Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Jamestown, North Dakota

Today, the fourth day of my trip, has been a real grind fighting a vicious headwind out of the northwest, the direction, of course, that I am trying to go. 25-30 mph winds, with whitecaps on the duck ponds, waves of green through the corn and wheat, and swaying trees, kept my forward progress to about 6 mph including frequent breaks to rest my knees. I may call it a day here in Jamestown with only 60 miles done, as Hwy. 52 NW from here will only be worse.

Bicycle touring has its highs and lows, with the highs higher and the lows lower than most other activities. The wind has always been the arch-enemy of the bicyclist; hills always have a top with a ride down, and the rain can be dealt with using good gear. The low points of a day of struggling like today can be briefly forgotten by looking for interesting photos, or by sitting in a small town cafe listening to the farmers talk about the rain. I had the Sunday all-you-can-eat Swedish buffet in Milan, MN, and enjoyed the climb and descent through the rolling terrain of South Dakota's glacial hills west of Sisseton.

The first three days also had headwinds, along with heat, but I was averaging 113 miles a day until today. But tomorrow will bring a new day and each day is a fresh start. From Jamestown, the roads all steadily head northwest and I am looking forward to reaching Canada and the gradual end of the prairies and the midwestern heat. More soon. Regards to all, the thoughts and messages from family and friends keep me going!

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