I started the day off right with breakfast at Denny’s, about 10 blocks from where I stayed the night. My eyes remained fixed on Rambow while I ate inside the busy establishment. After the great breakfast, when paying at the cash register, I was surprised when I heard the hostess processing the payment make the remark “Oh! You donate too?”
“Yes I do!” Remembering that there is a Biolife Plasma donation center in Bismarck after she looked at my Biolife debit card, I put the pieces together. We talked briefly, including why I was wearing a cycling jersey, before I departed. The conversation, though brief, added another element reminding me of the decreasing distance to home.
Hwy. 10 paved the way for a wonderfully peaceful morning ride in rural North Dakota. This route, once again suggested by locals, not only offered a better view of nature’s beauty, but it also featured the low traffic volume I had forgotten after the last few hundred miles on interstate highways.
Backroads are the best way to tour (as long as the shoulder is decent). I would have missed all of these trees on the interstate:
As the day progressed, crosswinds became a huge factor. By the time I stopped in Steele at a gas station to purchase overpriced gas station food, the wind was blowing a solid 25 to 30 mph at an almost perpendicular direction to me. It was still slightly at my back, but more of a crosswind nonetheless.
While sitting on a chair at table outside the gas station eating the food I overpaid for, a guy walked out of the gas station with a student council shirt on. Given my passion for this student group in high school (a member of the high school council for 3 years, attending 3 state conventions and 2 national conferences, and being elected president of our state association), I couldn’t let him just walk by without asking.
I stopped him and asked about his involvement. He turned out to be a senior at the local high school. Pressing farther, I asked him if he had attended any national conferences, only to be shocked when he said he was in St. Louis in 2011 at the STAR conference, the same one I was at with a delegation from MN. Here is a montage video of the conference: http://www.schooltube.com/video/cd630a66fdfa60a2da24/2011%20Star%20Leaders%20National%20Conference.
I continued on after a short rest break at the gas station.
The ride to Jamestown proved to be peaceful:
The stiff crosswind shown by the flag here at the rest area.
This area flooded with water looked Like a few locations along the route today.
Birds make their homes in these trees, probably knowing they won’t need to deal with as many carnivores or pestering squirrels.
In Jamestown, I met up with the guy my hosts from last night put me in contact with.
The Pizza Ranch, located just blocks from where I was starting the night, offered a wonderful dinner for me after a windswept day on my bike.