Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 31 Wednesday 8/5/09 Williston to Stanley, ND

Day 31
Wednesday 8/5/09
Williston to Stanley, ND
73 Miles
1336 total miles

I was very grateful to have a reservation at a motel in Williston as I felt rotten all day as I rode and couldn't eat much at all due to my sick stomach. Jen at the King's Inn in Culbertson let me know that Williston rooms are hard to come by-- the area's economy is booming right now, with oil wells being sunk all over the basin north of Williston, road construction and other projects going on in the area. By the time I got to Williston, I was really beat, felt very weak and exhausted. My sleep was deep, long and unmemorable and I woke up 10 hours later, soaked in sweat, but the chills and fever of the night before were gone, much to my gratitude. I also made a stop in Williston at a cache drop-off , where a host, Phil Huck, left me a care package of homemade granola, soup mix and Congo bars! I very much look forward to having some of these good things while on the road, and already broke into the Congo bars! Thanks for the good thought, Phil, I really appreciate it! The ride out of Williston on Rt. 2 bears due north for a full 12 miles before turning east again. It feels difficult to not be making any eastward progress, especially into a headwind. Otherwise riding conditions today were great-- high scattered clouds, temps in the mid to high 60's and the winds finally turned in my favor about half way through the day. The roads are on average, much safer than those in Montana, as US 2 here is a recently built divided 4 lane highway with a paved shoulder which for many stretches has a full width breakdown lane, complete with a protective rumble strip near the white line. The country here is rolling gradual long ups and downs and much greener than I thought it would be-- and was later told by a local, that this year is unusual after much rain in the area. The farms here seem tidier, more well kept, and the roadsides don't appear to have as much junk and litter next to them. Overall a better aesthetic than much of the blight present in many eastern Montana towns. Made it to Stanley later in the afternoon and found the local municipal campground-- the tent site is apart from the RV camping, in a lot next to the Mountrail County courthouse. Very easy accommodations and showers are available across the street at the RV campsite. $6 a night for the tent site! The food across the street at the Two-Way Steakhouse,was unremarkable, with the mushiest rotten baked potato, slimy fried Walleye, and the waitress was surly-- she seemed like she was being put upon and slapped the dishes on the table, then left without ever chekcing in again. When I had to get up to tell her about the disgusting potato and request an alternative, she rolled her eyes! Some lessons in customer service are due in Stanley. Aftewards at the bar, I had a conversation with one of the workers who is camping at the site here. He confirmed that things are really booming here and that help is hard to come by in Minot, Bismarck and surrounding towns. Stanley is at the center of much of this activity with the oil drilling and lots of people are working 12 and 13 hour days just keeping up.

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