TRIP 2005

Update #21 - June 09th
Plymouth, Minnesota - 6543 miles (10,469 KM)

As always things and routes change. I never made it to Cando, North Dakota. About 30 miles south of Cando, I hit another section of road construction like I did in South Dakota (minus the fresh oil but there was a lot of mud). The road construction would have gone on for about eight miles. There was also to be thunderstorms in the afternoon.

I decided to head to Devil's Lake instead. The last time I was in Devil's Lake was in 1999 when I took U.S. 2 (the High Line) Westward to Montana. Along the way to Devil's Lake, I rode through the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation. I was amazed at seeing how poor the houses were that the Indians lived in and also the condition of the tribal store.

In Devil's Lake, my first stop was to a Laundromat. I was down to my last clean pair of underwear and t-shirts. Three days on a pair of socks makes not a happy pair of feet. After the Laundromat, it took a while to get connected with a church but I was finally able to so I had a place to stay inside and avoid being out in the rain.

Leaving Devil's Lake, I had a great tailwind that pushed me Northward to Langdon. Through the Ministerial Association and the sheriff department in Langdon, I got a good room at one of the local motels. At Langdon, I finally turned Eastward. No longer should I be riding Westward for this part of the trip. At this present time, I'm about sixteen miles south of the Canadian Border. Between Langdon, North Dakota and Hallock, Minnesota, I had to ride through several rain showers. The very kind Catholic priest in Hallock made it possible for me to get a room at one of the motels. I guess he had pity on me since I was really soaked.

From Hallock, I was going to stay along the Northern edge of Minnesota and ride through International Falls and then on to Duluth. Something made me call directory assistance to see if I could get the phone number for some of my friends in Plymouth (a suburb of Minneapolis). I hadn't seen them since 1999. Jim and Leanne were excited to hear from me and invited me to come and stay with them for a few days.

The ride down to Plymouth went okay. I made stops in Thief River Falls, Lake Itasca, and Little Falls. Between Thief River Falls and Bagley it rained most of the day but I was able to speak at two churches (a Lutheran church in Thief River Falls and an interdenominational church that met at the Senior Center in Bagley. The pastor's family of the interdenominational church lived in the Lake Itasca area so I got transported there for the night to stay with the pastor's parents. This saved me about thirty miles of riding.

From Lake Itasca, I rode almost 92 miles to Staples. In the search of a minister, I found out that there was going to be a Monday night Bible Study at the Methodist church. I got invited to join in and was able to speak to the small group in attendance. This was the 36th church that I spoke at this year. Afterwards, I got to spend the night in the very nice youth room. There was going to be more rain showers possibly Tuesday afternoon so I only rode 40 miles to Little Falls. I spent the night camping out in the nursery of the First Baptist Church.

Yesterday, I had a good ride between Little Falls and Buffalo. At one of my rest stops at a gas station, a man slipped me $20 after he learned that I was a minister. I get more help from people outside of the church than inside churches. It was around 5:30 p.m. when I got into Buffalo. Instead of trying to find a place to stay in Buffalo for the night, I opted to call my friends in Plymouth to see if they could come and get me since they were only 25 miles away.

I'm taking today and tomorrow off. This is my first day off the road in fifteen days. My last day of was in Brookings, South Dakota. I had ridden almost 900 miles between breaks.

I got two things that I need to do either today or tomorrow. One is to get a much needed haircut. My last haircut was in the middle of last December while I was in the Benson, North Carolina area. I need to get at least three inches taken off. The front bang was beyond my nose and almost down to my mouth. I've been trying to get a haircut for at least a month. The stumbling blocks were either it was still too cold for me to get one or the money that I had put aside for a haircut had to be used for other things.

Another thing is that I have to take the new recumbent in to a bike shop. I've been noticing some wiggling in the crank from side to side. I hope that it isn't anything major but a tightening of the cones. I got the cones tightened as much I could with the tools that I'm carrying. The bottom bracket isn't sealed and it has bearing races in it. My concern is that possibly the right bearing race has been damaged. Sometime in the next couple of months, I'll have to get a sealed cartridge for the bottom bracket.

Before leaving the Minneapolis area Saturday, my friends are planning to take me to the REI store in Bloomington. I need to get a new bag for my Therma-rest sleeping pad. Garbage bags do not cut it.

I'll be heading out from Bloomington. I'm looking at riding across Wisconsin on WI 8. This will be new territory for me. I'll be riding towards the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. After some planned stops in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, I've got some planned stops in Ohio.

I'll try and post and update as often as I can if my plans change.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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