Day 79 Passing Storm Damage

Day 79 - Wednesday, July 1st, 2009
- Start: Richey, MT
- ATW: Sidney, MT
- End: Fairview, MT
- Day Miles: 58

We started the day with a wonderful breakfast and then a guided tour of the historical museum. We said “until next time” to a new friend and rode out. The day’s ride was through ever changing countryside and a relatively easy trip. We crested a few long pulls but out the back side was always easier. Then we finally came across our first stretch of flat land since who knows when. Out of a little valley that had surrounded us by miniature peaks we saw the road disappear into the heat haze, yet all around the terrain remained flat. Could it be? Flat land? Yes! We pedaled joyously all the way to Sidney then on to Fairview. Everyone said North Dakota was flat, this must be a preview.

All through Sidney and into Fairview we found wind damage. Trees down, branches ripped off and scattered along the highway, shingles missing and the ever constant whine of chainsaws coupled with burning brush piles. The storm had ripped through there at its worst. 15 miles east of Richey we’d met a lone cyclist coming the other way. He had got to Sidney just before the storm hit. He was also traveling with 1 cubic foot of gear. We marveled at his daring as we cycled away with our 60+ pounds of needs.

In Fairview we spent the night in the town park after a few more of those nice hot free showers at the local pool. We opted to sleep in the huge gazebo instead of on the grass because we were warned that early morning sprinklers might just water us if we weren’t careful. Until 10:00pm young boys lit off firecrackers. At 12:00am a few more boys played basketball under street lights. All night trucks roared by pulling their engine brakes. Wasn’t North Dakota flat? What was the engine brake for?