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STORIES FROM THE ROAD


June 02, 1999

LONGEST DAY

I had a good night staying at the Methodist church in Berthold, North Dakota I woke up early because I was getting close to going into the Mountain Time Zone. It was about 6:40 a.m. when I got back on U.S. 2 for the ride westward.

As soon as the sun climbed a little higher in the eastern sky, a fantastic wind started to push me along. I was traveling over 20 mph. without really pedaling. By 9:00 a.m., I was already in Stanley. Throughout the morning flocks of Canadian geese were migrating northwards. Along the way, I also passed markers for ballistic missle silos. Two were right by the highway.

I stopped for lunch at a roadside rest near the town of White Earth. The wind kept up throughout the afternoon. I zipped up and over rolling hills. I had originally planned to stop in the small town of Ray but it was too early in the day to stop.

My next possible stopping point would be in Williston. The ride became a lot slower when I headed south to Williston against the wind. It was around 4:40 p.m. when I got into Williston. I stopped at an Albertsons for a few things. While packing up, this lady, who I thought might be Jewish, stopped and we talked for about ten minutes.

I decided to keep on going because the Montana border wasn't too far away. Along the way, I rode passed prairie dog colonies. The last thirteen miles of U.S. 2 in North Dakota was under road construction. They were applying a thick dirt base for repaving. It was a bumpy ride but I was able to keep on going without much slipping. The bike stayed up and on some downhills I still coasted around twenty miles per hour.

It was around 6:15 p.m. when I crossed the state line and into the Mountain Time Zone and gained back an hour. I had cycled a little over 123 miles for the day in North Dakota. Just passed the state line, I zipped passed oil fields on a paved highway again. There wasn't much in the small town of Bainsville so I decided to try and make it into Culbertson.

I got into Culbertson around 7:30 p.m. I was getting ready to camp out in the town's park but I noticed there was some activity at the small Lutheran church. They were having a Bible study. Afterwards, the pastor invited me to the parsonage across the street for a shower and a hot meal and then I went back to the church to camp out inside. It took awhile for me to realize that I had cycled 146.7 miles for the day.




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