My Adventures in SaddleSore 2000 Land
7 May, 2004
Great Falls, /\/\onTana!, to St. Cloud, MN

I got all packed the night before, but I slept badly.  I don't know if it was being nervous about finally getting started, or that I was going to start an hour later than planned.  You can see my fancy new two piece adjustable Firecreek Windbender HP windshield.  It performed marvelously!  This would be my first trip in my new Aerostitch Darien riding suit.  It, too, worked increadibly well!  And the Air Hawk seat cushion protected my delicate ferric backside!

After riding 45 miles in the dark, listening to the truckers tell each other (and me) where the deer were, dawn started near Geyser, MT.  From there is was a fast run down to Billings, where I got screwed up for the better part of an hour trying to find a post office or a mail box to drop a letter my wife was sending out for a "secret pal" swap with her scrapbooking group on-line.  Mail boxes are getting hard to find, and the locals I asked weren't much help.  I finally found one, but I was way behind schedule by then. 

This guy follows me almost everywhere I go. 
Good thing he is a friendly sort and waves!

<===A short time before I reached Billings, MT, 
I saw the strangest forest... 

===>I stopped for gas in 
Beach, ND. While it had been a bit 
breezy up until now, it was nothing 
compared to the gale that was blowing 
across North Dakota.  No matter which 
way it was headed, it was wrong 
for the bike.  All I could do was 
hang on tight and keep going.

I took a much needed break from the battering wind in Bismark, ND.  I had a late lunch at McDonalds, and got a nice portarit of me and a few bugs.

Then it was off again!  I think North Dakota is a great place for windmills!  Eventually I finshed with my crossing of the Plains and got into Minnesota about the time it was getting dark.  I was way behind, and only made it to St. Cloud before I called it a day.  I had hope to make Eau Claire, WI, but it was not to be.
998 highway miles, and a high of 33.4 mpg.  The low was 26.3 mpg in the winds of North Dakota.

7 May 04 | 8 May 04 | 9 May 04 | 10-14 May 04 | 14 May 04 pt.2 | 15 May 04 | 16 May 04 | 17 May 04
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