leg and then moving on, a lot like all the women in my life. I did not even get to use the big gear ring on my bike peddles--it still has rust and cobwebs all over it from nonuse. I just pray it will still work when it is needed.

The storm sort of hung there not moving any closer and pretty soon I rode into sunshine and 25 hills later I hit Killdeer ND. Tomorrow the forcast is for strong east winds and I am psyching myself to grind it out again . I wonder if there are any non addicting drugs that real bikers use in situations like this. Something that makes a rider not care what direction the wind is blowing or even what day it is. I will ask te next real bikers I come across.
I am thinking seriously of calling my new bud from Wolf Point Joe White Eagle and see what it would take for him to work up a wind dance of some type.
Or maybe I should ask Ella Mae or Bea what the story is. I am sure I would learn a lot.

But as my boy Steve Dartt says, "any day you can achieve verticality is a good day" and that happened today and I am still enjoying riding and seeing great country and meeting great people.
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