North Dakota was incredible. It might even be my favorite state that we’ve traveled through so far… (sorry Wisconsin). On June 3rd, we stayed at the Evangelical Church in the town of Beach, about four miles past the Montana/North Dakota border. You may have noticed a bag of chips and salsa that made its way into Elijah’s hands for one of our classic state sign pictures, earlier in the day I bought the bag with clear instructions to the guys to save them “for the right time.” When we stopped for the picture, it was clear there would be no better way to celebrate our exodus from the land of headwinds and endless rolling hills known as Eastern Montana, then with a celebratory bag of good tortilla chips and salsa. That night we decided to drive back just a few miles to check out the Shamrock for dinner in Wibaux, MT. As a surprise to us, we ended up meeting the former mayor of the town! He was a crackup, in less than ten minutes he had all of us practically rolling on the floor with laughter.
Across half of Washington, Idaho, Montana and the first part of North Dakota Aaron’s phone suffered a condition known as “no cell service.” When we crossed into North Dakota and Sprint decided to start working again, he responded with shouts of joy from the passenger seat, which may have caused a few startled swerves from me as I was driving at the time. Mom, I’m a safe driver I promise.
We spend the 4th of June in Dickinson and were lucky enough to get free hotel rooms donated to us by the Motel 6. We love meeting new families, staying at local churches and sharing about the cause, but every once in awhile it’s hard to beat the comfort of a warm hotel bed after another long day on the road. The following day we rode to Bismarck and honestly, it felt so good to see traffic again. Bismarck is a beautiful city. We spent the day relaxing, exploring, and drinking good coffee. In the morning we stopped by Epic Cycle and Sport (soon to be 701 Cycle and Sport) for tune-ups and a serious lesson from Jairo, by far the best mechanic I have ever met. Jairo went above and beyond, pointing out components I’d never heard of, teaching the riders and us drivers how to better maintain the bikes. I will say the highlight of my day was our trip to the local thrift shop, which allowed me to acquire the coolest teal and tan bomber jacket that has ever made it to the clearance section of a North Dakota thrift shop. I don’t believe in love at first sight, I used to think love is something that comes through time and trials, but when I saw that jacket it made me rethink my philosophy of love.
After a short day in Bismarck we were off to Jamestown where we stayed at the Gladstone Inn and Suites, right off the downtown strip! If you are ever in North Dakota and have a desire to meet genuinely nice people, the staff at the Gladstone will not disappoint. From Jamestown we ended in Fargo on the 8th. Fargo certainly surprised all of us. We spent a rest day exploring the city, talking to local bike shops and recharging after a long week on the road.
I write this while sitting at an auto shop in Madison, Wisconsin. As I listen to the current thunderstorm of Biblical proportions, it makes me laugh to think back on the stories, the endless miles, and the warm weather that made up our time in North Dakota. Our 4th state in just three weeks, its crazy to think how far we’ve come.