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Thursday, July 25, 2013

POST 1166; JULY 24, 2013: DICKINSON, NORTH DAKOTA



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Considered long and hard whether or not to stay in RICHARDTON, NORTH DAKOTA Motel for one more night.  At $60.00, it was severely overpriced...the town was small with little to recommend staying on...so, decided to walk on to DICKINSON, NORTH DAKOTA, a distance of some 25 miles.

Anticipating continued I-94 hills, decided we needed to immobilize the tender feet...

...so, put a rather tight ACE Bandage on the strained left leg tendon;  also, applied SPORTS TAPE" (adhesive tape used by athletes) to cover the "blisters" on both feet.  Double secured the Sports Tape by taping completely around my foot (both feet) to be certain nothing could cause the tender skin to move even the slightest.

Then, loaded up SAM, and set out at 8:30 am, heading West on I-94 under sunny sky.




Looking back at the CENEX Convenience Store and a new Grocery Store at the Richardton, ND exit.  After a bit of food shopping at the new grocery store - including 1/4 watermelon sliced with the rind still on - the store manager would not accept my $$...a gift says She, for what SAM and ME are doing...thank you, all.


Atop a hill on I-94 is found the above metal Art...GEESE IN FLIGHT...easily seen from surrounding hills some 5 miles distant.



In blog 1165, yesterday, mentioned efforts to "slow down" water after the intense rain storms common in this area.  The above picture shows one such "log", set 90 degrees to water flow direction (down the hill).  The "log" is made of wheat chaff stuffed into Mesh Nylon Tubes...which are held firmly in place with wooden stakes pounded through the "log" and deep into the soil beneath.  Hundreds of such "logs" are in place every 100 feet or so for miles along I-94.

Intent is to form miniature "dams" which slow the speed of the water rushing down the steep hills bordering I-94.



At every I-94 Overpass, SAM and ME stopped for a wedge of watermelon, a drink, and a bite.  Located approximately 3 miles apart, we stopped nearly 10 times during the 25 mile distance between Richardton and Dickinson, North Dakota.

At one of these Overpasses, hundreds of SPARROW NESTS lined the underside of the roadway.



Lots of hay (alfalfa) is grown in this part of North Dakota.  Thousands of hay rolls are seen lying about the many fields.  I am told each roll of hay weighs about 2,000 pounds (one ton). 



North Dakota has built some quality freeways...I-94 being no exception. 

This section of freeway has a "Rumble Strip" set next to the White Line (marking the outside border of the traffic lane), giving up to 10 feet of "Berm" for parking vehicles...and / for bikers and walkers line SAM and ME.

A real pleasure to walk on such roadways.




The only "river" sign I recall having seen since entering North Dakota, where the famous (always floods) RED RIVER shares a border with MINNESOTA.


The actual GREEN RIVER is less than one foot deep at this point.


Today, SAM and ME walk DOWN into, ACROSS, and back UP countless wide lush valleys, such as in the above photograph.

All the while, one IBUPROFEN sustained me all day enough to shut out the foot pain.  Only when we stopped at Underpasses for another slice of watermelon, did the growing (swelling) become nearly unbearable.

...after three or four steps of agonizing pain, was I able to shut that circuit off.




The views of North Dakota farmland are incredible.





Reaching the large town of DICKINSON, North Dakota, I was disappointed that it was so spread out.  The Exit we wanted, Exit 61, was four miles from the City Limits sign on I-94.  My feet nearly rebelled at the knowledge so many more steps were needed to get to our motel.  More than once, I nearly stopped for the night under an Underpass.

...we will be doing THAT soon enough, as in Montana, there simply ARE NO MOTELS walking distance in a single day...finding a spot to set up our tent...or if fortunate, under a handy covered area...is going to be a major task.

The two Recumbent Bicyclists we met a few days ago said they nearly ALWAYS stay in one church or another.  Looks like a possibility, providing a church is within walking distance...bicycles have a bit more flexibility since they travel at twice my walking speed...(interesting discovery:  Whereas I walk 35 miles average per day; bicycles roll on the average 75 miles per day...one would think there would be a greater imbalance).



This distinguished gentlemen kindly agreed to this photograph...then, I forgot to write down his name...the motel lobby was FULL of folks...and I simply goofed...Sorry.

I did find a modest motel at Exit 61...price $50.00.  I took a room for two nights, intent to give my poor abused feet a rest.



Please say HELLO to (l. to r.):  GENE VOLLMERS, BARB and DEAN KUHN.

On their regular bike outing, Gene is from Tennessee, while Barb and Dean are from near Pontiac, Michigan.

Together with the gentleman in the next photo, we spend a good half hour in the motel lobby chatting (they mostly listened while I chatted) about the LYMPHATIC SYSTEM...becoming an important part of all discussions with folks...even the many Front Page Newspaper articles of the recent two months (even one ABC News bit back in the town of AUSTIN, Minnesota).

Yes, the media is finally becoming interested in what this old man is up to.

Please say HELLO to COREY GORES.  Corey, resident of the same motel we are in, invited me to dinner.  Corey is the first honest to goodness Oil Field Worker.  Corey is a truck driver, handling an 18-wheeler Side Dump rig (rig = truck and trailer). 

Corey and I traded "war stories" for nearly two hours over dinner.





One more image of Corey...just because he is quite photogenic...

UPDATE COMMENTS:

The condition of my feet is NOT GOOD.  The constant climbs and descents of I-94 wrecked havoc on the ankle tendon...even though tightly wrapped.

The left foot blister first skin layer is GONE.  The under layer is like a new baby's butt...smooth, but so tender as to require lots of TLC.

The right foot blister has not opened (thank goodness).

The blister "Sports Tape" did an excellent job of protecting both blisters from additional damage.  What it did NOT do, however, was to protect from the constant pounding - one P O U N D for each step taken - causing both feet to swell up around the blister area.

The swelling has gone down today...primarily from my constant messaging with NIVEA cream...and staying off my feet.

If taken care of, all the above injuries will heal just fine...and because my Lymphatic System at peak performance, I am healing nicely and quickly.

One day rest, however, is not sufficient.  I have, therefore, added two more nights to my motel stay here in Dickinson, North Dakota.  That means I will not move on until at least Sunday, July 28.

If I move on before I have control of the situation, all will be for naught...as the injury will again compound, stopping SAM and ME once again.

If deemed beneficial, I may check in to the local Hospital ER (Emergency Room) for an evaluation.  We have still nearly 1,000 miles, including three mountain ranges to cross...best to give it our best shot the first time around.

Then, too, it will be nearly September by the time we reach the high elevations of 6,000 to 7,000 foot mountain passes.  Winter often comes early up there...

...so, caution to the unwary !

Tomorrow I will give a detailed route ... by photogrsaph...and by Road # and Town name.  I do, of course, very much appreciate ANY assistance offered up to SAM and ME to successfully complete our journey.

Thank jyou, all !

2 comments:

Rodney Hess said...

Bruce,

Like I said before, you are one incredible gentleman, walking, even though you are in pain. Wonderful idea to take a break for a few days, then continue on your marvelous journey.

The only other person who continued to go on, with sever pain, was Tiger Woods, when he won that one golf tournament a couple years ago. He was hurting the entire last round of that tournament with that sore hip/leg, yet he managed to keep going, and eventually won.

Best wishes when you continue again. I consider you a professional athlete. Walking as much as you do, takes a lot more stamina, than any sport I know, and you are not being paid those outrageous amounts of money.

skeeterraz said...

So sorry about your feet and tendons and wish there were more I could do but I am glad to see that you have decided to stay and take care of yourself instead of walking more in these next couple of days. I will definitely call you tomorrow to get an updated detailed route of which you are taking and help find places for you to stay. I mean it now Bruce you take care of yourself and big hugs from MN. Talk to you soon.