Day 16: June 29: Devils Lake to New Salem ND: 1 mile

Sorry for the delayed post. It has been a rough couple days. As you know, we headed for Devils Lake because it was a larger town with more services if we were to need any additional options for dealing with the flooding.

We woke up in Devils lake after Roger and I speant another long night trying to find a route accross North Dakota. After several calls to the DOT, crossing options off on a state map, there was only 1 remaining road open to the south. Nothing to the North. Only the Interstate to the West. We needed to get South, and on the interstate. The news and DOT revealed that conditions were getting worse, and more towns were being evacuated. Several towns were cut in half, some areas with no reliable roads at all.

The decision was made to evacuate ASAP, or risk being stranded and having to wait out the flooding. We called around for a few hours, trying to find options. We were able to get the last rental vehicle in town. Our only other option still on the table was to buy a truck from a local dealer (they were working on finding us something used) or hiring one of the dealers who would drive us with 2 drivers and 2 giant SUVs. The rental truck was the cheapest, fastest, and most flexible option. The limiting factor was then finding a place to drop it off that was acceptable to us and them.

Any road still open look like this.....but they are usually dirt roads so they are muddy and dangrous. If they are paved or blacktop, the subsurface is unstable and the big trucks have busted it all up. The roaads in half of this state all will need repair.

We split town. We needed to get past the flooding, close to the route, and at a viable dropoff location. We settled on Glendive Montana. This is a little more than 100 miles off route, but shaves a couple hundred off the route as well. We will miss seeing the last part of North Dakota, but none of us wanted to be stranded there.

The group was disappointed to be using a truck, but it was our only way to stay safe and continue biking. We did get to bike 1 mile to the rental place however! This was going to be a big day for us. The intended route was due West, on a great road, with a 25mph tail wind. We had hopes of doing well over 100 miles for the first time in the trip. Darn!!!!! We were all quite frustrated. This was going to be a biking oppertunity of a lifetime!

As it turns out, even the interstate is in rough shape. The only thing stopping I94 from flooding is the temporary dikes setup in places. They are inflated with water....kinda neat, but a car hitting it would shut down the Interstate and the only route we have. Even some exits were closed due to water over them. Some areas were 25mph because of water on the road.

There is water everywhere, either over the road or very close.

We are still finding things that remind us of Chuck though!

We stopped for the night at a hotel in New Salem ND. We will drop ourselves off in the morning in Glendive MT, and hit the road for Circle MT. That is the plan anyway. Hopefully we can be back on route making progress in a couple days.

Sorry for the late and short post. I will try to get caught up on blog entries tomorrow if possible. We are safe, and have 100 miles to get back on route. Being off route is always tough because our cycling guide is our lifeline in many, lodging, road conditions, mileage, traffic.

Gatta get some sleep. I am still a bit under the weather, and Laura says I need to try and sleep more. Better listen....she is doing great though. She leads the group almost every mile, against whatever hills and wind the planet throws at us. Really amazing. The rest of us just hide behind her.

Wow, a whole post without pictures of Roger eating something healthy. Imagine that.

1 mile (756 total)