Thursday, July 29, 2010

Riding the Plains, Small Towns / Big Sky

Small towns have become tiny towns in North Dakota, huge farms of 12,000 acres have replaced 1,000 acre farms. The populations that remain support maybe one small business per town. However there is always a city park where we find a great place to tent for the night.

Align Center

Who is this bright creature? Markos, Sampson and Tarn went on to find many more at our roadside break stop.

Markos, Sampson and Tarn try on leathers and Harleys for size. They decided to give these rides back to Kojo, Marty and Jill, our Minneapolis friends who joined us in Fargo, North Dakota to help celebrate Tanya's 41st birthday.

Fargo - the biggest city we'd see in a while!

Giant combines and barns of past times. The story of farming in North Dakota.

Markos journal:
July 18 - Today we had eggs for breakfast. After breakfast Dad and Mom packed up the bikes so we could ride. Right now Dad is chopping the onion and mom is washing the broccoli for dinner. Before dinner we found some frogs jumping and we caught some of them and we put them in the water and they swam away. We are camped out at a city park and Dad is helping Tarn with his ABC's and Mom is writing our math pages for the bike.
July 28 - Today I wore a long sleeve t-shirt. For breakfast we had eggs and bacon. After breakfast we packed up and got on the bikes and rode off. In a hour we stopped to have a break and we had snack bars, I had a Clif Bar. After that we got on the bikes and rode for another hour... Today our stats were: Fastest Speed - 32 mph. Average was 10.2 mph. Distance was 4o mph, On-The-Bike time was 4 hours and 10 minutes. Dad made lentils and pork. We camped by the Missouri River. The mosquitoes were bad. I was hot today.

Sampson's journal:
July 25th - Today I woke up and I got out and Dad started making egg sandwiches for breakfast. We camped at the city park of Carrington. In the city park there is a pool but we only got to be in for five minutes so we just took a dip. Right now Markos and I are doing our journals and Dad is making dinner and Tarn and Mom are reading. Today we buried Tarn in the hay at one of the breaks. We are camped right by a big baseball diamond and practice pitching net. We went 50 miles today and we had side wind. We are having pasta with sauce and meatballs for dinner. We went off route today because the Adventure Cycling route goes on Highway 2.

July 26th - Today we woke up and I went outside and Dad had make hot chocolate for breakfast with grits. After breakfast we did school and then Dad called about Argo (our cat) because she is living at my friend's house. They have three cats and a dog (which is not what she was used to.) So they let her out and one day she went away and she has been gone for eight weeks but we know that she is not at the pound. We called the pound and she wasn't there so she is walking somewhere around our house and Henri's house. We camped at the city park of Bowdon. Today we had a side wind all day and we only went 30 miles.

We're scouring the maps and planning our route. Choosing the quietest and most scenic roads means we aren't bee lining it back to Calgary. We predict we'll ride into town in the last week of August. May the wind be at our back at least some of the time!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cabin Living and Canoe Trips

One, two, three, go! This time by canoe. Our seven day canoe trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of northern Minnesota was outstanding. After being on the road for almost a year now, we've never had such easy packing and travel on a canoe trip - these guys truck over the portages and are ready for more!

Big sky and towering clouds, the ample rain and sun in the canoe country has brought the blueberries out early - unbelievably we got to pick a quart of blueberries and enjoy a pie before we left our three week stay at Grandpa Dan's cabin on July 6.

This one is for you, Dad, the true mushroomer.

Father's Day banana cake - we came the the cabin prepared to bake and grill and cook and relax. We love "playing house". The refrigerator is a cherished appliance when you are accustomed to travel on the road!

Markos' Journal
June 24
Today we had yogurt and granola for breakfast and Dad had granola and milk for breakfast. After breakfast Sampson and I went fishing in the canoe and Sampson caught a Northern so we paddled back to the dock and we put it on the stringer so it wouldn't get away. Then we fished off the dock and we saw a Bass but we didn't catch it. Then we filleted the Northern to have for lunch. Then we went up to the cabin to cook the fish for lunch. It was good. Sampson caught the Northern.
July 7
Today we had cold cereal for breakfast. After breakfast we played some games. Before Mom and Dad were awake Sampson and I played Monopoly. It was fun. Right now we are at the library and I am writing my journal and Sampson is reading books. Dad is at a meeting on the phone for the a Two Wheel View bike trip. I have a half a page more to write. This morning we were at Tanner and Wyatt's house. Then they left to go to camp and their mom went to work.

Sampson's Journal
June 23 Today I drew the Dome of the Rock, a log cabin, a castle and a zombie. Right now Markos is reading and Mom and Dad are down on the dock and Tarn is having quiet time and I am doing my journal. Today Mom baked some honey bread and we packed for the canoe trip. Markos and Dad went fishing today and Markos caught a Northern that he filleted and we had it for lunch. A minute ago Mom got the bread out of the oven and they were huge. We are going to go swimming this afternoon. Today I played UNO with Markos and Markos played Cribbage with Mom. Last night we scrubbed the canoe in the water and now it's all shiny and clean. Dad went swimming at quiet time because he ran into a bush with lots of ticks and he had them all over his body. After the canoe trip we are going to see Uncle Parnell and Aunt Becky and Grandpa Dan and Grandma Ann.
July 5 Today we woke up and we read and played Monopoly 'til Grandpa Dan and Grandma Ann woke up at eight o'clock. Later Uncle Parnell and Aunt Becky and Eden woke up and we had steel cut oats for breakfast. After breakfast I drew some air planes and then we went swimming. Uncle Parnell and Aunt Becky and Eden all took a soapy before they left. After they left we dug out some"Blue Clay" (from under the water near the dock) that we sculpted into shapes so it could dry. I made Fluffy (my stuffed animal) a big ball to write Fluffy on and a big ball and a medium ball and a small ball. Later we went up and Markos and I played Monopoly and I won because he landed on Pennsylvania Avenue and it had four houses on it. After that we had jam and cheese for lunch. After lunch I went to the screen house and I played Monopoly by myself and then I went back to the cabin and I did my journal. Tomorrow we are going and we will drive back to Minneapolis. Last night Uncle Parnell gave us some little fire crackers and a big long sparkler and a small bomb that made different colors of smoke.

Our Minnesota vacation is winding down, one week left for a family reunion at our great grandparent's cabin in northwestern Iowa. By next Friday we'll be back on the bikes and heading west, the 1500 mile final stretch to Calgary.