Finally in Fargo, ND! Which, if you're keeping track, mean we CROSSED MINNESOTA IN 72 HOURS. Which I'm pretty stoked about. Here's how it happened:
We left the barn in full spirits and with full munitions. Our friends Evan and Wren left behind us, but we had all agreed to meet up in Bowlus at Jordie's Trailside Cafe after about 63 miles to chat about whether we wanted to stay the night there or catch the paved trail and press on another 35 miles. I was leaning towards the more leisurely option, but instead we had one of our fastest mornings ever, despite only an 8am start, and wound up in Bowlus at 1pm. 30 miles by 9am and 60 miles by 1pm are sort of daily goals for us, and to have beaten one so easily really threw us off.
Snacks on the trail
So we shared a meal with Wren and Evan and decided it would be a waste of such a good start to quit so soon. We jumped on the Lake Wobegon trail, our 100 mile bike-highway-piece-of-heaven and cruised through an easy 39 miles! The trail was flat, so scenic, and all ours! Safe from cars, David and I each plugged into some good music and cranked out a 16 mph average for the day - our fastest yet!
We camped that night and slept extremely well after 102 miles.
Rice Krispie Snatching Dog!
The next morning we were excited for another 67 miles of trail. I pushed hard and we got up to an almost 17 mph average. Once more, we had the option to camp there or go another 40 miles to the next campground, and since we had already done 70 miles by 1pm - another new record, we followed Wren and Evan's lead and decided to make it a long day so we'd be set up with an easy 25 miles into Fargo the next morning. We ended the day exhausted and wobbly, but the 107 on our odometer registered as our longest ride ever.
We camped in Barnesville that night and made friends with a wandering stray dog. It felt nice to have a dog hanging out since we miss our dog Latah so much, but when it started to hail I got worried for it. I called the non-emergency police number as I invited to the dog into the vestibule of our tent (the front area you can see in the pic). The woman on the phone was just telling me she would send someone right over when I began screaming inchorently because the dog had just grabbed my rice krispie treat and was bolting down the road. While chasing after it, I assured her I was alright and that I'd hang around to wait for the officer to come. Unfortunately, the rice krispie was gone forever and the cop refused to take the dog in for questioning, so he got off the hook a little too easily.
Our friends, Wren and Evan! They're gonna be famous some day :)
The next morning we did the final 25 miles into North Dakota and we've been hanging out in Fargo ever since. We've gone to 3 different bakeries already, one of which I've noted in my journal as the best pie we've tasted across the country. Mostly, we've been running errands and getting our bike tuned up and ready for another 1,000 miles.
We've loved having Wren and Evan to pedal and camp with, but we're parting ways in Fargo, sadly.
We'd like to thanks David's boss Jim Friar, our high school friend Ryan Hayes, fellow Merrick employee,David Munger and his wife Marta, and David's wonderful Grams, Ruth Smith, for sponsoring the miles that got us here! We're at about 2,000 miles and $2,000 sponsored, so we're still looking for people to help get us home!
Our next mail stop will be Saturday, September 16th at the following address:
David and Leanne Smith
C/O Jordan Nelson
313 S Main St, Apt 332
Moscow, ID 83843