I forgot to eat breakfast before leaving the house so I stopped at a gas station about 27 miles out of Bismarck. As usual, I sat down with the geezers for some good farm oriented conversation. During a lull in a typically animated discussion on combine repairs, I asked if the sunflower looking plants were sunflowers or canola. One of the geezers said “well, it’s pretty simple young man, the sunflower looking plants are sunflowers and the canola looking plants are canola.” I think the food may be better in cafes but the gas station meals are always so educational. So, I pedaled about 50 miles east of Bismarck along I-94- the morning was absolutely still and in the 60’s- ideal riding conditions. The scenery was not spectacular- unless you like corn-but there was a wee bit of variety to it. I stopped in a rest area to get a soda and couldn’t feed my soggy $5 bill into the vending machine. I wear an REI nylon travel wallet around my neck (so I won’t forget it somewhere) and after an hour or so of riding it is drenched in sweat. A maintenance man asked me what the problem was and when I told him he said “heck, I’ll just get you a cold one out of the storage room.” He brought me a cold doctor pepper and wouldn’t take any money for it. I have met so many interesting, kind, generous people already on this trip. After around 80 miles I turned south on highway 30 and pedaled about 15 miles through a very pretty & hilly landscape of mixed farm and ponds/lakes. Then another 7 miles east on highway 46 and I arrived at the “honey hub” in Gackle. The honey hub is an oasis for cyclists. There are two beds inside (I have the place to myself so far), a shower, washer & dryer and WiFi- also lots of room to camp if the beds are occupied. All for free- though he accepts donations. The owners, Jason & Jenny Miller, have an apiary and make and sell honey and many honey products including honey & protein energy bars which are excellent for cycling. There are boxes of their products in the room and if you want some you just leave money in a jar. I’m going to get a couple handfuls of assorted flavors! Today was my first “century ride” and my total miles for the last two days is 185! Daily mileage: 102, trip miles: 1,618.
The scenery leaving Bismarck- the first view is to the south and the second view is to the north- not that it matters, both show highway shoulder and corn:
The honey hub has a board where guests can show where they are from. The first photo is a close up of part of the US map so you can get an idea of how many guests they have had from the US. Apparently I am the first cyclist from Aransas Pass… The second photo is a close up of Europe so you can see how many imternational cyclists have stayed here.