For more detailed maps, scroll down through the blog. Click on any one to enlarge it; use the backspace button to return to the blog. That goes for the photos, too.
Day 48: Saturday, 18th August. Destination: Sunset Motel, New Town, North Dakota
The day started with a straight 17 miles along Federal Route 83 into a headwind, the dull monotony of the wide road and the passing trucks adding to my treasured memories of Minot. Turning off onto a familiar two-lane country road came as a relief, adding to which the remaining 56 miles of the day were a straight line heading due west – with a tailwind. Nothing much to look at, excepting short-cropped fields of yellow grass. Lunch was to be at a little town 1 mile off-route called Makoti but a sign at the junction informed me it was closed on Saturday. Closed? On Saturday? So, lunch was provided by the gas station, which served microwave egg muffins and soda.
New Town was a dusty place with little in the way of charm. Low, shop-front buildings with a road running through it – that’s about your lot. The owner of my motel said that things were looking up for New Town, as oil prices have brought a renewed interest in the reserves in these parts. Arrived early in the afternoon, but the library was shut (being the weekend) so I had nothing to do but wander up and then back down the main street. New Town is located close to (but not on) the banks of Lake Sakakawea - a name that meant nothing to me but is beginning to take on a resonance as the Lewis & Clark trail beckons.
I've updated my blog. There are 3 reasons why: 1) so it reads from start to finish rather than the other way round; 2) so I can include some episodes that never made it to the original; and 3) to add some photos. A consequence of this is that the blog archive below reads as if all blogs were produced in June 2010. It's just the way Blogger works. The original dates are incorporated in the individual blog titles.
If you want to use the tags at the bottom of each blog, remember to click 'Older Post' when you want to go to the next, newer, one.
The detailed maps also work as chapter headings: they correspond to each of the 12 cycle maps I needed to get from coast to coast.
This Summer, I'm cycling across North America from Bar Harbor, Maine to Florence, Oregon. 4,300 miles, give or take a few. The first three weeks of my trip I'll be accompanied by my friends Edward & Ewa, and the rest will be solo. None of us are fitness freaks, but we do like the outdoors and looking at nice views. We've been in training since last November, and hopefully will be in reasonable shape come our start date, July 2nd.
I'm doing it simply for the adventure, but if you're interested, I'm also going to be raising money for the charity Architects For Aid. They do great work, and you can find out more about them by clicking the link at the top of this page. There's a link to my sponsorship page below.
I'll be updating this weblog regularly, so come back soon, John.
My Favourites List
TV Commercial: "Obsessing over celebrity is wrong..." Yup, the prize for best TV ad - and this will come as no surprise to Edward & Ewa - goes to Wendy's Baconator. Watch it here, if you dare (click on the black & white image of a guy screaming...)
Breakfast: Again, no surprises for E&E - a tie between oatmeal with raisins, brown sugar & maple syrup, and two eggs (scrambled) with hashbrowns and white toast.
State: Tough call, but the M's have it, in a tie between Minnesota and Montana.
The Internal Jukebox
I decided not to take my MP3 Player with me. Too heavy, and I wanted to listen to crickets and birds. But nature abhors a vaccuum so during this trip, from time to time, I've found myself singing or humming an assortment of tunes. In a roughly chronological order, here's the ones I remember:
Heard It On The X - ZZ Top
Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Acony Bell - Gillian Welch
11:11 - Rufus Wainwright
I Saw Her Standing There - The Beatles
The Carpet Crawl - Genesis
Don't Bring Me Down - ELO
You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go - Bob Dylan
That Kind Of Love - Alison Krauss
Fun For Me - Moloko
Work It - Missy Elliott
Mississippi Delta - Bobby Gentry
Where The Lazy River Goes By - Teddy Wilson
I'm Gonna Love You Too - Blondie
Tie A Yellow Ribbon - Tony & Dawn
Big Sky - Kate Bush
Walking On The Moon - The Police
Old MacDonald Had A Creek / The Hokey Cokey (Medley)
Everyday America - Sugarland
Walk This Way - Aerosmith
The Gambler - Kenny Rogers
The End - The Beatles
I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself - White Stripes
and , of course,
(I've Got A) Sore Butt (& My Butt Is Sore)