Day 48: Moorhead, Minnesota, near Fargo ND

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I tried to get a photo of my bike with the Fargo police car in the background but just as I clicked the shutter, the silver car pulled in and blocked the view. I thought it would a nice reminder of the movie, FARGO.

Actually, I arrived here yesterday on the invite of a WarmShowers.org host. They were really nice to me, especially since they had a really busy weekend and I arrived with very little notice.

They have three dogs and 5 (?) cats. I made friends with most of the dogs immediately. Two of the dogs, “Kazu,” and “Finnegan,” live for their tennis balls. As for the cats, well, they’re cats, some yes, some no.

I took a zero day so I could get caught up on a few things. Laundry and bike repairs were high on the list. The wonderful folks I stayed with did my laundry and I hung it out to dry.

It was time to replace the tires on the bike. A visit to Great Northern Bicycle Company in Fargo took care of all my needs. They reside in a converted railroad station in the downtown area and have an impressive array of anything a traveling biker might need. I picked up two 700C-38 mm tires and a handlebar mount for my smart phone. That should help when I get into cities and need to find my way around with the GPS. I’ve used it a few times carrying it in my back pocket and I just can’t hear it over traffic. Now I should be able to see and hear it.

The tires still had lots of miles on them but I would have had to replace them before making it to Newburyport, Massachusetts, so this was a good place to do it. My hosts said they get people passing through that will put them to good use, so they didn’t get disposed of. The handlebar needed the tape to be re-wrapped so I did that as well. The brakes needed adjusting and the pads are still in good shape, so I didn’t replace them. I really thought I would have to after all those mountain passes. So far this Cannondale bicycle has needed minimum maintenance.

This afternoon I pursued my other avocation: ham radio. I went across the street from my host’s home and set up at a picnic table in the park and had a very pleasant time on the 20 meter shortwave band using a digital radio mode. I communicated with stations in Michigan, North Carolina, Canada, Montana, Missouri and others.

Tonight my hosts made a spaghetti dinner. I have been lusting after spaghetti and ate until I could hardly move. Thank you Sam!

I’m off to who-knows-where tomorrow, but probably another seventy or so miles. It certainly felt good to rest.

Author: Dennis Blanchard

Dennis Blanchard was born in Bristol, Connecticut. He and his wife Jane moved to New Hampshire in 1980 where he has climbed thirty 4000-foot mountains, biked the trails and enjoyed the wilderness. Never living very far from the Appalachian Trail, Dennis was always aware of the seductive siren’s call to hike it. Dennis is an electronics engineer who has freelanced for amateur radio, technical and motorcycle adventure magazines. He now lives in Sarasota, Florida.

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