Any Road Tour: Day 30 – Nothing up my sleeve

After last night’s dinner (I had the Fatty Burger), I slept like a rock. Except for waking up with s cramp in my swollen left calf that nearly sent me through the ceiling of my tent. Dang that hurt. Oh and there were the three other times that the compression sock on that leg caused my Morton’s neuroma to flare up. This feels like a nail is being shoved into your foot.

Nine hours of semi-restful sleep later I awoke to bid farewell to Peter and Gregg as they headed east. An hour later I was heading west after a healthy breakfast of two pop tarts. I had 45 miles to go until the next store st Bismarck so what could go wrong.

I munched in Gardettos snack mix from time to time as I negotiated the curving rolling hills.

More and more crops are giving way to cattle ranches. I looked forward to Twin Buttes that was indicated on my map. They weren’t twins (one was bald, the other covered in vegetation). And there was McMansion in between them. Location, location, location.

The picture makes it look like Uluru but it’s not a tenth they size.

My destination for the morning was the trauma center at Sanford Hospital in Bismarck. Before going in I stopped st s sun sandwich shop for second breakfast. I was handed s scratch off card and won a second sandwich.

I walked into the ER and there was no line. After getting a room a nurse told me that the place filled just after I came in.

I was given a Doppler ultrasound on both legs. The doctor poked and squeezed my calf trying to find some area of sensitivity. Nothing. The ultrasound showed no DVT. The doctor told me to wear a compression sleeve on my calf and sent me on my way.

I decided to press on to New Salem for the sole reason that it was only 23 miles away. A nurse said the area was part of the Badlands but I looked it up. This area is topographically similar but much too green. One massive cattle ranch after the next.

To get there I crossed the Missouri River. Woot!

The ride featured significant climbing but I kept at it and arrived in New Salem at 6:30.

Once in my tent I realized that I intended to ride only as far as Mandan which is across the river from Bismarck.

When I left camp this morning I expected to lose a day to my schedule. Instead I gained about a third of a day.

Miles today: 81.5

Total miles: 2,245.5

Any Road Tour: Day 29 – Recovery is for wimps

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.

Miles: 71.5

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.