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Monday, July 22, 2013


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Now is 12:30 am (Midnight) in the whistle stop burg of NEW SALEM, NORTH DAKOTA.  A "Whistle Stop" is a town which has a railroad track running through it...but the train never stops...just blows it's Horn (TOOT TOOT TOOT ) as it speeds on by.

SAM and ME arrived in New Salem at 10:00 pm...just as full darkness descended upon the spacious sky of North Dakota.

This morning, I took it real slow...even going back to bed for an hour after breakfast...because I was waiting for J.C. PENNY'S to open in the MALL across the street from the BEST WESTERN MOTEL in downtown BISMARK, where we stayed last night.  The wait paid off, as I did find the NIKE Air Shoe "MONARCH" I wanted to complete our walk across America.

It was 12:00 Noon when we finally crossed over the Missouri River Bridge.  Then, I made a wrong turn, ending up in the small town of MANDAN, North Dakota...completely lost.  At a traffic light, a young man drove up to SAM...

This young man, BOB, had apparently been looking for SAM and ME for some time, because he asked if we could talk...of course, Yes!

Editorial note:  This update is once again without photographs.  For some reason, my computer is refusing to cooperate with the "image" program.  I do have photographs loaded from my camera, including of Bob and his Cousin, BROCK, but we will have to make do for the moment with just narrative.

Bob, explained that he has been planning a cross-USA bicycle trip...but was looking for "guidance" before setting off.  In SAM and ME, Bob, has found what he feels is the inspiration to proceed...with the goal to raise $$ for CANCER...a disease being battled by his Cousin, Brock's MOM.

The three of us had drinks (Ice Tea) and chatted for nearly one hour...during which time Bob gifted me considerable $$ to help SAM and ME on our way.

The walk and roll from Bismark to our destination for the day, New Salem, was 30 miles.  SAM and ME did not actually get going onto I-94 until 1:00 pm.  I pushed SAM at my very best effort ever...up some prodigious hills...across some vast plains...stopping only for a sip of water every hour or so.

We arrived in New Salem, as already mentioned, AFTER the Sun had set to a beautiful Sunset.  New Salem offers two Truck Stop Stations (with Convenience Stores), and one Motel.  Not wishing to spend $$ we no longer have, we asked...and have been rewarded...for permission to "sit" in the back room of one of the Convenience Stores for the night...NO sleeping bags on the floor...just sit, head on the table to sleep if desired. 

Have tried the "sleep with head on the table" routine;  dozed off for an hour, but WOW, not too comfy.  Will try pushing three or four folding chairs together, using part of SAM's load of bags as a pillow...perhaps then, I can get some shut-eye.

Our alternate plan was to park SAM under the I-94 OVERPASS, using our chair to sit in 'til dawn.  We may well have lots of opportunity to devise sleeping arrangements under Overpasses in the coming days.  We are warned that for the next 150 miles or so, there are NO facilities available because of the intense activities flowing out of the new VAST Oil Fields stretching from within Canada, through North Dakota and Montana, reaching South into the states of Nebraska and Colorado.

...just as well, I suppose, since our dwindling $$ will not purchase us much anyway.

Much as I do not wish it, our TENT may be the best alternative much of the rest of the way home to BELLINGHAM, Washington.

Now is 1:30 am (past midnight).  Will post this meagre effort of an update (sorry Bob and Brock for no pics), and try to get some sleep.

By the way, a HUGE Full Moon is hanging low in the sky tonight.


Please say HELLO to (BOB) JOE AND Cousin BROCK.  Above narrative refers to "BOB", whereas my on-the-spot-notes, refer to JOE...sorry for the confusion!...These two followed SAM and ME to the Exit 147 Truck Stop, where they gifted a sizeable $$...

Cross-MISSOURI River Bridge Commemoration ... between BISMARK and MANDAN, N.D.

Always enjoy the company of BNSF trains as SAM and ME cross the USA.

Reaching the top of the LONG STEEP HILL our of the Missouri River Valley from Brismark.

From this point West into Montana, I-94 becomes much more hilly...with numerous long and steep hills...what goes UP must also come DOWN.  It was on the way DOWN one of these hills that I pulled the ankle Tendon on my left foot.

I-64 Exit 147 Truck Stop...where we met Joe and Brock.

OK OK...enough of I-94 and it's hills.

How about a look at one of the I-94 Side Roads.  In the Great Plains, many of the "country roads" are dirt...lucky ones also covered in gravel.  Walking across COLORADO Great Plains three years ago, one rancher commented on the minimum effort made by the State of Colorado regarding the country roads...lots of $$ for the CONCRETE JUNGLE...little for the countryside.

I-94 Exit into the small village of NEW SALEM...where SAM and ME spent the entire night...grateful to find shelter at the CENEX Convenience Store.

Today WAS a long day...arriving in NEW SALEM as the Sun sank below the Western Hills. storm clouds moved in...yes, SAM and ME are very fortunate to find shelter.


skeeterraz said...

Oh Bruce you need to let me know what your route is so that I can maybe help find places for you to stay ahead of time that costs very very little or nothing at all. I don't like the thought of you not getting good sleep and then walking all day.

Rodney Hess said...


When you ended up in Mandan, you apparently took Business Loop 94 out of Bismarck, instead of I-94. Eventually BL-94 would intersect directly with I-94 further west.

Good luck finding some place to stay overnight. Surely, if you check your computer, you will be able to find some small town a little bit off I-94. I know, it is pretty desolate out there, but since you are becoming so famous on your walk, people out there will go out of their way, to provide shelter for you, other that just some overpass, or truck stop.

Once again, I hope you have a safe trip today (Tuesday).