Bike Odyssey
North America 2004

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Journal for 3-July-2004 : Warroad

Today got off to a cracking start. A massive crack of lightning as a prelude to a massive rain burst woke us at 5am. It made me rather glad we didn't find that camp ground yesterday.

Early start, and after crossing the Red River we made very good time in the morning still air over very wet roads. It felt like we were back in business!

The Red River (it's actually brown and murky looking) flows out of the massive lake Winnepeg, south out of Canada into the Missouri, then the Mississippi, and eventually the Gulf of Mexico. It's the surest indication yet we are pretty well across the prairies, and heading into the great lakes regions of North America.

First break at Vita after 50ks, with the multitude of Canadian flags flapping in the very gentle breeze which was just starting to set in behind us again. Yay!! Ate a snack at a picnic table by the drive through building society.

Hardly any traffic today. Long straight roads and high speed riding. Also warm and pretty humid. A lot like riding in Australia (that is meant as a compliment of the highest order :-)). What traffic there was was also very well behaved, as it has been in most of Canada (except where I mention it :-)). People here seem very patient. At one stage we voluntarily got off the road to avoid any possibility of being harvested, but the driver seemed quite content to sit in behind us for as long as it took.

Another sign we were leaving the prairies was a sign: Sandilands Provincial Forest. This forest did seem to have more than the usual forest quota of wheat fields, but there lots of trees none the less. And other indication, there was actually a short hill that required us to drop from our biggest chain ring. And another sign, in this forest we saw some deer.

Stopped at a picnic table at Sprague for lunch. So molested by mosquitoes that we high tailed it into the truck stop diner. The though of another awful burger put me off lunch altogether.

As we got closer we got to the US border, the traffic when from light, to ultra-light. Even then, most of the vehicles (in fact all 3 of them) were sporting Manitoba plates.

Crossing the border to Canada's southern most state (Minnesota) was straight forward for us. But the kids in the car behind us were not so fortunate. We're not sure why they were considered suspicious (may be the car was nicked?), but we decided it was a bit too suspicious to find out why.

Also, the American border patrol didn't seem to feel the need to wear clothing that might protect them from irate Canadians, but the Canadian border people (who we visited to get our GST receipts stamped) felt they needed bullet proof vests to cope with people coming from America.

So we are stateside just for tonight, as we take a bit of a short cut across Minnesota. And true to form the USA is as noisy and as busy as ever.


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