Martin woke me at 6. I suppose it was only fair since I woke him after midnight. He headed out before I got out of bed.
I lingered to recharge my electronics. Then hit the road. There was no breakfast to be found in Gackle so I rode 12 miles, including 5 miles off route, to Streeter. They had no cafe and only a poorly stocked market. I bought two apples and a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich. Bike touring diets are strange, what can I say?
The road was actually quite hilly in sections, not exactly what my dead legs needed. In one marshy area the bird life was going nuts. I slowed to listen to their little symphony.
It seems like every day I see a new animal. Today was pelicans.
I rode by many herds of cattle. If you call out to them and say “Let’s go!” they’ll start running along side you. One herd got rambunctious and practically stampeded. Layer in the day I had horses galloping with me. They must have recognized The Mule.
And there were crops. So many. Most fields around here have rocks in them. Some farmers make stacks of rocks. This farm had just cut its hay (I think).
The uphills finally ended and I was given the benefit of a few miles of downhill.
At Hazelton, I grabbed a campsite next to Peter (from Maine) and Gregg (from Boise, Idaho). They met on the road and seem to be well matched by the bike tour gods. We all went out for dinner and ate way too much.
Tour miles: 2,164
Medical note: My left calf ballooned today. It doesn’t hurt and I am breathing normally but it does not look good. Bismarck is about 40 miles away. If it looks like this tomorrow, I think I’ll swing by an ER.