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Another Great Adventure with Courtney & Natalie On a Quad!!

~443 Miles!




CANDISC is a tour put on by the North Dakota Parks and Rec.  2009 was our third consecutive participation with the first two ridden on a triplet with Courtney.  This year however, we rode the quad with the addition of Natalie.


08/01/09 Saturday DAY 0  -  THE DRIVE AND ARRIVAL!

Stretching the  legs at a SD rest area.

Not keeping up with younger sis!

Stopping fairly often to keep us all from seizing up from sitting too much.

Natalie doing the pout act.

Pretty convincing, eh?

Traveling well despite more time in the van than a flight to Maui!

Hanging in there!

Dinner before jumping off from civilization as we head north of I-94 to Garrison at this point.... Bizmark!

"I like cheeeeeseee!

Check in.  We now have our packets and discovered our picture was on the included lip balm!!  An awesome nice surprise.

Working late putting this together, or at least the very start of it.  It all seems to take an incredible amount of time but at least some of the memories won't be lost forever resultant of the effort.


08/02/09 Sunday DAY 1  Garrison to Drake

76.30 miles, 4:20,  17.7 Average, 47.6 max

Our picture plastered all over the state of ND on the CANDISC poster.  It is quite an honor!


Trying to leave the motel at 9:30 (most everyone else left at 7:30) but people want to take our picture everywhere we go.  We usually put them to work though and by handing them our camera so insuring we get a copy rather than empty promises that one would be sent to us.

Beautiful scenery and low traffic roads!  We like ND, the CANDISC folks and the beautiful scenery!  

We started off in light rain and rode on wet pavement but all cleared up within 20 miles.  We had a great westerly tailwind today, something to truly enjoy!  Yes, you read right, a tailwind!  They have been rare for this group on about any tour.

Our stop at a sag after a great tailwind run, an awesome way to start a tour!

An interesting sag stop.

By now a few have recognized that our bike was longer than previous years as the questions were coming as to who was the new addition along with whether we had any more at home to bring along!

Setting up camp in a sheltered area close to the shower truck and restroom.

We take up a lot of realestate with our gear and really long bike.

Ready for a shower.

Playing with Natalie's new game, a surprise from mom that was just unwrapped.


There must be a local artist in town.

Clowns - they're everywhere!

See what I mean!

Everyone having fun after a long but great day on the saddle.  

Natalie getting the hang of it.

Julie getting the hang of it recalling when Courtney whupped her not long ago!

On a lucky streak!

Courtney and her impersonations!

Always in the middle of things!

Free cozies from the owner, her way of celebrating her own birthday!  She even gave us cake!!

The girls had a good night selling their wares and one gentleman asked Natalie the price, to which she replied $3.  He gave her a hard time about it being too high.  He gave her three bills all the while grumbling even as he walked away.  One of them was a $20 and he kept walking despite being asked whether he wanted change.  Everyone was left speechless for about 3 seconds as our mouths dropped open.  Speaking with him later he related that he really enjoyed seeing us riding on the road and that it really made his day.  We've heard many similar comments in the past as it seems to mean a great deal to those that take the time to express it to us.  It's people like those that keep us motivated to participate in great events like CANDISC and BAK.

Natalie shocked by the loudness of the bell rang when she swung the pendulum!

Our Maximum speed for the day coasting with a tailwind down the slope seen on the route profile!

Natalie awakened at 12:00 with leg pains of the nerve variety, not cramps.  After walking around and a couple of adjustments to her spine she passed out by 12:30 and slept well.  It's good to have a doctor in the tent at times!


08/03/09 Monday DAY 2  Drake to Minnewawukan

68.6 miles, 4:28,  16.0 Average, 34.0 max

We got off to a bit of a late start with our first night of camping and not yet up to speed with all that is involved.  It was a threatening rain with sprinkles and very light rain all of which abated before we left town.

We loaded the 1st bag at 8:01 and the truck stays until 8!  Never the less we managed to leave town by 9, 30 minutes earlier than yesterday.

Getting breakfast at CENEX and Courtney in her glorious rush to beat her sister to the bathroom, neglected to read the sign on the door and embarrassed herself a bit upon the discovery of which one she used!

The same north south road we ridden 2 years previous on our 1st CANDISC tour.  We were going the opposite direction during a terrible thunderstorm accompanied by high winds.  We managed to have two flat tires that day on this stretch from the loose gravel used in the recent seal coat process.


Someone in a car attempted to get us to stop, a tough thing when on a literal roll.  It turned out to be a newspaper person representing the Minot Daily News.  Unfortunately he did not announce who he was.  Three single bike riders did stop however and were apparently interviewed.  He took the above photo... a good one!


Today was a cross headwind and a tough grind for a few miles before turning east, our primary direction of the day.

The road matching the route profile presented in our packet!

When the locals situated their bee boxes close to the highway they no doubt did not anticipate that on rare occasion a hoard of 500 bicycle riders would be in their flight path.  The fact that we were wearing bright jerseys did not help matters in the least.


Natalie opened her surprise and managed to immediately catapult the whirlybird upon to the roof with the first shot.  Unbeknownst to her and with the aid of a picnic table, Courtney was hoisted on to the roof for the rescue!

Natalie fell in love with this shower curtain.

The local Pub & Grub, that is nearly out of business and for sale by all appearances, had their kitchen closed.  We raided the very small grocery and managed to find enough to stay alive for the evening.

Warm in the sun but super cool when it went under a cloud.

The town put on a very nice entertainment show for everyone and are sure to win the vote for the best one, at least thus far.

Natalie immediately spotted another bell and hollered out "bell" as she was on a dead run to make it ring.  She is the official self proclaimed bell ringer!  Poor campers!

Heading back after a long day.  It was well after 9PM and still very light outside.  There was no chance to sell pins and buttons today with the draw of the entertainment.

08/03/09 Tuesday Day 3 

43.8 miles, 2:49,  16.5 Average, 28.6 max

Today was to be a short day of only 42 or so miles.  The local poorly stocked mini grocery equipped with a microwave was our breakfast option.  The route was generally flat to very lightly rolling.

The John Deere beckoned us into a Kodak moment given our BAK jerseys had the same implement pictured on them.

Our camping area ended up being a small alcove behind one of the Fort buildings.

The next series of photos is Natalie doing her Houdini act of changing clothes!  No small feat!


All three porta-pottys, even the legendary Devil Horned Goose!  These things are decorated inside too with pictures and .... Flowers!

Four showers proved to be too few for 500 riders.  It took hours for the line to drop and then it was the beckon call of dinner that caused most of the line to vaporize thus we finally were able to get cleaned up.


SOMEDAY we'll get in the shower.

Well fed and showered.  Everyone is feeling much better now.

Fort Totten was devoid of most amenities and the area was... well, shall we say depressed.  Today was short and everyone arrived at our destination early but without prior knowledge that would be only one small cafe, no quickie shop, no grocery, and no gas station.  It would have been nice to have been prepared so we could have stocked up and been able to plan ahead.

Listening to the concert and clowning around.

The group was pretty good... at least to tired ears  They did not know "Ring of Fire", "Horse with no Name", nor "ZOMBIE000000000000"!  We DID ask!

Soaking up a couple of 'Oldies'.

Natalie, the younger one by 2.5 years, getting ready to kick her sister's butt.  Paybacks don't you know.

The weather has been really cool especially in the evening.  Sleeping bags at night were needed to stay warm.


08/05/09 Wednesday DAY 4  Fort Toten to Fessenden

85.4 miles, 5:23,  15.5 Average, 37.7 max

We were ready to roll out at 8AM BUT had trouble with our intercom.  Our mostly thorough diagnosis revealed that a Radio Shack extension cord had failed most likely due to the number of plug-ins and unplugs not to mention the constant motion intercom wires have been subjected to over 4,000+ miles.

The sound of our shoes clipping in finally happened at 8:25, a time much later than 99% of the crowd since today was to be a very long ride of 80 miles.  The other riders were mostly long gone before 7:00.

We enjoyed the rolling terrain and the new vistas, a welcome change of days past.

Another request for our picture so as per usual we put the person to work by handing them our own camera, the only way we seem to get a copy!  This person even asked the kids to remove their jackets for the photo despite the chilly weather.


Being short on time and way behind other riders, we shot some pics while on the fly.

A new recyclable use for old school busses.

The Sinclair dinosaur in New Rockford seemed like a nice resting place for the quad and a back drop.

Our Motel did not have our reservation despite my notes and requests of documentation and verbal reassurances to prove of its existence upon arrival.  We DID get a room but many likely ended up on the short end since others told us of the same problem.  The place was old but nice in its own way with a small refrigerator, microwave, AC, room for the quad, free bagged ice, a built in liquor store, free cokes, and they even had complimentary shampoo, unlike most low end motels.  The laundromat was conveniently located right next to our room and the motel office also sold beer, provided free ice and laundry soap!

After a search we finally found the small over-run Pizza place we'd heard about.  It was on a residential gravel road.  Pickings were slim as this was the only eating place in town aside from the offerings at the campground.

Courtney with her parachute toy and Natalie with her rocket launcher.

Fessenden is yet another town without phone reception, at least from T-Mobile.


08/06/09 Thursday DAY 5  Fessenden to Wing

66.9 miles, 4:36,  14.5 Average, 32.7 max

The weather gods are a bit cruel kicking up such a cool wind out of the south early in the day.  At least the temps promised to be warmer.

We were likely the last to leave town after eating breakfast at a convenience store.  Delicious cinnamon rolls and carrot cake were the selections from today's menu.  Other riders hit the road earlier since it would be a long day particularly with the wind predictions.  It IS a process for us to all get going!

We had it good for the first 14 miles of gently rolling terrain while being lightly buffeted from the cross wind.  Then we turned south and our relatively low speed plummeted but we still enjoyed the sunny weather despite the forces pushing us backward and the roaring in our ears.

It quickly turned into a struggle but a well paced and long one.  We reached a town having a Dairy King and other businesses where many riders had gathered taking a break.  Since we were still doing okay and with the predictions of afternoon possibly severe thunderstorms we pressed on without hesitation.

We finally reached a sag that timed well as we really needed a break at this point having ridden ~42 miles non stop at a relatively low speed.  It was hillier today to so we were worn down and in need of nutrition.

Our last run into town was 14 miles with an awesome cross tailwind.  Although we were tired we pushed it a bit.  Hearing the tires sing and hum on the pavement was a psychological boost to us all.


The Wing town's people were out greeting the very few early arrival riders.  We passed over 90% of the crowd evident by the vacant landscape.  Few tents were setup and the area was mostly littered with yet to be claimed baggage scattered around at the school.  But our first stop was immediately after rounding the corner onto the main street in town where the Wing Hotel was located.  Having contacted them weeks ago seeking a reservation and learning they were full up from the ride coming through, I had little hope of anything changing but it was worth a shot.  Surprisingly they had just received a cancellation so we were all set, a nice feeling given the rainy forecast.

We made quite a train out of the quad, our Bob type trailer in addition to the rolling luggage being attached.

A young lady, Cookie the clown, greeted arriving riders offering them a cookie!

Natalie threw her parachute toy, the wind caught it, carried it to where I was riding the quad back to the truck.  It wrapped around the chainring and got jammed in the chain and front derailleur, all in what seemed like a split second.  There's no way a captain could have known this was happening without eyes in the back of one's head!  Thankfully all was stopped before any damage was done to the bike.  The parachute had one of its cords severed however.


The courtyard next to the Wing Hotel

The Chat & Chew Cafe had a buffet loaded with ham, turkey, some salad and a choice of deserts.

Yet another of the posters found all over N.D.!

A spooky owl resides in the very old and smoky Wing Hotel.

Natalie carrying Peach in her hood, something of comfort for her during times of missing mommy.


08/07/09 Friday DAY 6  Wing to Turtle Lake 

60.4 miles, 3:43,  16.5 Average, 36.6 max

Natalie returning from the Wing post office having mailed a card to mom.

Getting ready to head out in the drizzle.  Yuck!

The posted weather forecast had the percentage chance of precipitation removed and replaced with "rain likely".  They were RIGHT, for once.  It was a very wet morning although warmer than previous days thanks to the blustery south winds the day and night before.  We take 'em as they come!

It was so foggy that the wind power generator blades were only visible at the bottom of their rotation.  It was an eerie sight!

Once our route turned north we literally sailed along catching a few riders.  The drizzle was intermittent and the road eventually dried.  Our momentum, thanks to the tailwind, would carry us well into the next long rise allowing us to pass the occasional rider we would catch.


Our destination was Turtle Lake, a town with a few typical small businesses such as a drug store, a couple of bars, a bank, etc.

Our campsite was behind the school in its sheltered alcove.  The weather teased us with intermittent spits of rain making it impossible to dry shower towels.  It wouldn't have mattered anyway given some bird pooped on the one draped over the bike!  Yuck!

Literally a sign of the past.

The local bar provided riders with a 'buy one, get one' coupon for drinks, something we took advantage of along with their tasty pizza.  The pizza was so good, we even ordered a second one!

Ye'ole campsite.


08/08/09 Saturday DAY 7  Turtle Lake to Garrison

41.5 miles, 3:02,  13.6 Average, 30.6 max

Ready to hit the road on another drizzly day.

Everyone was long gone with many wanting to finish the ride and begin their journey back home.  Lunch was to be served in Garrison starting at 10.  The wind was problematic and we were tired so progress was slow and we passed only a few riders.  With everyone seemingly leaving earlier this year we found it difficult to work our way to the front unless it was a very long day and ride.

We arrived in Garrison before 11:30 and the band was still playing!  Other years we managed to get there right when they were winding down and quitting at 12 noon.

The post ride feast of bison brauts!

Our finish picture.

Glad the shoe held together until the very end with only 4 miles to go!  See the left pedal!

Getting ready to load the van.

Ye'ole Malt Shop!  Yummm.... it was very good!

Garrison's unique hot and cold water system!

One taken for the kids.   Grrrr....

Dinner in Fargo on the way home.

We had yet another great CANDISC tour!  Thanks Dick and Hilary for all your efforts and those that worked with you too.  The kids had more 'moments' than anticipated, for whatever reason, but looking back at all the good times seen in the photos makes us all realize it is a shared experience not to be missed.  They grow up so quickly.


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