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Monday, July 15, 2013


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Faced yesterday morning with another steep hill climbing out of LISBON, NORTH DAKOTA, SAM and ME walked and rolled for 20 miles to FORT RANSOM.  Three nights ago at the BLACK PELICAN, we met JIM and NANCY, owners of the CRANBERRY COTTAGE, a dated BandB (Bed and Breakfast), invited us to spend the night...and longer if we liked.

Isolated in the pristine SHEYENNE River Valley, SAM and ME did indeed stay a second day.  Given the time to do so maintenance on SAM, discovered why the 20 inch main wheels had wobbles...falling off broken asphalt to avoid 18 wheelers, the jagged broken edges of asphalt slammed against SAM's wheel spokes...three are broken on one is broken on the other wheel.

With the help of RICHARD - last Friday night at the Black Pelican - we located a bicycle repair shop in the city of BISMARK, NORTH DAKOTA...some 160 miles to the West on Interstate 94 (I-94).  Having a thousand miles yet to walk and roll, we are rushing direct to Bismark, with the objective to replace SAM's broken spokes by this Friday...i.e., we will NOT go to the town of MINOT, NORTH the great relief of many people.

Main street of Lisbon, N.D., as SAM and ME walked from the SUPER 8 Motel yesterday morning.

Please say HELLO to CONNIE RADCLIFF.  Connie is President, North Dakota's Women's in helping others.  Connie and I met in SUBWAY, where I ordered a breakfast sandwich "for the road".

Connie commenced lengthy discussion(s), holding up clients waiting to purchase their own sandwiches.

Thank you, Connie for picking up my tab...tasted good walking the CHEYENNE GRASSLANDS PLAINS on the road to Fort Ransom.

...looking back down the hill from Highway 27 into Lisbon, N.D.

Farm House along Highway 27.

Highway 27, heading West onto CHEYENNE GRASSLANDS PRAIRIE.

Not certain, but believe this crop is WHEAT.

Wetlands...or more probably left-over flood waters.

Like TIN SOLDIERS, a rank of metal silos.

An intersection of Highway 27...with gravel roads leading left and right across the prairie.

Roundabout Water Irrigation...first we have seen since leaving the Atlantic Ocean.

...our destination.

Richard is going to join SAM and ME at the CRANBERRY COTTAGE - together with JIM and NANCY...for a steak BBQ dinner before dark. 

At the above signpost, we leave Highway 27.  The road to Fort Ransom is paved with oil-based gravel...a new experience for SAM.  Shortly after making this turn off, Richard drove up, ghosting along beside SAM for the next 7 miles.  The final two miles, Richard and his dog, T-BONE, actually walked with SAM and ME clear into the town of Fort Ransom...thank you, Richard.

SAM, contemplating the new gravel roadway.

Richard and T-Bone...joining SAM and ME walking to Fort Ransom.

At a visitor information center, the following bits of historical information have been taken.

Please double click the images to enlarge for easier reading.

Please say HELLO to GENE GREGOR...a true "old timer" of Fort Ransom.  Before Richard hitched a ride back to get his car, Gene entertained us with his quick wit and fast tongue...for a near 90 years young fellow...a man to follow anywhere.

Fort Ransom City Hall.

Please say HELLO to GERALD GYLDEMVAN, CURATOR of the Museum.

A wooden bridge carried the roadway over the SHEYENNE RIVER...a mystical place filled with (thousands) of years of Indian Lore.

City Center, Fort Ransom...Bar and Grill to the left...Convenience Store to the right.

Inside the Bar and Grill, where I enjoyed a beer, and met Jerry, husband of the young lady hopping from making Pizza to serving drinking clients.

Please say HELLO to JERRY.  Jerry offered to haul SAM and ME the final couple miles from down town to CRANBERRY COTTAGE...where Jerry's two teenage daughters pasture their turn Jerry keeps an eye on things for Jim and Nancy, who live and work back in the civilized world.

Information Center for the Sheyenne River Valley.

VIKING atop a PYRAMID HILL dominating the town of Fort Ransom...please double click posters and other information to better read it.

CRANBERRY COTTAGE...where SAM and ME will call home for the next two days.

200 feet from the back door of CRANBERRY COTTAGE, flows the not always serene SHEYENNE RIVER.  Our BBQ table rests on a wooden deck from which this photograph was taken.

A working Water the yard of CRANBERRY COTTAGE.

...the next few photographs are of actual furnishings inside our temporary home...a trip back 100 years...most of which were items in my own childhood home at the Stump Ranch.

Grandfather Clock.

Wall Clock.

Wood burning kitchen stove with Oven below...and Warming Ovens above. off the BBQ.

One of Jerry's young daughter...who stopped by to check on their horses...and say hello.

Please say HELLO...I failed to write down their names, but both were very pleasant and chatted warmly about their horses.

Before driving back home this afternoon, Richard gave me a ride to the Convenience Store, where I purchased some sandwiches and drinks for our walk tomorrow morning to the city of VALLEY CITY, some 34 miles distant at I-94...where we hope to find a motel for the night before heading West following I-94 to BISMARK, where we will repair SAM's wheels.

Please say HELLO to KACY...a Junior in High School, and a riding companion of Jerry's daughters....Kacy, a well spoken delightful young lady.

Richard insisted on driving me back to CRANBERRY COTTAGE...where he showed off the skills of T-Bone...including the "T-Bone" white patch between his front quarters.

...and so, we leave FORT RANSOM and the horse residents of CRANBERRY COTTAGE.

As soon as I post this update, I am delegated to do the launder - washer and dryer in the basement - ... then to complete packing up SAM...take my own shower, and retire to listen to my pillows.

Tomorrow morning, SAM and ME walk on the gravel road some 6 miles before reaching asphalt, where we will walk through beautiful country, following the Sheyenne River to Valley City.


Rodney Hess said...


My friend Judy lives near Steele ND. You will be going right through Steele on your way to Bismarck, to get your wheels fixed. I worked in Steele (Kidder County)several years ago, and I attended the International Pow Wow in Bismarck one weekend. You will see mostly big round bales and beef cattle in this part of the country. Great country, and even greater people. :)

aunty E said...

You have met some great people 0n your journey. Nice!!!

Rodney Hess said...


Greetings from Minnesota,

Is there some way to fasten a metal disc on each side of those 20inch wheels, to prevent things from getting into the spokes, kinda like hub caps? Perhaps, they can be made from aluminum, so no additional weight is added to Sam.

Good luck.