Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 56, 7/3/10 - Williston to Tioga, ND

Just the Basics: 48 hilly miles from Williston to Tioga, making it 201 for the week,despite our 3 layover days in Williston; we are only 19 miles short of our "ideal" 1600 for the 1st 8 weeks of our trip. Riding conditions varied, but the highs were only in the 70s and we had the wind to our backs for all but about 17 miles. Shoulders were another question but we made it work. Our accommodations tonight are, putting it mildly, Spartan. Bathrooms down the hall . . . . Oil workers and holiday travellers at the only motel; we're in an old hotel near the railroads which is undergoing renovations and is currently in a rooming house phase. Like the the restaurant where we ate and the cafe where we'll have breakfast tomorrow, air conditioning is by fan. Lots of private fireworks going off tonight . . . .

Had a nice roadside picnic lunch and a good bar and grill dinner, and a typical pie and ice cream and coffee stop in Ray, a tiny town about 15 miles from Tioga - had a couple of nice conversations there with a local fellow whose wife is the cook (spoke briefly with her, too) and a contractor from CO who does earth moving and hasn't been a big fan of cyclists in CO but is mellowing on the topic.

Today's Photos: (1) Our humble abode in Tioga; (2) Tioga -Past & Present: A closed grain elevator beside some tank cars for the new wealth - oil; (3) The Rockin' Ribfest last night in Williston - note the temperature sign in the upper righthand corner (101 F) - the picture was taken around 6:30 p.m. and we walked about a mile and a half to and from the Ribfest.

Tomorrow: We will have a shorter day - only about 30 miles and 600 feet of climbing. Mostly OK winds and temperature, etc. We expect to spend the night in the Painted Pony Motel in Stanley.

For Those Who Want More:
Stormy Weather: As you may recall, we've been in the midst of a heat wave - that's why the 3 layover days in Williston. Last night it broke with a boom. We awoke at about 3:30 a.m. to heavy rain, thunder and lightning and a major hailstorm. Apparently Tioga has had similar storms for the past 3 nights and we heard from a father-son team of cyclists that passed us this afternoon that they had also had them 2 nights in a row.

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