Day 26. July 9
The title makes the day seem worse than it really was, so don’t worry nothing really awful happened. It was a really hard day though.
We started out going straight uphill from Medora. I was sweating and exhausted by the time we reached the top and my left knee was killing me. I took a bunch of ibuprofen and we continued on, but I was a bit worried about it. We were riding on the highway again and had about 40 miles to go until our lunch stop in Dickinson.
The riding was fairly flat with more rolling hills. It was pretty hot out and we were starting to get into the Midwest humidity. I definitely did not miss it at all. We took a break under an overpass, which was noisy, but shaded and away from traffic. We ate a quick pb&j and got back on the road. The highway continued to be slow hills, but even those were killing my knee. The only thing to do was keep pedaling, so we did.
Eventually, we made it to Dickinson, which I think is the biggest city (besides Everett) that we’ve been through yet. Apparently, a lot of it is new growth because of the oil fields out here. We’re not huge fans of city traffic, but there was a Walmart. We needed more peanut butter and some other things for dinner. As we headed toward Walmart, and even before we got to town, we passed a bunch of restaurants that we like at home, such as Applebees. We had been dreaming of Chipotle or Qdoba and promised ourselves we would got to one in the first big city we came to. Ethan checked to see if Dickinson had one and it didn’t appear on the map, so we forgot about it. So we’re passing a shopping mall headed to Walmart and I see a Jimmy Johns (Ethan loves Jimmy Johns) so I get excited because it’s been such a hard day that I just knew Ethan would be OK with it. But right next to it was Qdoba!!! I yelled at Ethan and pointed. We decided we deserved it and would got there after Walmart.
We got what we needed there and enjoyed a very large burrito bowl at Qdoba. It was so good. I guess it’s only been there for a few weeks which is why it didn’t show on the map. We’re already looking forward to the next one. After we were full with lots of veggies and guacamole we decided we were sick of the highway. We headed back toward Walmart then out of town toward Old Highway 10.
The road ended up turning into a dirt road, which is always awful. This was especially annoying because it was so windy. Every time someone drove by the dust just went right up your nose and stuck to your arms and legs. It was lovely. Then we had to turn south to get to the main road, which meant we were going into to the wind, uphill and on a dirt road… We walked. We’re pretty sure that Mother Nature has it out for us with this wind.
We got on old 10 and had another 25 miles to get to Richardton, which we thought was going to be our destination. My knee continued to hurt, but there were less hills, which helped a lot. The wind got stronger and it wasn’t coming directly at us, but it still sucked. The struggle was very real. After what seemed like forever, we made it to a little town called Taylor. I had to use the bathroom and there was a picnic area not far off the main road. We weren’t planning on stopping long because we werent very far from Richardton. As we sat in the shade under the pavilion a truck driver came to chat with us. We ended up talking to him for at least 30 minutes. It was a good break and we were glad he was there to force us to relax for a bit. We still had biking to do though, so we got back on the road.
There’s this huge church in Richardton that you can see for miles before you get there and we got a bit of a second wind when we saw it. When we got into town though, our excitement quickly faded as we realized there was really nothing in the town and no good park to camp at. There was a recreation area outside of town, but it was going to end up being 4 miles of extra biking. Ethan talked with someone at the bar in town and they said the recreation area was the only place they knew of. Ugh.
We chatted about our options at the “park” across from the bar. We could 1. Stay at the “park” which was actually just a picnic area with no bathrooms 2. Go to the recreation area 3. Keep going to Hebron and camp at the city park (14 miles away). I was hurting pretty bad and really just wanted to stop biking. However, the idea of camping at a picnic area with no bathrooms or running water (not to mention we didn’t know if it was even allowed) didn’t really work for me. I also really didn’t want to bike out of our way. So, we got back on the road and headed to Hebron. As much as it pained me, I knew it was the right choice.
It was tough and I cursed at every hill, but we made it. We found the city park and were about to make dinner when a couple from Switzerland rolled up. Their names were Fritz and Marilese and they were out living their dream of rising acros the US, taking a boat to Hawaii and riding some more, then a boat to Australia and New Zealand and then they weren’t sure. Uhhhh how awesome does that sound?!?!! Other than the long boat rides, I was super jealous. They were really sweet and we chatted with them about the usual things. We tried to convince them to go through Glacier Nat’l Park, but they weren’t excited about going over mountains (I don’t blame them!).
We switched over into Central Time right before Hebron so by the time we were done with dinner it was time for bed. It was a fairly sleepless night unfortunately because we were so close to the train tracks. Oh well. We knew we had a host the next night so we could catch up on sleep then…or so we thought.