Chrome's Ride to Th' Ride - Tuesday July 31st

Another glorious day in the constant search for Ride Nirvana. I did get a somewhat late start out of Madison WI, due to the fact I made the mistake of taking a couple of large gulps last night out of a bottle of Pepsi. The caffeine really did a number on me, and I was awake until the crashing thunderstorms subsided around 2 a.m. 

I rolled out around 8:45, intending to make Minot ND, at 725 miles or so. Well, I got half that goal - 764.4 miles for the day, but I only made it to Rugby ND, 60 miles shy of Minot. Not sure how I misjudged the distance on my mapping, but all is well. 

I probably could have made it to Minot, except for the time I spent parked on the white line on Hwy 2, chatting with the nice officer from the ND State Police... more on that in a moment. 

Wisconsin is really quite pretty in the morning light. I took I-94 to Eau Claire, then jumped on Hwy 53 north towards Duluth MN. On my first cross-country ride with Matt years ago, we took Hwy 2 across to Seattle, and I'm sort of recreating that ride a little bit. I picked up Hwy 2 south of Duluth and turned west rather than take a dip into Lake Superior. 

I had my first (for this trip) "Dances with Deer" moment at noon, as Bambi tried to follow his mother across the road in front of me. I saw my first eagle on this trip around 3 pm, and another shortly thereafter. Good, good day. 

Just in case anyone was wondering, Wisconsin wins the prize for the most dead skunks per square mile, and Minnesota wins the prize for the most antique farm equipment on display per square mile. 

North Dakota has some really cool abandoned homes sitting right along the highway, some really quaint motels in the middle of nowhere, and some really nice state police officers. 

In 2002 or 2003, I got my (up till then) one and only speeding ticket on the bike coming out of DeSmet, SD. I now have a matching one from SD's sister state, ND. 

While Officer Bauske may (or may not) have a theoretical "grace number" of MPH over the limit, I was doubling that hypothetical number, and he got no argument from me. A well-deserved ticket, and one for which I'll gladly pay the fine (because as nice as he was, I'm just *really* happy he didn't catch me on the *other* side of Devil's Lake!). I will, however, get the cruise control module fixed posthaste, so I can set it and forget it at a reasonable speed!

I do hope he and his child enjoy the bonding that can only come with well-played kazoos, and many thanks to him for allowing me to take this photo!

I'm in at the Oakwood Inn in Rugby, and happy to have a room at all, considering there's a huge oil boom going on west of here. Rooms are scarce as people travel from all over to fill the jobs (and the hotel rooms!). I didn't take that into account when planning the route, but all is well.

All, in fact, is great.

-=Chrome=-

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