Day 34 - Merriman to Valentine - C2C - from Westport, Washington to Sandy Hook, New Jersey - CycleBlaze

July 6, 2016

Day 34 - Merriman to Valentine

Slept like a baby in the little Merriman town park - After the storm everything was glistening.

On the Road Early
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Got on the road at sunrise and didn't see the sun again for a while. Fog, mist, which made for a chiaroscuro ride through the Sandhills. Not traffic - all I could hear was birdsong.

Empty Road with a Surreal Fog Blanketing the Sandhills
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More Sandhills Riding
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At little Cody - pop 125 - they reopened the town store after not having one for 10 years. High school kids built a straw bale building at the highway junction using rural development grant money. High school students get business class credits for running the store. And they can buy wholesale if they drive to Valentine to pick up the weekly order. A store in a town is much, much more than just groceries. (Hadli - in the photo - was working today.)

C Market in Cody - Student Constructed and Operated (photo - http://netnebraska.org/article/news/1007576/circle-c-tiny-cody-calls-itself-more-store-and-heres-why)
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My how things change.

The wind came up - - and up - - and up. And you notice a headwind more than a tailwind, no?

Chillin' in Nenzel
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What I though was going to be an easy dash into Valentine turned into a brutal slog. You can never beat the wind - it will only beat you. So I stopped frequently to rest - first at the little park in Nenzel, no store, but a coke machine by the empty building - next at Kilgore, where I got a big Pepsi at the bar - then at Crookston, where there was nothing but a shade tree in front of the post office.

Only 1000 Miles on the Conti Touring - Meh!
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Wrong Way Wind
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Finally, I worked up the nerve to push the last 11 miles into Valentine. I went first to the library, then had to find a place to eat where my bike and I could stay dry when the storm came in. And it was a doozie. After the storm, I went up to the city park on Minnecheduza Creek - lovely setting, but everything told me to think otherwise. No campers, just cruisers - sex, drugs, whatever. So I went back into town and paid $18 to set up a tent in an RV park next to the feedlot. Ahhhhhhhhhh!

Finally Getting to Valentine
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Today's ride: 62 miles (100 km)
Total: 1,673 miles (2,692 km)

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