Day 2: Our second attempt to get to Minot, just 24 hours behind schedule.
We got up at 6:30am so we could get a good start on the day. The night was super short, just 4 hours of sleep, but we had a full day of riding ahead and after yesterday’s unpleasant experience, we decided it was best to ride in the daylight.
It was hot. So, so, so, hot. When the air temp is nearly 100’F and when we are sitting on a hot bike just a few feet above the black pavement, it feels like the temp is something closer to 120′. By lunch I was seriously thinking I might have a heat stroke. We grabbed a quick lunch after standing in line behind a baseball team forever, I drank about 5 large glasses of water, & we headed back out. The day involved a few longer stops than normal due to the heat. Thankfully the bikes did well.
I am not terribly happy on the Lightening. My riding gear is tight on my legs due to the cramped up riding position. Did I mention it was HOT? Sweaty, sticky, tight gear, cramped up on a small bike. I love our bike vacations, but this is not the same experience I have had on our last trips while riding my Uly. I would really like to ride Shawn’s bike for a while, but I can’t touch & it is loaded down with gear so I haven’t been brave enough to try it. Pressing onward for a few more miles. This bike only goes about 130 miles on a tank, so we are stopping way more often than we normally would for gas. In case I wasn’t clear, I am not enjoying this bike.
There isn’t a lot to see or do in Iowa. We did enjoy South Dakota, and the southern part of North Dakota. There are so many large lakes, pools of water, and beautiful ducks & birds! Sadly, one met it’s demise when it crashed into Shawn’s knee.
I really want to visit all 50 states & ND was #49! The last one is Maine and I hope to get there later this year. Bonus – tomorrow we will ride through Saskatchewan & we have never been there!
North Dakota was surprisingly beautiful. I enjoyed the rolling hills and the massive lightening storm that entertained us for the last 2 hours of our ride in. Although we did get wet, overall our timing was excellent. Two storm cells moved through back to back & we snuck right up the middle. We have some great pictures & video of the lightening show that took place North, East & West of us!
About 40 miles south of Minot, in the rain we started seeing little pale blobs all over the road. Quickly we realized there were hundreds of frogs on the highway. They were everywhere! Some were already smashed, some were hopping in the rain on the warm pavement. It was the strangest thing! I looked through my Virb pictures, but I don’t have any good lightening shots & frogs didn’t show up. Bummer. I’ll upload some videos when I get better connectivity.
We arrived well after midnight to the Hyatt House in Minot. We are not making good time. The day was a lot slower due to our longer stops to recover from the heat. When we pulled in, there were people leaving a wedding reception. I was wearing my full riding gear, a liner of heated gear, with rain gear over the top. I looked like a drowned, gray, Michelin Man. It was also cold. When the temp drops into the low 50’s on a wet ride, it gets pretty chilly!
I walked through the first set of doors into the hotel lobby & the group of girls waiting for a cab were in the entry. I smiled & said “Not the best night for a ride”. The tallest girl, visibly freezing in a strapless dress, was the only one to respond. “At least you’re rocking the outfit”. As Shawn entered, he offered to give her a ride home on the bike, in the rain, for 1/2 the price of her cab. She declined! LOL!
We are officially a day behind. We lost a night at a pre-paid hotel tonight in Banff, but thankfully Rob & Staci were able to check us in so we will still have a place to stay tomorrow. They are camping in Banff & this gave them a place to shower & work with wifi for a few hours. I hear the room is terrible. I can hardly wait. Thank you Hotwire.
We had 2 activities planned for Sunday & Monday in Banff. We were looking forward to an 7 hour horseback ride out of Lake Louise, and a mountaineering adventure at Via Ferrata. Both companies were kind enough to push our reservations back a day. Whew!
Tomorrow, the goal is to get to Banff. It doesn’t look like we will roast again, so that should be nice! Also, we should get about 6 hours of sleep tonight which will be a record for this trip.
We settle into the hotel & Shawn wants to know when we are going to start our “vacation”. We are about 1,260 miles into our first leg of the trip which should have been 850 miles long. In the words of Staci – “this was NOT on the agenda!”. Tomorrow will be better.
Remembering our vacation rules:
#1. Everyone has fun
#2 No one gets in trouble