Our bartender last night told us that Old Highway 10 was paved from Steele to Bismarck, so we took it. This was perfection, like we are used to. Railroad to our left, Interstate 1-2 miles to our right (but within sight), a nice shoulder, and what little traffic there was was very polite. Most oncoming traffic waves or nods. Once again, a really hard day is followed by a really great day. I hope that continues.
This picture also constitutes the weather report.
Initially there wasn't a shoulder but we were being passed by one car each mile so it didn't matter. Soon we had the shoulder you see here. I took this picture to show the birds flying across the road, but all you can see is dots. Last night I commented about the birds and the wetlands. This is what I was talking about:
This is just along the side of the road.
Virtually all my pictures are taken by me while riding. I'm getting adept at pulling the iPhone from my pocket, pressing the button and swiping the camera on, and then taking the photo, all with one hand. Some day I'm going to hit a pothole while doing this and that will be the end of the phone. Today I was fast enough to get a baby deer that bounded across the road into a cornfield.
Also I got a duck family. They're very shy and generally beat it when we get near. I think baby ducks are so cute.
We only went 45 miles today so it was a very short day. We checked into the hotel here in Bismarck at 1 pm, then we spent the afternoon in the North Dakota Heritage Center. We decided it is easier to bicycle 8 hours, than to tour a museum for 3 hours. We love museums but our lower backs do not. This one emphasized dinosaur fossils in one area, and the 19th century conflict between native Americans and settlers. It had other exhibits as well. As you enter the museum, they had a display on "what is history?" As a history major, I am still mad at William and Mary for not making students confront this question. This museum posted questions on exhibits asking the viewer, for example, what stories the white soldiers told about military actions against Indians, and also, what stories do you think Indian survivors of such massacres (my word) told?
Oops, I forgot to share a couple of pics that I thought were cool:
From the museum, we rode 2 miles to Larson's Cyclery to pump up our tires--it has been 6 days since the last inflation. The owner Lance Larson came out to chat with us and pointed out to me that the wobble in my front tire was not a defective tire, but my wheel being out of true. He then whipped out a spoke wrench and trued up my wheel. I can't believe that I didn't notice this- I mean, I consider myself such a good bike mechanic. I guess I can be oblivious at times. (ya think?)
We ate dinner at a local restaurant Wood House, which is famous for its hamburgers. You seat yourself and order food via a telephone at each table. It's diner food but it was really good. Marie commented that most of the meals we have had "exceeded expectations." As mentioned before, expectations seem to be the main determinant of the quality of your experience.
We have basically mapped out ride the rest of the way to Billings MT. Even built in a few contingencies in case we encounter headwinds and hills.