Sunday, July 21, 2013
POST 1162; JULY 21, 2013; BISMARK, NORTH DAKOTA
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Long before daylight, SAM and ME are packed, and out the door .
... a 1:00 pm appointment in the city of BISMARK, NORTH DAKOTA, some 24 miles distant...to have SAM's broken tire spokes repaired at the BROKEN SPOKE Bicycle Shop.
One mile from our motel, we arrive at the Truck Stop / Convenience Store as the Sun rises in the East...the first time I have seen Ole Sol greet a new day since we began this walk.
The sign on the far right announces that BISMARK is 22 miles away. SAM and ME have already walked and rolled a good two miles to reach this sign...also, we do not know how many miles we must walk after arriving in Bismark, before we arrive at the BROKEN SPOKE Bicycle Shop at 15th and Bowen...where TYLER will be waiting our arrival ON A SUNDAY, to repair SAM.
Someone told me there were many fields full of Hay Rolls near Bismark. The distant field is certainly chock full of Hay Rolls.
Could be the subject of an historic painting...or photograph.
Clouds are not gathering. It is quite cold this morning under a thick overcast sky.
The row of trees are not for decoration. In this part of the world, winter snow piles quite high, being blown by strong winds across the flat prairie land. In previous days, hundreds of wooden fences have been built along highways to re-direct the blowing snow...today, live trees...miles and miles of live trees are planted to form snow barriers, replacing the old wooden fences.
Please say HELLO to LISA and ROSY...two ladies from FAIRBANKS, ALASKA, who are peddling their bicycles from the Oregon Coast to Maine.
One advantage of walking the Interstate Highway System: every 30 or so miles is located a well serviced REST STOP. No such fineries are found on the back roads of America.
Inside the Rest Stop, one finds interesting historical and guidance information...such as the above map of North Dakota.
As I leaned over the highway bridge crossing this stream, a quite large fish "rolled", showing his entire white belly to me...my guess: about 15 pound catfish.
I-94...Interstate Highway 94.
SAM and ME arrived at Exit 161...where Tyler said we must get off the freeway to find his business...at precisely 1:00 pm...the exact moment we said we would arrive. Ito took us until 2:20 pm, however, to walk the additional miles to find the BROKEN SPOKE Bicycle Shop...in the garage behind his private home.
Please say HELLO to STEVE (l.) and his Son, TYLER. Tyler has owned and operated his bicycle business since he was 12 years old. Upon arrival of SAM and ME, Tyler immediately started to work on fixing SAM's broken spokes. !/2 hour and $30.00 later, we rolled out of his driveway...or tried to. One of the solid rubber tires, which had to be removed from the "rim" to effect replacement of the broken spokes, twisted off the rim.
Easy to replace, the event caused me to "gulp"...such a thing should not happen. Reinstalling the tire, SAM and ME went on our way. Within the next two hours, as we walked and rolled West out of town, the same tire came off the rim another three times.
I tried to get a room at a motel on the outskirts of town...no luck...all full up.
Telephoned Steve, leaving a message of the tire failure, and advising that I was trying to find a motel by returning to downtown Bismark. Steve returned my phone call as SAM and ME rolled into the RAMADA INN - BEST WESTERN Motel...just as rain started falling after a half-hour of lightning and thunder.
Steve and his other Son, arrived as I checked into the RAMADA INN. Normal room price: $109.00...with an AARP discount to $98.00. Said the front desk clerk...show me your MILITARY MEMBERSHIP Card, and you will receive the room for $75.00.
Naturally, I left my VFW Membership card in Bellingham...who woulda thought!
Steve took SAM's limping wheel, and drove back to his shop. He returned an hour later, having replaced SAM's hard-rubber tire with a spanking new WHITE pneumatic tire...with heavy duty tube and insulating barrier to protect the tube from puncture.
Steve is also arranging for a new (replacement) hard rubber tire which he hopes will be waiting for SAM and ME when we arrive at the village of MEDORA, about 140 miles distant.
Another $40.00 flew from my pocket !...and that, a bargain for the work Steve did for SAM and ME.
Please say HELLO to ROBYN WAGNER. Robyn joined me at my table in BURGER KING, where I stopped on my way out of town (way before the events noted above). I chose Burger King because they are the best choice for Ice Cream Lovers (like me).
Robyn and I chatted for some 20 minutes about the 4 + foot diameter tree she and her hubby cut down today...which was threatening to topple onto their home;...and yes, a bit about old men walking America...and too, some words about the importance of our LYMPHATIC SYSTEM.
Robyn seemed on the verge of offering to pay for my food, but a friendly gentleman - of whom I have no picture - beat her to the cash register...thank you, John.
Needless to say, shelling out nearly $200.00 today has put a severe dent in our $$ reserves. Looks as though our tent will see some considerable service as we cross the empty wastes of Western North Dakota...and the 570 miles crossing MONTANA.
That, of course, will curtail our ability to keep this blog posted on a daily basis...
...but, then, ..."tomorrow is another day"...(Gone With The Wind).
We shall just have to plug along and see what develops.
Please say HELLO to COLLIN...who stopped to offer a $$ donation. He then followed SAM and ME into the gathering storm, to be certain we arrived safely at the motel just outside town. We did...and Collin drove off...thank you.
He never found out, however, that there were no rooms at the INN, which caused SAM and ME to return to downtown Bismark as the black clouds closed overhead...lightning cracked overhead...and thunder shook the very ground.
Black clouds gathering. Just as we arrived for check-in at the Best Western, the cloud bellies burst open...water smashing into the ground like Grandma throwing out the dish-water back in another lifetime ago.
The MISSOURI RIVER...SAM and ME will be following the Missouri River for many weeks, as we head North West across Montana.