Day 29
July 9

Distance Travelled: 98.64 km (Lodging: OK motel and Campground, Steele, North Dakota)

Hot today. Hot, hot, hot. There’s no shade in the prairies, so the sun just bakes everything. This part of the country is also very sparsely populated (cows outnumber people 3 to 1 in North Dakota), often with 20-40 km between towns, so we really had to watch our water supplies. We passed more flooding, even on the interstate there were two valleys where flood water was clearly about a foot higher than the highway, held back only by inflatable barges that narrowed the road into a single lane.

We also crossed the Continental Divide, which seemed very impressive and significant even though neither of us really knew what it meant. We now know (thanks wikipedia) that the continental divide separates the watersheds that drain into the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, respectively.

Our campground was right by the train tracks. I haven’t mentioned the trains yet. Interstate 94, its parallel roads and all the towns it attaches were built along the railway, so we’re almost always in view of the tracks. But this campground was literally right by the train tracks. And the trains run all night, mostly carrying coal to various places. And they sound their horns on the way through small towns. That night’s sleep was less than excellent.

Tomorrow’s adventure includes some severe weather warnings, a trip to a highway underpass and more. Stay tuned.