Sunday, April 29, 2012

Everyday for 7 Weeks–Day 1–Minneapolis to Bismarck

Everyday for 7 Weeks Banner

SV Loaded
I finished packing late on Friday and then didn’t sleep well. I was too excited to start the trip early Saturday. I also kept wondering if I had packed everything I needed, and just wanted to start, so I could stop worrying about it. There will be stores to buy what I need if I forgot.

Just as I was about to set out the rain the weather-guessers predicted started. It was mixed with a tiny bit of snow or frozen rain. It made an interesting tapping noise on my helmet. The rain stopped about 30 minutes from my house, and I rode in the cool low 40s for the next few hundred miles.

Just before the North Dakota border it started to rain harder, so I stopped and put on my rain gear. I was getting a bit cold by this point, so I cranked up my Gerbing heated coat. Man I love that thing. Burning hot in an instant! Lovely!

Love the water tower in Freeport, MN. I’ve ridden past it many times, but today was the day to take a photo

Freeport, MN watertower

I stopped several times along the way today to look at the different road side attractions. I kept thinking of FuzzyGalore each time I found a giant animal statue.

This giant prairie chicken outside of Rothsay, MN.

Giant Prairie Chicken in Rothsay, MN

Giant Buffalo in Jamestown, ND.

Giant Buffalo in Jamestown, ND

Giant Sandhill Crane in Steele, ND

 Giant Sandhill Crane in Steele, ND

I stopped to get out of the rain in Fargo/Moorhead area. My wife had packed me a tasty little picnic, but the weather wasn’t cooperating. I pulled into the visitor center and spotted this little buffalo.

Buffalo in Moorhead

Inside they had the woodchipper from the movie Fargo. I think the foot sticking out is a nice touch. They also had the original script and some other movie goodies to look at.

Woodchipper in Fargo Visitor Center

It was nice to get out of the wind. It was blowing 10-20MPH all day. Most of the time it was at my back, but by North Dakota it had switched from ESE/SE to S. It looks like it might switch again to become a headwind for day 2.

Proof there are a few trees in North Dakota. hehe

Proof there are trees in ND

Full Flickr set for the day.

Map for today

View Larger Map

Other Posts in the series:



  1. It is great to see that you are bravely taming all those wild animals! I'm so excited for you to be on the road. Continue to keep your head in it and have FUN!

    1. Thanks Sharon. I will do my best. I think I can see some blue sky now!

  2. Hooray you are under way. And what a great beginning with all that rain. At least you have some great places to stop and take pics along the way.

    Looking forward to the next ride report.

    1. Yes, rain seems to be the thing. Similar to the great river ride two years ago where we got to wear our rain gear almost every day.

  3. That's the plan then - get the rain over with early. That is good for you as you can stay dry, and it is also good for your readers, as we will be spared the image of Chris looking like a cross between the Michelin Man and Ronald MacDonald. Just kidding!

    Top marks for the buffalo, but not so sure about the giant chicken!

    Safe travels.

    1. LOL. I hope that it is the end of the rain, but I suspect not. I'm not nearly as lucky as this Gary France guy who rode six months with barely a drop hitting his head.

      My wife says the rain suit adds 100lbs. hehe

  4. I love the prairie chicken. Don't think I've ever seen a giant statue of one. Giant buffaloes? Yes. Massive sandhill cranes? Well, no. But, I still like the chicken.

    1. Another one for the chicken. lol. We'll have to see if I can find some more giant animals today.

  5. Glad you're safely under way, Chris.

    I know what you mean about getting a rough sleep the night before you head out on the road. Of all the nights when you probably need it most, sleep is not to be had. I bet you slept like a baby that first night on the road though.

    That Buff is AWESOME! I would be lying if I said I wasn't jealous :)

    1. Thanks Rachael. :)

      I can sleep well about half the time before a trip, but this one feels so very different. I still can't believe I am on it yet. The first night on the road? I slept on a couch. the second night on the road I slept awesome. :)

      Another vote for the buffalo. lol.

  6. And what is it with the yellow Michelin man?