On Day 27 of Gavin’s fundraising trip for Ecojustice, a detour made the trip more for him and Jenna more difficult. Something similar happens today except the obstacle is water, lots and lots of water.

Day 28
July 8
Distance Travelled: 63.71 km (Lodging: Mitch and Ben’s, Jamestown, N.D.)

We went for breakfast at an ominously-titled diner called The Broken Spoke. Another searing hot day. Things were really starting to feel far from anything familiar. Gone were the trees of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, which could at least be roughly equated with Ontario. Over the last couple days the land had flattened out into plains of farmland under a huge blue dome of a sky with a baking sun. And then the flooding. North Dakota has suffered serious flooding this year (much like parts of Canada), but the worst of it was to the north near the Canadian border. We thought we wouldn’t see much of it on our tour, but we were wrong.

We started passing valleys full of water, with telephone poles and occasional trees sticking up from the blue. We turned off the interstate to ride on a quieter country road, only to find when we got there that it dipped down and disappeared into a giant lake. There was nothing to do but turn around. Fortunately we’d only gone a few kilometres off track.

We stayed at the house of Ben and his roommate Mitch, who Jenna had found through a couch-surfing website. Ben went to school in Fargo for aerospace engineering and, somewhat amazingly, managed to find a job in that field back in his hometown of Jamestown. Ben (like me) made his own beer at home, so we spent a lot of time talking about that and he let us try a red ale he had on tap. Despite growing 35% of America’s barley, North Dakota does not have a single brewery, so home brewing is a valuable skill. We found the same was true of the food culture: there were farms everywhere, but not a single farmer’s market and fresh veggies were relatively difficult to come by. Mitch came home later and we talked while another huge thunderstorm formed on the horizon.