Any Road Tour: Day 53 – Off the map to Camano Island

You really didn’t think I’d stop riding, did you.

A spaghetti dinner, another pale ale, and a restful sleep I awoke somewhat energized. A delicious breakfast at the Calico Cupboard Cafe put me in a good mood.

I loaded up the bike and headed west, to the park beyond the ferry terminal at the end of the Northern Tier Route. The clerk at the hotel suggested that the loop ride ad through the park would be a great capstone to the ride.

She was right. There were views of the islands and, I think the northwestern edge of the Olympic Peninsula. It was blue, the trees were green, and the air was fresh. The loop road was steep in parts so my granny gear got a bit of a work out.

Some nice people took my picture with The Mule.

After the loop road I doubled back to Anacortes and headed east off Fidalgo Island. I was headed south to Camano Island and the home of Tim Jones, a high school classmate, and his wife, Michele Rushworth.

I had to rely on The Google. Got a whole the ride was super easy; I was pushed along flat farm roads by a north wind. The crops were varied from potatoes to corn to cherries to rhubarb to squash to winter wheat and many more. I know because the farms put up signs for city slickers like me. There was a beautiful fine green grain that swayed in the breeze. No sign indicated what it was but my money’s on rice.

When the route neared a traffic circle, The Google went haywire. It told me to go through a small town and turn around. I stopped and checked the route. The traffic circle connects to a busy two lane highway going straight south. Looks okay to me. And so I played with the big metal things for an hour.

The road to Camano Island was blocked by a two-car crash do I followed a detour. It was a mix of farms and wooded areas. Not a bad little ride.

In Camano itself The Google decided to go into Mountains of Misery mode. It took me on side roads to avoid the main drag down the island. Theses were the kind of abrupt ups and downs I hated in east Ohio.

I hit 35 mph on a descent after grinding up a hill in my granny gear.

The last bit was incredibly steep. Right up to the house I was weaving across the road in my smallest gear and standing to make it to the top. The nastiest bit of climbing so far in the tour!

Tim and Michele had previous plans for dinner so I took over their deck for the evening. That’s Mount Baker in the distance. Not a bad place for a day off tomorrow.

Miles: 55.5

Tour Miles: 5,796

Any Road Tour: Day 52 – Going to the end of the line

I camped of the Skagit River in a surprising nice town park in Rockport Washington. I awoke at 4 sore in every joint and every vertebra in my body. Vitamin I to the rescue.

On the road by 6:20 and up a short steep hill to discover the town gas station was closed. No gas station breakfast for me. Sad face.

I rode 9 miles to Concrete. The Google directed me to a specialty bakery in town. I ordered hash and got a skillet. It was okay but not the gut bomb the day required.

Luckily the day required nothing but riding on a pool table into a sight headwind. I should have taken the highway and it’s smooth pavement but I followed my maps and endured chip seal for 30 miles.

As I approached my first salt waters, I saw big hills ahead. Anacortes has a little in common with San Francisco, I’m afraid.

Luckily the route maps took me around the hills and into downtown. I spent 45 minutes riding out to the ferry terminal just to say I rode to the end of the line. Vancouver Island and the San Juans will have to wait.

I am pooped!

Fortunately my high school classmate Tim Jones lives about 50 miles from here and has offered me some R&R.

A very large mountain (Rainer, I think) looms over this place and makes me feel like a poser. Damn, it’s big.

I rode back up town for food and a celebratory drink. Road Trip pale ale was on tap.

Now it’s time to find a room.

Miles: 66

Trip Miles: 3,740.5

Any Road Tour: Day 51 – Two passes, thousands of wows

My campsite was splendid. I was awoken by cold air so I stuck my head out of the tent. The skies were clear and full of more stars than I’d ever seen. Wow!

I awoke a little after dawn. I heard very loud buzzing outside my tent. I had seen some yellowjackets yesterday, so I feared I’d be stung by the biggest wasp on the planet. Well, sadly, it wasn’t Evangeline Lilly. It was hummingbirds. They buzzed around me as I broke camp.

I hit the road with a harrumph from Stout the wonder dog. The wind died just after dark last night. It was like a switch was thrown. This was good because, before I threw my stuff in the tent, a gust sent it airborne. No gusts today, just gentle breezes.

After breakfast at the country store in Mazama, the work of the day began. 28 miles up to Washington Pass, at over 5,476 feet of elevation.

The ride started slow and a bit steep then flattened then steepened for miles. I could now see up close immense mountains, a few with snow near their peaks.

As I climbed it got hotter. Sweat was pouring out of me. I kept drinking, aware that my water supply was limited. I stopped now and then just to take a break from the tedium and to say Wow.

Rivers, creeks, waterfalls, rocky peaks, wooded mountains that went straight up from the edge of the road.

A cyclist was flying down the mountain. As he passed he smiled, waved, and said “Hi, John!!” I don’t know who it was but it was a welcome diversion from the work at hand.

Then, a mile ahead of schedule and after a wicked switchback approach, I saw the sign. That was hard. It took all morning to ride up the beast.

After ten minutes of smug satisfaction I zoomed down the west side of the pass. About four miles later I started the climb up Rainy Pass. In a few minutes I was at the top.

Next came descent number two. I am really getting spoiled. These downhill rides are a pure adrenalin rush. Whenever I sensed the presence of death, I feathered my brakes. Not much need though, the roads are banked and I was always under the suggested speed on the turns. Not by much but I was under.

I approached a dam and I had to climb around the side of a mountain. This was a climb that would have hurt a month ago. Now I didn’t care.

The waters of the lake behind the dam were an eerie blue green. The color looked totally unnatural but the entire Northern Cascades seemed otherworldly.

Riding down toward the dam, I saw a mobile home in one of the turnouts (places for slow moving vehicles). It’s owner flagged me down. His engine had “caught fire” and his cell phone didn’t work up here. He asked me to get him help.

Down the hill I went with renewed purpose. Over the dam, through two tunnels and down along the canyon of the Skagit River.

I arrived at Newhalem, my planned destination. The general store was closed. I had exhausted my energy bars and all but one piece of fruit. And I was down to my last water bottle, having gone through three bottles already.

The store was part of a National Park Service installation. There was an information office. The clerk called various tow companies but no one would drive way up the mountain because they were many miles down the mountain. Sorry Mr. Mobilehomeman, I think you’re screwed.

I ate my last bit of food. As luck would have it, I had purchased a peach the size of a football a couple of days ago. It was exactly, perfectly ripe. I nearly inhaled it I was so hungry.

I filled all my water bottles again, including my reserve store-bought empty bottles. Without food there was no way I could stay in Newhalem. I took off for Marblemount 13 miles away.

The downhill was now a gradual sloping one but it still made me feel strong.

In Marblemount I took care of business. I sat down in a restaurant and ate a massive plate of fish and chips. It took me over 30 minutes to eat it. In the middle of my feast Martin walked in! He was staying at the inn across the street. I looked into getting a room but they were booked. The hotel manager called a few other places but they were booked too.

He recommended the town park in Rockport, eight miles further west. Off I rode. I found the park. It’s along the river. The showers were clean and it has WiFi of sorts.

Tomorrow I ride to the western end of the Northern Tier Route in Anacortes on Puget Sound.

Miles: 94.5

Tour Miles: 3,674.5

Any Road Tour: Day 50 – Getting Loupy

I took the hotel shuttle to the only place in town. The Club was your basic bar/eatery. The special was French Dip so I dipped. Manny’s Pale Ale was a fine lubricant.

I didn’t get rolling until almost 9, a decision that would come back to get me 6 hours later.

The business at hand was the climb over Loup Loup Pass, a 3,000+ foot assault over 19 miles.

It took about 5 miles for my legs and lungs to settle down, a process not entirely impeded by a steady rain. Yes, this is desert country but rain happens even here.

As I climbed, I passed through cherry and apple orchards. Some were covered in extensive netting, leading me to wonder if a more lucrative cash crop might be beneath the veils. Helicopters hovered over the fields, I suppose to dry out the crops to prevent mold.

The climb was tedious but never dispiriting. I had a beneficial tailwind. About half way to the top, there was a huge descent for a half mile. A group of supported bike tourists, carrying nothing but a rack bag for tools and snacks were flying down the mountain. When they came to my steep descent they were crawling up as I rumbled down.

I enjoyed my folly knowing that I had to recline the half mile. It was a bit hairy; the drop off on my side of the road was hundreds of feet and there was no guard rail. Don’t look down!

I stopped every so often to rest and eat and drink. There was no rush. The pass wasn’t going anywhere.

I ticked off each mile as it passed. For some reason I thought the pass was at the 22-mile mark. My tailwind became a headwind at about mile 28. I stunned to see the Loup Loup Pass sign a mile later, three miles “early.”

Then began the long speedy descent. A sign said Rough Road Ahead but I found it to be just fine for gliding at 28 mph into a headwind.

The west side of the mountain was a haunted landscape, the site of a fire two years ago (according to #bikedc meteorologists Froggy). At the bottom of the descent I came upon an interesting sign.

I had Mexican food for lunch in Twisp, a cute town with so many restaurants I found it hard to decide. I picked well though. My burrito was muy bueno.

The ride from Twisp to Winthrop was a challenging 10-miles. Headwinds and rolling hills wore me out. Winthrop itself is a tourist town with several city blocks designed in the style of an old western town (distressed wood siding, wooden sidewalks, etc.). The crowds worried me.

I had decided to camp at a bicycle tourist only farm 6 miles west of Winthrop but the telephone line was disconnected. I tried calling some hotels and Warmshowers hosts in Mazama, 12 miles further west. I couldn’t hear a thing. The bratty tourist kids, the motorcycles and pick up trucks, and the howling wind made conversation impossible.

I was getting pissed off so I went online and found out that the bicycle tourist farm was still operating and on Warmshowers with a new phone number (the host dropped his land line a couple of weeks ago). I had to find a quiet place to call from. While buying dinner I asked to use the store’s restroom. Can you say phone booth?

Jim Gregg invited me to come on over. So into the now soul sucking headwind I rode for another 6 miles.

When you arrive at the bike tourist camping, you ring a bell and Jim’s dog Stout comes out to greet you. Then with a little nudging from Jim, he showed me where to set up my tent.

I set up camp, took a shower with his outdoor solar powered shower, and used the composting toilet. Jim’s really got this thing figured out.

Amid strong breezes I readied myself for a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow will be Washington Pass followed by Rainy Pass. Winds will be light and variable (knock wood).

Miles: 50

Tour Miles: 3,580

Any Road Tour: Day 49 – Wauconda Forever?

I stayed at a Warmshowers host in Republic. I could have camped but Martin reminded me that DiAnne Hewitt wrote an interesting thumbnail on the app.

They live high above Republic. With chickens and a blind and deaf dog. Dianne fixed us a fantastic dinner. She’s a postmaster do we talked postal stuff for a while. When Boyd came home he told stories about his life in the gold mining industry. Yep, it happens every day on a bike tour. You stay with bee keepers and gold miners.

After coffee we rode down the hill to town where we had more coffee. Martin took off as I lingered at Sparky’s coffee house.

Wauconda Pass is at 4,310 feet but Republic is at 2,569 feet. The climb was only a little over 1,700 feet in 13 miles. And I had a light tailwind. It was a piece of cake.

The ride down to 1,000 feet over about 30 miles was a blast. It wasn’t until I reached the bottom that I realized the wind direction had changed as well.

And the temperature was no longer the 60s and 70s of the last few days. I was now in the dry desert-like conditions of the Okanogan River valley.

In Tomasket I caught up to Martin who was finishing breakfast and talking to a couple who had arrived on a motorcycle. They bought his meal for him. Trail angels on a Harley.

Martin took off as I enjoyed some lunch. When he stepped into the sun he remarked that it was hot.

He was right. The temperature had climbed into the mid-90s. No worries. I took my time and everything was fine until I hit four miles of road construction. I had to slog along through gravel under direct sunlight. Ugh.

I finally reached East Omak. For the first time in memory, I saw homeless people. Crossing the river to Omak, life didn’t seem a whole lot better. The final four miles into Okanogan were mercifully flat. The town park had camping and there were plenty of people camping there. No bikes though. It was also 95 degrees. My gut and my broiling skin convinced me to get a hotel room. I’m at a low Quality Inn. Weak AC and a broken washing machine. Well at least it has free breakfast. (My money’s on stale cereal.)

Miles: 75.5

Tour Miles: 3,530

Tomorrow I ride the over Loup Loup Pass. Into a headwind. 3,000 feet up in less than 20 miles.

I have looked at my schedule again and realize that I can’t easily make a flight home on July 21 so I’m going to push my return back a few days once I get to Camano Island.

Any Road Tour: Day 48 – Pickett attacks Sherman

Yesterday’s early dinner involved craft beer and pizza. Small town America is crushing the brewing thing big time.

I awoke at 5 with a very urgent tummy rumble. The town park restrooms were locked. I found a gas station in town and the crisis was averted.

I packed up and read The Beekeeper’s Lament which is about the bee keeper I stayed with in Gackle ND.

Once the grocery store opened I stocked up on fruit, water, and donut holes. Then I rode down to and across the Columbia River. It’s beautiful but there was no shoulder on the bridge so there’s no photo.

Then the fun began.

Up. The first three or four miles were switchbacks in one of my lowest gears. Then the climb mellowed out. I was rolling along at a decent pace I stopped to check out a log flume from logging operations from 100 years ago. A few miles later I stopped to check out an old CCC camp site.

Then up. And up. The sign said 8 miles to the pass.


A tiger swallowtail started doing loops around me as the tailwind pushed it and me up the hill. The butterfly won.

Miles of climbing passed slowly by. My head was hanging. I looked up. There, standing across the road and looking right at me, was a moose. He was not a big bull moose, more like a young adult with a small set of antlers. I stopped and reached for my phone to take a picture. Then a white sedan came around the bend beyond the moose and the moose moseyed into the woods.

A Lycra clad cyclist rode past me and said, “Nice moose. Too bad about the car.”

More uphill slogging ensued. A second tiger swallowtail came to play. I appreciated the diversion as the climb steepened. I was counting down the miles to the top. A mile and a half to go. Then I saw a sign. I had reached the pass a mile early. Saints be praised!

I took the obligatory photo then jumped on my bike and headed over the top.

The western approach is shorter (13 miles) than the eastern approach (27 miles). So the ride down was a total rush.

Three miles from the top a woman was pedaling furiously in her granny gear. She looked up and smiled. I yelled “It’s worth it!!” as I zoomed past at 30 mph.

For most of the descent I was doing 30 or more. Runaway train down curves and switchbacks. What a blast.

At the bottom my legs were sore from maintaining control of the loaded bike.

I climbed a few hundred feet into Republic. After lunch in a cafe I called DiAnne, my Warmshowers host. She gave me directions just as Martin rolled up. We rode to her house together. It has an amazing view of the landscape.

The town is part way up to the next pass, Wauconda. So we are psyched for tomorrow’s shorter climb.

Miles: 45

Trip miles: 3,647.5

Any Road Tour – Day 47: Switchbacks and Martin

Ione is not much of a happening place. I bathed and did laundry before heading into town for dinner. The pizza place made me a gut bomb of an Italian sub. They mentioned that another bike tourist from Switzerland was in earlier and bought a pineapple pizza. Martin!

I asked at the motel registration if he was s guest but he wasn’t. (It turns out that there’s another motel down by the river.)

Up at 5 (I’m on the eastern edge of the Pacific time zone), I broke camp and rode to town to have breakfast at the gas station. They have a grill and make a decent breakfast.

And as any bike tourist knows, gas stations are where Breakfast Club gets together. A group of old white men dit around drinking coffee and discussing the important things like how batteries for tools are crap and don’t drive your new pickup to Canada cuz it’ll sure get stole.

I couldn’t add much to this brilliant repartee so I rode away to confront my first serious hill since Rogers Pass a week ago. The climb was 1,100 feet on about 4 miles. There were 6 switchbacks. Once I got into a rhythm it was a fait accompli. No problemo.

Over the top and down the glorious western side, with forests now dominated by fir trees.

I spotted a country store and pulled in for a celebration ice cream. Who should I find eating breakfast but Martin! After a brief chat I took off knowing his youth and tent-free bike would catch me I no time.

And do we rode down one curvy turn after another. It was a blast. The cool tailwind didn’t hurt one bit either.

We saw two eastbound women testing on an uphill. I could not bring myself to give up a 35 mph descent to chat. Farther down the hill, we were crawling along at 17 mph. We ran into Dave (or maybe Paul) from Connecticut. He described the bike hostel where Martin would be staying as very nice and the mountain passes that lie ahead as not so much.

Martin turned to go to the hostel and I continued to Colville where lunch awaited. After my burrito (muy bueno) I rode on to Kettle Falls. After done confusion with a well meaning volunteer, I received permission to camp for free in the town park.

I am typing this at the bar if the town microbrewery, a place called Northern Ales. Their lager is excellent and is solely responsible for errors in this post.

Tomorrow: Sherman Pass and a Warmshowers stay (with Martin) at a town doctor’s home.

Miles: 53

Total miles: 3,409.5

Any Road Tour: Day 46 – Downriver on another tailwind

Last night I stayed in an RV park behind a 24 hour gas station across a busy highway from some railroad tracks. Let’s just say it wasn’t the deepest sleep I’ve ever had.

I was on the road around 7 with a gas station breakfast burrito in hand. It didn’t suit my tummy but it was fuel and I used it.

I followed the Pend Oreille River west to Newport Washington where I had second breakfast: pancakes, OJ, and coffee. A vast improvement over the burrito.

I crossed the river back into Idaho then took a turn that brought me back to Washington for good. Bye, Idaho.

In addition to a fine tailwind the skies were blue and the trees were green.

The air is incredibly clean; you can smell the pines. And there are terrific views around every bend in the road.

I stopped to chat with two credit card tourers. (No camping gear, just a couple of panniers.) They had just talked with Martin, my Swiss buddy from North Dakota and Montana! He rode north through Glacier National Park instead of west through Missoula. I was tempted to try an catch him but I still had 40 miles to ride today and a big climb tomorrow morning.

Today I rode through an Indian reservation. Aside from tribal headquarters, a sign directing people to the pow wow site, and a big nylon teepee in a backyard, I didn’t notice much difference.

The reservation did have many more American flags than elsewhere. Which brings to mind the fact that I’ve seen three Confederate flags in the last two days. (Y’all are a little out of the way for that. Try a swastika instead.)

I passed a sign for a grotto so I stopped and hiked up the groomed switchback trail. Mostly it was naturally formed. One chamber up some stone steps had a stone altar.

For some reason it occurred to me to check the odometer on The Mule. It had just passed 49,000 miles.

The next oddity on the road was a driveway to nowhere bordered by two Stonehenge-like stone circles. I am pretty sure that I would be recruited for a woo woo cult so I hit out of there after taking a picture or two.

The bridge to Ione, my destination, looked fantastic from a distance. The bridge deck was a metal grate. The Mule was swaying all over the place as we crossed. I am glad it was dry or I’d have fallen for certain.

I am camping at an RV place again. It’s quiet. I have a clean shower, laundry, WiFi, and a soft lawn for my tent. Now if only I hadn’t left my razor back at last night’s campsite.

Miles: 81.5

Trip Miles: 3,356.5

End of trip note: I booked a flight home for the 21st out of Portland, partly to meet a DC friend their on her birthday, the 19th, but also to be at home for my son’s visit from overseas. My friend canceled her trip to Portland and my son canceled his trip home so it looks like I have no reason to rush.

I’ll reschedule my flight when I get to Puget Sound. I’m thinking I’ll stay an extra week, including a day or two in Seattle.

I love how my friends are making suggestions for things to visit. They often come a day late or are days off route. One frustrating thing about travel is you are always going to miss something. I am grateful for what I have seen or will see in the days ahead. People I talked to said he road from here to Puget Sound is truly astoundingly pretty. I can’t wait.

Any Road Tour: Day 45 – Hanging by an ear

Today’s ride was less of a downhill stroll. And the winds were a non factor. I rolled the first five miles while eating a hot breakfast burrito. Yes, the Mexicans so many fear in these parts have invaded the sanctity of breakfast.

It was muy bueno.

More tree covered hills and more mountains that would make a bighorn sheep happy. And a river by my side. Ho hum, beautiful country to bike through.

Thirty miles into my ride I passed into Idaho. There was a proper Welcome to Idaho sign after this but I was cruising downhill at 34 mph when I saw it. Not about to stop for that.

The road became much busier as I approached Sandpoint. And the shoulder disappeared for ten miles. Yay, Idaho.

I didn’t much care because Lake Pend Oreille was on my left for over 20 miles.

Although I didn’t photograph it, I could see two ski resorts up in the mountains above Sandpoint.

When I rolled into Sandpoint I celebrated my escape from Montana with a root beer float. That was just after I checked out the town beach.

After the ice cream I went to a bike shop to use a floor pump, I was running at 55 psi. I’ll need 80 for the hills ahead.

Before leaving town I stopped st a restaurant for dinner. Chicken fettuccine with cherry pie for desert. (Apparently huckleberries are not an Idaho thing.)

On the bike path out of town a woman rode by on an electric assist bike. She works from home but uses the ebike to commute to meetings in town. She was my friend Charmaine’s doppelgänger.

We were riding along when she veered off the trail. She told me it was closed ahead and directed me to a side road to continue my journey. She also told me of a state park just 6 miles beyond a crummy RV Park I was going to use on the highway,

I called the state park reservation line but they refused to reserve s spot on short notice. They told me to call the park directly. When I did, I got a recording telling me to call the reservation line.

So I’m staying at the RV park. Good thing I have my ear plugs.

I made a reservation to fly home from Portland on the 21st. This is probably too aggressive and means I’ll skip Seattle altogether, riding instead to the Pacific coast at Astoria.

I am hoping to get to Portland to help celebrate a friend’s birthday. And see two other people. And go to Multnomah Falls, and ship my bike home, and buy two duffle bags for consolidating my bike stuff at the airport.

In any case, I can change it if I need to.

Miles today: 73

Tour miles: 3,275

Any Road Tour: Day 32 – Badass in the Badlands way

Before we begin today’s tale, I need to clear up something from yesterday. I did indeed cross into the Mountain time zone late yesterday.

Last night I splurged for a decent hotel and had dinner at a sit down restaurant. Salad and jambalaya. The portions were huge. The walk back to the hotel was mostly a waddle.

At hotel breakfast this morning I met Peggy an Jeff who were traveling to Milwaukee by bike. They are known on Crazyguyonabike as PB&J.

The way west was aided once again by a mild tailwind. I must have been good because Bike Santa is sure being nice to me. The road climbed gradually and rolled a big bit I was having no problems. Then I realized that’s The Mule had achieved a milestone coming out of Dickinson.

The number and size of buttes increased today as I rode west. I startled a pheasant in the tall grass next to the road and he blasted up and away. I also spotted another fawn.

Frankly I thought the green hills and buttes were quite pretty. After a few miles the route took me into I-94. The shoulder is paved, ten-feet wide, and has a rumble strip so I felt very safe. Interstates tend not to have steep hills which made my legs happy.

I noticed the soil near the road was not brown. Instead it was white like a sandbox or gypsum in wallboard. I spotted a couple of cool looking mesas in the distance. Then I went around a big grassy hill. When I came to the other side of the hill I saw it. The Painted Canyon of the Badlands in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Not only had the terrain changed in what seemed like an instant, but it was spectacularly beautiful. I rode to the scenic overlook, parked my bike, and walked around for over a half hour.

The road to the scenic overlook contains a cattle guard, a metal rumble strip that catches the feet of large animals. The large animal here is the buffalo. Sadly I didn’t see any but when I got back on the interstate I could hear and see prairie dogs. (No pictures though because I was going downhill.)

I left the interstate to visit Medora, a funky western town that looked cheesy to me.

I stopped at a pub for lunch, a steak salad. Delish.

When I started up again the wind direction had changed. The headwind increased in intensity for the rest of the day as a storm passed through, mostly to the south and east.

Also the hills increased, or seemed to. A bike tourist zoomed by me in the opposite direction. He waved as told me that the food in the gas station in Sentinel Butte was great.

This gave me something to look forward to as I fought the wind and the hills. It also began to rain, not hard but the raindrops were big and cold.

I stopped at the gas station that looked like the one in Mayberry. Inside three men were packing up a burgers and snacks lunch. They offered it to me but I had eaten only a couple of hours earlier. Instead I asked for some ice cream. One of the men paid for it. Then another mad opened up a container on the table. Cookies. I had one, again for free.

Heading west was one big hill then a long downhill through rollers to the town of Beach. Here the route took me back to I-94. And the storm started building over me. Fortunately the road began to angle to the northwest. Into Montana. Note the selfie path.

There were two signs that just might have been related.

For the last five miles I had a strong tailwind. Despite very tired legs I flew along at 17 miles per hour until I exited the freeway at Wibaux. All the rain had convinced me to grab a hotel. I found one just outside of town in a gravel road. No lie.

Time to take the gas station dude’s recommendation and head into town for some pizza and beer.

My thanks to the people of North Dakota for a pretty awesome week that began with colorful ASL bike racks and ended in jambalaya and gas station freebies.

Miles today: 76

Total miles: 2,395