Short day today, but so beautiful. We woke up to an actually cold morning. I intentionally left off my jacket because being cold felt so good compared to the heat. We got packed up in record time, we were both anxious to wrap up the day early. The plan was to do a short day to Farmington and have a semi rest day there in an indoor hostel, to recuperate from Missouri.
We rolled out around 7:30, to a beautiful morning in the campground
We rode back to the route and kept going, paralleling the East Fork of the Black River. We didn’t get many views of the river itself, but the trees were thick and the hills on either side respectable.
Despite the hills surrounding us there wasn’t too much climbing. There was more traffic than I’d hoped, but it wasn’t too bad. We were approaching major cities and started to see some infrastructure
After 1.5-2 hours we reached a split, where Google Maps took us one way and the route took us another. The Google Maps route was shorter, and Nick wanted to take it, while I wanted to stay on the route. We decided to split up and meet up back in Farmington.
I took a left and rode mostly back farm roads while Nick took a more direct but more trafficy state route. He’d report later that it wasn’t any worse than some of the roads we’d already ridden. My route was basically deserted, and beautiful. At first I went through flat farmland before coming into the South of Bismarck through hilly forested terrain. The dogs here were angry at me for passing by their homes, but they didn’t really chase, just bark. A church had a joke on their sign: Soul Food Served Here. The trees formed natural tunnels that I’m not used to, but loved
I got lost for a bit through town due to poor signage, but emerged out the East side of town on another back road. I hadn’t been going long when I came around a corner and saw a small pond in the middle of a wide open field, with forest in the background and surrounded by flowers (I didn’t get the lake)
As I rode past it this hill rose up the distance
This was super long but not too steep (definitely steeper than the photo makes it seem that’s for sure). I came over the top and had a several mile descent down through the trees. Of course there was a bit more climbing every now and then, but nothing as steep
The descents were very steep and fast, but super fun. I turned onto a state road briefly before getting off and riding through the edge of a state park. There were continuous rolling hills here that tested my resolve (I was very ready to be finished), but I soon turned onto the main road in Farmington. Nick had already arrived at the hostel and let me know the code. I went in and it’s amazing, truly a respite from the difficult last few days
It’s called Al’s Place, after an avid local cyclist who passed away. They host probably hundreds of riders a year. It’s only $20 a night, which I was happy to pay. There’s laundry and showers and comfy beds, basically everything I could hope for. We went out to get some lunch (pizza at No 102 Tap House) and it was good, but I ordered way too much. They had amazing raspberry lemonade. I went back to the hostel and fell asleep for a good couple hours. Nick went and did chores in this time. When I woke up I started laundry and went to refill on food from Walmart. They had Shin Black Ramen, the tastiest ramen you can get so I loaded up on that. After that I sat around for a while watching TV while Nick chatted with friends. It was a relaxing evening and may be our last together, we may split up tomorrow, though I’m not sure, we’ll see.
I’m gonna get some sleep, night!
- Yoohoo chocolate milk
- Clif bar
- General Tsos Pizza
- Hummus and Pita
- Artichoke Dip
- Buffalo Cauliflower