Yesterday I passed through the tiny village of Balfour, and so completed Stage 5 of the trip. Celebrating this in a rodeo style:
(Fortunately I managed this stunt without breaking me or the statue -or getting caught!)
My last post was sent from the Bowbells Hotel – thanks to Theresa for accepting a late guest (i hadn’t realised that North Dakota was an hour ahead of Saskatchewan) at her newly renovated hotel . I was lucky not only in that the hotel was open (it opened last week!), but the next night they were fully booked!
Yesterday was damp, but I had a great tail wind. As well as Balfour, i passed through the amusingly named Anamoose. It was good to see that the locals shared my sense of humour with this sign:
The moose theme continued later with some very nice dark beer:
The village of Harvey, however, were perhaps just getting a bit too carried away
“Not Just A Place . . . It’s An Experience!”. The true experience was to be had in Fessenden. It was after 6 in the evening and the rain wasn’t showing any sign of easing off – so time for dinner. I stopped at the Motorheads bar, wondering if this was the right place for a cyclist. I pulled on some trousers – you have to be pretty sure about a bar before walking in “with out any pants on” (ie just in a tshirt and a pair of lycra cycling shorts). But not only was the food great (and it was a buffet – perfect for a hungry cyclist) and the beer tasty, but the locals on both sides of the bar were very welcoming to a stranger from out of town. Danny was great – he had the sense to leave me to finish my meal (cyclists are a bit like bears in this respect – don’t get between them and their food!) and was happy for me to join him at the bar. Amy was also there, and she tipped off Anne from the Herald Press and I had my first face to face press interview! Norman joined us later – a former farmer – real North Dakota cowboy!
He very kindly offered a place to stay – the cabin in his yard that was hand built in a 19th century style by his father-in-law:
I now know how Americans feel when they visit Scotland and see a man in a kilt, then stay overnight in a castle!
The stay was rounded of with some very sticky cake at the Main St Diner. A big thanks to everyone in Fessenden for being so welcoming!