I made it to North Dakota!!! Another milestone. 🙂 Riding today with Ryan and Matthew was great. They are generally much later starters than I am, but we agreed on getting up at 7, so not too bad. I offered them oat bran for breakfast, but I think we all realized we were much hungrier than that, so we rode into Fergus Falls proper and got the recommendation of the gas station attendant. If I ever go back to Fergus Falls, I will definitely go back to the Viking Cafe!
I will let my pancake speak for itself!
I also really enjoyed this sign near the cash register. None of the people working could tell me the history of its origin, but it made me smile nonetheless.
We made good time as Minnesota was graciously flat again today. We did stop in Brownsville for pie and coffee, where we met an elderly local man named Arlan. As we rode into town, we saw signs for their annual “Potato Days” festival coming up at the end of August. As we were talking with Arlan, I mentioned how sad we were that we would be missing Potato Days. He looked a us, a bit bewildered, and asked, “How did you hear about Potato Days!?” We talked for a few minutes with him about our trips, and he was so impressed that he took the three of us into the restaurant and told the waitress that we were his guests and to put aside our bill for him. We each ate a slice of pie and had some coffee. I told Arlan that I would love to make it back for Potato Days one of these years. Maybe then I can repay his kindness and buy him a slice of pie and a cup of coffee as well!
Fargo is quite the unexpectedly bustling city. Though my Warm Showers contact never responded, and my one Fargo-based friend’s family is all away at the moment, Ryan, Matthew and I were able to find a reasonably inexpensive room in the downtown. Split three ways, the price isn’t much more than some of the campsites I’ve stayed at, and the shower was a most welcome treat! We spent the evening wandering around Fargo exercising our walking muscles and eating dinner. You’d be amazed how doing such a repetitive motion as cycling all day makes even walking feel weird! We found a restaurant not far from the hotel and had a beer in celebration of Papa’s birthday (today) and Matthew’s first 100+ mile ride (yesterday). As we were toasting to Papa, they asked what Papa’s name is, and I said Mike. Both Matthew and Ryan then said, “To Mickey!” I told them that Papa would get a big laugh out of hearing them, with their Jordy accents, wish “Mickey” good health. Whenever Papa visited me in Boston, we would go to the Union Oyster House. When we had to put a name down on the waiting list (which we almost inevitably did) Papa would call himself Mickey. I’ve only ever heard Papa as Mickey in that Boston context until tonight. Happy Birthday, Mickey!
Beautiful night here in Fargo! Time for sleep on this side. Starting across North Dakota tomorrow. Papa, Tochi Products is closed on Sundays, and they don’t open until 10 tomorrow. Boo. Next trip
Mental hugs, and best wishes for Monday!