Leapfrog #2- Bismarck to Beulah - Undaunted Porridge - CycleBlaze

June 25, 2018

Leapfrog #2- Bismarck to Beulah

This leapfrog statue at Peace Park in Bismarck confirmed our decision
Heart 6 Comment 0

Playing leapfrog on a bike tour is not cheating. It's strategery! 

Our first leapfrog was from Falls City to Omaha due to a dangerous heat wave.

Number 2 was from Bismarck to Beulah, with the purpose of making up time due to the tire replacement snafu. Depending on our route out of Bismarck, we were also able to avoid riding a section of Interstate 94 that has a notoriously wide rumble strip. For those of you who haven't ridden a bicycle over a rumble strip, imagine hanging onto one jack hammer while sitting on another, all while trying to move forward in a straight line.

Update on the tire replacement: it's in Bismarck somewhere, but the kind folks at the central post office were not able to find it. Maybe it's still in a processing facility? After we went to the post office a second time we decided it was no longer worth the time to wait. We went to Larsen's Cyclery and got an all-terrain tire that isn't ideal, but will suffice. Lance, the owner of the bike shop, was great to work with and very helpful.

We are getting to be regulars at moving truck rentals
Heart 3 Comment 2
Dee ForteShe's no Ol' Yeller though!
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2 years ago
Ron SuchanekTo Dee ForteShe's not. Old Yeller was something.
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2 years ago
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In between post office visits, we picked up an 8-foot Uhaul truck - the best deal we found for a 1-way rental. Since we had the luxury of traveling at 50-60mph, we decided to drive the bike route to Beulah on routes 1804 and 200. Seeing the beautiful landscape and excellent road surface with generous shoulders, we wished we'd been able to ride these 82 miles.

On our way, we took a detour to the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site. The 
knowledgeable staff gave us some great information on the history of the Hidatsa villages and the importance of the oral history preserved by Buffalo Bird Woman. We watched a great 15-minute video that featured her story, including how the Hidatsa thrived in their summer and winter earth-lodges on rations of corn, beans, squash, and bison meat. (Oh, I'm getting hungry!)

Heart 3 Comment 0
Ron is thinking of making an offer on the handsome earth-lodge
Heart 6 Comment 1
Li LaThat ‘handsome earth-lodge’ looks like a doppelgänger for a hobbit hole. Is that Ron-wise?
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2 years ago
The earth-lodge was impressive
Heart 2 Comment 2
J. BurgraffThat is just luxury, we both thought about an earth home. I think it's harder to build than it looks, especially with torrential rains before grass and such takes root.
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1 year ago
The Knife river
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Sacagawea and her no account husband Charbonneau were here when Lewis and Clark came through.
Heart 4 Comment 2
Dee Forteomg i love this - so interesting - the earth lodges are amazing - and I love native american history!
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2 years ago
Ron SuchanekTo Dee ForteIt was very cool
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2 years ago
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Afterward one of the park rangers gave us a tour of a reconstructed earth-lodge. It was remarkably cool and quiet and had enough space for a couple of horses, several beds, religious and tribal ceremonies, food storage and children's games. As we're keeping an eye out for ideas for our future home, maybe a modern day earth-lodge is an option?

Relevant to the Lewis & Clark expedition was that Sacagawea was kidnapped by the Hidatsa and was living in one of the Knife River villages when she married trapper, Toussant Charbonneau. Lewis and Clark saw great value in Sacagawea's language skills, so they hired Charbonneau so that he and Sacagawea could both join the expedition.

After our detour, the Grumby Leapfrog Expedition continued to Beaulah City Park where we saw a sign that permits were required for camping. Ron called the Beulah Parks Department and they said we could pick up the permit at the Wellness Center on the north side of town. For a town of 3,000 people Beulah has an impressive state-of-the-art wellness/fitness center. We wondered where the money for such a facility came from, and according to Wikipedia "Beulah is home to the Dakota Gasification Company, and the largest lignite mine in the United States, owned by North American Coal Corporation." What is lignite, you ask? It's a type of coal. 

Hoosier bike travelers taking up the whole damn shelter
Heart 5 Comment 1
Li LaHey that ‘garage sale’ like spread across the shelter table top looks just like one of the Portland homeless villages. Just like home! Stay safe.
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2 years ago
Riverside Park in Beulah, North Dakota
Heart 4 Comment 2
J. BurgraffThe city and county parks are really something. We will take note when we are back on the road sometime. They are beautiful.
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1 year ago
Ron SuchanekTo J. BurgraffYes the vast majority have been excellent, and mostly free.
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1 year ago

Once we had our permit in hand, we dropped off the Uhaul truck, took our bikes out of the back, and rode the 1 mile back to the park to set up camp in the picnic shelter. 

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Comment on this entry Comment 1
Dee ForteWhat a cool town! And hey, leap frogging isn't cheating - most people would probably have quit within the first week - you guys are doing what you wanted to do so - who's to say what the rules are?
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2 years ago