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Thursday, May 10, 2012


Our night in Hebron, North Dakota is a night to be remembered.

Every hour on the hour came along a train, the tracks being one block from SPIA. Hebron has a series of train tracks which are used by passing freight trains to drop off cars and pick up additional cars. Attaching cars to the train requires a loud THUNK as the "couplings" lock together.

After a half dozen or so THUNKS, the train starts moving. There are four roads crossing the railroad tracks which pass through the center of town. At each crossing, the Engineer must signal the trains approach with:

T O O O O T (pause) T O O O O T (pause) TOOT (pause) T O O O O O O O T

loud enough to wake everyone in the next town.

At 5:00 am, I gave up and got out of bed. At daylight, was walking.

Hebron is on Old Highway 10, located about 4 miles from I-94 (freeway). I first walked over the three hills leading to I-94, then West on I-94 for 7 miles, then across the rolling hills back to Highway 10, finally returning the final 9 miles back to Hebron...Highway 10 took the long way around.

A stroll - not at my usual speed - trying to "baby" my knees. IT WORKED !

The wind was non existent when the walk began. 6 hours later, had completed 20 miles, with the wind picking up out of the North west. The sky was without clouds the entire walk.

This cutie is one of six horses who greeted me as I chatted with them after walking over to their corral. Yes, they do answer with fluttering lips emitting soft sounds. I offered this girl my hand; she sniffed...then nibbled my fingers...I, all the while chatting with all six of the critters.

Hebron sits in a long curving valley between hills rising about 500 feet. The valley has a half dozen or so new "grain elevators"...some metal as above...and some towering concrete structures with new railroad spurs (tracks) leading from the main line tracks.

This is the road leading out of Hebron up and over the distant hills to Interstate 94.

Looking back (North) down on Hebron nestled in its valley.

I-94. I walked with the traffic today. True, I cannot see what is coming from behind me, but I somehow prefer walking with the traffic.

The 7 miles of Interstate climbed 4 hills giving magnificent views from on top.

Yes, am now walking in Mountain Time Zone...only one more time zone to pass - after crossing the 600 miles of Montana - to enter Pacific Time Zone in which Bellingham is located.

From I-94 hill tops, the view is breath taking.

Please say HELLO to Philip and Lance (driving).

Leaving the Interstate at Mile Post 190, there were NO road signs identifying the roads leading away from the intersection. As happenstance would have it, these two gentlemen drove up to the stop sign as I was trying to figure out which road to take.

Philip was in the Bar last evening while I was chatting with Bob and Slinky, and immediately recognized me. I introduced myself to Lance, asking which road was which. They cleared up the mystery by pointing me onto a dirt road, explaining that Highway 10 back to Hebron was a couple miles out...which became paved.

Thanks guys.

As Lance and Philip drove their white steed off into the Noonset (it was about 9:30 am), I got this stunning picture.

The one and only up-close homestead along Highway 10.

Highway 10 is about half way across the distant valley.

This is Highway 10, which use to be a trans continental highway. Today, it sees little or no maintenance, going the way of so many of the "bypassed" towns across America.

Surprisingly, the wind mill was working perfectly in the rising wind.

This valley seems to have many underground springs. Water is pooling all over the valley floor...not flowing as in a stream, but scattered here and there.

The above cistern is fed by a single water pipe coming out of the ground...perhaps from an artisan spring. The water in the cistern was crystal clear, overflowing onto the ground forming a small lake off to the right.

Not a cow in sight.

Highway 10 approaching Hebron from the West.

I had walked over 6 hours completing this first walk of the day...was feeling great.

The wind was rising, however, so took a moment out to make a sandwich...then began walking East on Highway 10 BACK toward I-94, some 5 miles distant.

I walked for one hour - about 4 miles, when the wind suddenly rose to OVER 50 miles per hour (later confirmed by TV weather report).

Please say HELLO to Walker.

Walker was one of five vehicles stopping today to ask if I needed assistance...nope, I'm just walking across they nodded and continued on their way...

...all, except Walker. Walker wanted to know the whole skinny, so we chatted for a bit before he was on his way.

Soon after Walker drove off, I turned to test the wind and found I could barely stand up, let alone walk. So, I cut my second leg short by returning to Hebron after only 8 miles or so.

Sure beats City Living.

Please say HELLO to Theresa and Bob.

Theresa and Bob are owners and operators of SIT-N-BULL Bar in the small village of Taylor, North Dakota (701-974-2261), with whom I spent a good hour or so chatting over my cold Coors Light.

After my shortened second leg, I up anchored SPIA and drove to Taylor, where SPIA parked across Highway 10 from SIT-N-BULL for the night.

In the morning, will take some hours to walk Highway 10 and I-94...somewhat as I did from Hebron this morning...

Weather report says the passing cold front with its fierce high winds will move on by morning, bringing nearly 2 weeks of good weather with temperatures rising next week into the 80s.

It is now after 9:00 pm. Time to read a bit of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games (Catching Fire), then listen to the pillow(s) - all three pillows - OH, and a 4th pillow...a tiny "traveling" pillow which cushions my bony knees from each other...laugh if you will; I find it quite comfy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi sir. I'm Betsy Simon with The Dickinson Press, the newspaper in Dickinson, North Dakota. I spoke with Theresa, owner of Sit-N-Bull Bar in Taylor, and she thought you might be willing to do an interview with me about your journey. She also thought you might be staying overnight in Dickinson on Friday. If you do stop in Dickinson, could please contact me at 937-417-7155 and meet me for an interview while you're in town?