Alaska 2023

Day 02

July 9

  Randy's is not open early enough for breakfast this morning so I get BlueBelle prepped for an early departure.  
  As I hit the road the sun is just coming up and I once again wonder how many sunrises I have seen from the seat of a motorcycle over 50 years of riding on two wheels..  
  The coolness feels good this morning after escaping the heat of the Holler yesterday. The fog lays on the ground like an old handmade quilt on a feather bed.  
  As I make my way across Wisconsin, I can see this is serious farmland not just a city dude's hobby for a potential tax break.  
  And they appear to be individual farms ...  
  instead of some giant corporate entity.  
  As I near the Twin Cities and the state line, I pass by one of the marinas that lies just off the interstate.  
  Back when I was taking shots of all the state line signs for my motorcycles to put on my website, I was always the most impressed by the Minnesota state line signs.  
  Fortunately I hit I694 early enough so I will miss most of the craziness of the Twin Cities traffic.  
  It swings around the north of the metroplex and deposits me back on I94 which I will be on until I get well into North Dakota.  
  I grew up in the country till I was in the 4th grade, so I really appreciate the work that takes to keep a farm up and going. Farmers seldom take vacations as their work is never done - especially if they are dairy farmers. Cows always need to be milked and nobody has figured out yet how to get them to do it by themselves.  
  I love when I see the American flag flying as I really love the flag and my country. I do not love some of the things that are going on in these current days. It sure seems we have lost all common sense and decency toward one another.  
  I remember being on the color guard at the USMC Camp Lejuene and trying to catch one of those 'big boy' flags before it touched the ground. As a Marine you did not let that happen at peril of your own life. They are technically known as 'holiday flags' because of their size and they were usually flown only on holidays. I can tell you from experience that if the wind is up, it can take a half dozen Marines of good size right up off the ground.  
  I have to admire the great condition of this barn because I know that does not happen by accident. But then keeping many things in life in good shape doesn't happen by accident.  
  Soon I pass by another kind of 'farm' and I'm not sure it will be as productive as the previous one at the end of the day.  
  Up ahead is an old roadster in really good shape and it doesn't seem to be wasting any time.  

Minnesota's byline is

"The Land of 10,000 Lakes" ...

  and I may miss a few ...  
  on my way across ...  
  but not many.  
  Soon I cross over in to North Dakota, my last state for the day.  
  I can't quite figure out what happened to these trees off to my left as they seem to be dead for no good reason. It doesn't look like the results of a fire or a flood.  
  But my focus turns back quick to the road as another road construction site stretches out before me.  
  There is also no shortage of lakes in North Dakota either .,..  
  as you figure the topography is pretty much the same ..  
  but it would seem that North Dakota ...  
  doesn't make much to do about it.  
  I finally get to leave the interstate behind as I make my way toward Minot. It's nice to be on two lanes after all the slab but it does come with its own challenges.  
  When I pass by an old abandoned home place, I have to wonder what the back story is to it. It once meant something to somebody and then it ended up meaning nothing to nobody.  
  I see a lot more of what I call grain towers in this part of the state ...  
  in pretty much every little village and town I go through.  
  As I pass by another field of Brassica napus (known as rapeseed or canola) I wonder if those towers could it be for this crop.  
  When I'm on the road, I tend to take note of churches - especially older ones - as I roll along. It is sad but with most churches the inside decays long before the outside does.  
  But my attention is suddenly focused on a really bad section of road construction in front of me which ...  
  goes from bad to worse as I eat the dust from the semi I am forced to follow.  
  But I make it through with no drama with my daily dose of dust inhaled to arrive at my motel for the evening. I always try to plan my overnights where at least supper is in reasonable walking distance. I hate to have to suit back up and ride to dinner after being on the road all day.  
  I get BlueBelle bedded down for the evening and then go inside to wash off the road stink of the day.  
  Supper is easy as the Perkins next door works out just fine.  
  I start out with a simple salad and then ...  
  progress to a simple grilled sandwich. It's pretty tasty but then most food is pretty tasty to me.  
  Tomorrow is a little shorter as I have the Canadian border to cross. Border crossings can be interesting sometimes as they can be quick or not so quick. But tomorrow will take care of itself as I fall into a gentle slumber, grateful for another uneventful day on the road.