End of stage 5

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! 

8 thoughts on “End of stage 5

  1. keithsmum Jul 14, 2016 / 8:28 pm

    very well done on completing stage 5! another very entertaining post – Fessenden sounded fun. xxx


    • keithd2016 Jul 15, 2016 / 1:21 pm

      Thanks for that – glad you are enjoying the blog.


  2. cuddlingbear Jul 14, 2016 / 9:47 pm

    I can see that you’re getting Americanised – July 14th, 2016 instead of 14 July 2016! I’ll join in by saying that you sure landed on your feet in Fessenden. I got some street views of it including two taken in April 2013 with the winter’s snow still on the ground, obviously not fresh as there was none on the trees. Looking at the map Fargo appears to be on a river that flows out of Lake Winnipeg and goes on to join the Mississippi at Minneapolis. Is that true? Look forward to hearing more. Hope it stays dry and not too hot. Dad


    • keithd2016 Jul 15, 2016 / 1:19 pm

      The date format is down to the blog site settings (theres only an “English (American)” option – it could be this) . I’ll take your word for it about the river. At the moment its significance is that it marks the east border of North Dakota. Weather yesterday was almost perfect for cycling – not too windy, overcast, cool but not cold, and dry! It will get hot at some point – will be interesting to see where and how hot (and humid).


  3. Jordan Jul 14, 2016 / 11:15 pm

    So glad you had a great experience in Fessenden, North Dakota! Saw your bike and later saw a Facebook post from Becky at Motorheads about you stopping in and sharing your story. I will definitely be following along with your journey! Safe travels and I think you will like how flat the northern states are 🙂


    • keithd2016 Jul 15, 2016 / 1:07 pm

      Yes – with the amount of gear on my bike, I’m definitely a fan of the northern states!


  4. Ken Davis Jul 16, 2016 / 5:27 pm

    Firstly, congrats on finishing stage 5.
    Secondly, brilliant article in the local paper.
    Finally, and best of all, your rodeo photo. Genius. And well done on not falling off and dislocating your shoulder!


    • keithd2016 Jul 18, 2016 / 3:00 am

      I thought you might be interested in the video the photo was taken from:



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