Linton, ND → Beaver Creek Campground, ND
Net Elevation gain: -33 ft (1739 ft. to 1706 ft.)
Average Speed: 7.5 mph
Top Speed: 36 mph
Time spent biking: 2 hours 20 minutes
Total time for the day's travels: 5 hours 40 minutes
Miles biked today: 17.6
Total for trip: 2092.2 miles
Perhaps a month and a half of biking caught up with us today. We weren't happy and we couldn't get ourselves up. We felt so tired. When we finally did make it out of the tent, it was only because of the heat. It was almost noon, and the sun overhead can really heat up a tent. Sad that we hadn't gotten an early start like we had planned, it was even harder than usual to make decisions. We didn't know where we were headed today, only that we really wanted to make it over the Missouri River into “West Dakota,” as we had affectionately named the other side of the water.
Our hope was to find someone with a boat who would be willing to give us and our bike a ride across to the other side, where we could make our way south and west on the small roads until we hit Route 12 which would lead us west into Montana.
After a long time spent looking at maps together and trying to figure out the best route, we decided to pack up camp and see how far we could get (there was talk of just spending another night where we were and going back to bed), even if it was just to the campground by the river. We pedaled away, with dark clouds overhead, to our first stop of the day at the grocery store just out of town that had been closed the night before when we wanted to buy juice. After stocking up on supplies, we finally continued west on Route 13 out of Linton.
Pedaling once we got going wasn't bad. We had some wind in front of us, but we weren't too hot, or too slow, and it never did rain. The terrain wasn't as flat as we had expected. In fact, we had some large hills to push ourselves up before we turned south onto Route 1804 (named for the year the Lewis & Clark expedition traveled that route) arrived at the Bay Side Cafe. We had heard they had Internet, and we were hungry, so we decided to go in and eat a meal and hopefully spend some time on line. The food was really tasty; Jenny got the cheeseburger and Brett got the club sandwich, and we were able to get on line once we got the password from the owner. Plus, we were served by the same nice young woman who waited on us last night in Linton!
Jenny finishes off the last of the dried bananas that her parents dried and sent. They will be missed.
Reading our email and all of the supportive and inspiring comments on the blog really lifted our spirits. Maybe we hadn't had a good morning, maybe it's hard to get up and bike every day, maybe we were going to have our shortest day or riding yet, but things were okay. Our hearts filled up with love and appreciation for our life and all that we have. Thank you, everyone who is following along with us this summer. Your support means so much to us.
We'd also like to thank all the folks across the miles who have taken their time and talked to us about routes, terrain, directions, road conditions, storm warnings, local establishments, and all the other things that you can't learn from a state map. We love talking to the people everywhere we go anyway, but it's also valuable to the trip. We got some great advice and information about the roads ahead from some men at the restaurant tonight.
As we left the restaurant and biked down the steep hill to Beaver Creek, the view was breathtaking. We still hoped we'd make it across the river (which here is also the reservoir named Lake Oahe), and bike to Fort Yates, but we were also realizing that it might not happen. Plus the rear tire was making a funny sound. Turning into the driveway for Beaver Creek Recreation Area (a big campground), we stopped and checked the tire. It didn't look so good, with very little pressure, and even more wear and tear on the rubber tread.
We checked out the boat ramp and talked to a fisherman or two, but realized it wasn't a good time of day to try to find someone on their way out to fish. Plus, most of them seemed to fish up Beaver Creek instead of in the reservoir. Darn. Well, we had our tire to attend to anyway. The views were amazing. We found a campsite just up a bluff from the water, and set up the tent. We also got very excited when we realized we could take a nice hot shower, since we hadn't showered in days! We made our peace with our shortest day of riding, and with not crossing the wide Missouri. We also made peace with the fact that we didn't finish putting the spare rear tire on before the mosquitoes and darkness drove us into the tent. There's always tomorrow.