Day 14: July 6, 2000
Late to bed, late to rise, makes a man fall behind schedule.
I didn't get on the road until 11:00 AM, and I am very ashamed. This was my latest start of the trip. Once I got rolling, I made good time going across North Dakota on I-94, but there was a lot of wind, and several times it looked like it was going to rain, but I only hit a few sprinkles.
As I was heading west, I noticed a large number of Honda Gold Wings headed east. When I stopped for gas in Jamestown, North Dakota, I talked to a couple on a Gold Wing, and learned that the national rally for the Gold Wing Road Riders Association is being held this week in Billings, Montana. This annual event, call the "Wing Ding", attracts Gold Wing riders from all over the country.
I stopped at the Painted Canyon Overlook at Theodore Roosevelt National Park near Medora, North Dakota and took a couple of pictures of the beautiful scenery.
As I approached the Montana border, the weather really looked threatening, and when I stopped for gas in Beach, North Dakota, I learned that the area was on alert for tornadoes! Fortunately for me, the tornadoes were to the southwest of my route, and as I passed into Montana, I was riding away from the storm. I wanted to make it to Billings, Montana today, but there were no available motel rooms in Billings because of the Wing Ding, so I stopped for the night in Miles City, Montana. Motel 6, of course.
When I turned on the Weather Channel in the motel, they said that all of North Dakota and parts of South Dakota were under tornado watch conditions, and that one tornado had already been spotted. I felt very fortunate to have come through North Dakota when I did, because if I was even a few hours later, I might have hit some terrible conditions.
The next two days will be a lot of freeway riding to make it to Blaine, Washington by Saturday afternoon. I'm going to sleep early tonight so that I can get an early start tomorrow. Good Night.
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© COPYRIGHT 2000, Richard R. Brookes, Peter H. Baumann