After waking up at 3AM due to a very loud outburst of birdsong, we fell back to sleep and woke up at 5AM with the remains of the night’s rainstorms dripping off the trees onto our tent. We got ready in record time (usually 1 hour and 15 minutes, but just 1 hour and 5 minutes today) and headed out into the foggy morning. Visibility was terrible, but the temperature was nice and cool. As the fog burned off, the sun’s warmth hit us along with a mild headwind. We were finally in the kind of land we assumed the plains would be made up of — flat land in all directions — but with the headwind, the riding was still rather challenging.
About 30 miles into the ride, we reached Fargo, ND, where map 4 ends (Dickinson to Fargo) and map 5 begins (Fargo to Dalbo). Unfortunately, map 4 brought us about 5 miles too far for the starting point of map 5, so we had to backtrack a bit. Fortunately, this meant that we got to see more of Fargo. It’s a nice looking town, with independent shops in the downtown area, including a cool bike shop. We noted that it feels much more midwestern than the towns we’ve been in recently, being flat and having many trees.
We crossed into Minnesota without a sign welcoming us, so we don’t have a picture of our seventh state/province, but we are definitely in Minnesota now. We passed many lakes, and the cashier at a general store called our drink “pop.” Incidentally, that general store in Sabin, MN, was actually a great stop. They have hundreds of varieties of soda, including the usuals, but many more made in the midwest that we had never seen before: butterscotch root beer, pepper soda, blueberry pomegranate soda, ranch dressing soda…. so perhaps not all delicious sounding, but interesting either way. We also had excellent ice cream from the Sabin general store, adding a few more needed calories to our usual lunch of peanut butter-banana sandwiches.
Just before lunch, we had started to drag quite a bit. Along with the food, we also shared a coffee, so we had some more energy for the afternoon ride. We moved along quite quickly despite the headwind, making it to our goal of Pelican Rapids before 5PM. The Pelican Festival is happening this weekend, so we arrived to town in time to see an enormous corn hole tournament. We visited the world’s largest pelican (statue), bought some groceries, and headed to the motel where we are staying — it’s been almost a week since our last hotel stay, and we are eschewing camping for Rachel’s birthday. The Pelican Motel is clean, cheap, and the owner is friendly, though it is next to a turkey processing plant. It doesn’t smell or anything like that, but given our feelings about the meat industry, it’s not our first choice of locations. No matter what, it’s nice to be indoors with the thunderstorms predicted tonight!
today’s distance: 92.5 miles
time in saddle: 8 hrs, 6 min
total distance: 1982 miles