Day 3: Eau Claire, Wisconsin to Bismarck, North Dakota

We decided to get a very early start today to beat the heat and the Minneapolis rush hour traffic, so we set the alarm for 4:30. When we woke up we checked the weather radar and saw that there were storms closing in on us and our intended route, but we figured if we hurried we could beat them, so we hurried up and got everything loaded up and hit the road just after 5am.

Luckily we stayed just South of those storms, although there were times I thought we were going to get wet, and a few times we did get some sprinkles, but no actual rain.

We hit Minneapolis about 7am, and traffic was already getting crazy. We took the bypass around, but there was construction and a lot of traffic on that, so I don’t know how much better that actually was, but it was Google’s suggested route, so we took it, and it was fine, other than one small section where traffic was nearly stopped because people don’t understand the concept of merging.

Once we were out of Minneapolis, we stopped in Monticello for gas and breakfast at Burger King because it was the only fast option we saw. When we pulled into the parking lot I spotted this super clean Honda cb360T, so I had to snap a quick picture of it.

After breakfast, we hit the road again and made it about 20 miles before we could see rain up ahead of us, so we decided to Hop off at the next exit and park under a gas station awning until it passed. We waited about 20 minutes, and it never did more than sprinkle where we were, so we decided to head out again. This proved to be a good decision, because the road was soaked for about 20 miles, but we never actually got rained on.

Everything was smooth sailing until after we passed into North Dakota. It was sunny and upper 80’s in Fargo, and soon after we passed through there we started getting hit with high winds. The only good part was that it felt much cooler, but it was blowing us all over the place and turned us into bobbleheads, which quickly leads to neck and shoulder aching.

We battled the winds for 100 miles before stopping for one last fuel stop and a much needed break, and then braved the last 100 miles of wind to Bismarck. It honestly didn’t feel hot today until about 15 miles from Bismarck, which coincidentally is also when the wind started to calm down a bit. There was construction in a few places as we got closer to Bismarck, one of which included a couple of gravel patches connecting us from one side of the interstate to the other to navigate around a bridge that was being replaced. This of course didn’t bother us any, but I bet the Harley riders would be none too happy to be surprised with that.

We saw some great places to take pictures along the way, once at a road that crossed between two lakes, and another at an old iron bridge on a gravel road beside the Interstate, but unfortunately we didn’t take the time to find a way to get to either of them. We were just getting so worn out from the wind, we just wanted to be there at that point.

After we got to the hotel we walked to Sickies Garage for lunch/dinner. I had found it on Google maps months ago while planning the trip and saw that they had a bacon cheeseburger served on a glazed donut for the bun. I HAD to try that! Let me tell you, it did not disappoint! 10/10 would eat again! Unfortunately Dwayne was less impressed with his Bacon Lovers Burger, which was wrapped in bacon, topped with bacon, and had bacon bits mixed with bbq sauce on top. It would have been great, except the Bacon around the burger was not cooked, it was literally almost raw. He picked it off, but I think it had ruined his appetite for the burger at that point.

Today’s total mileage was 527, which puts us at 1199 so far, and we have 435 planned for tomorrow. After tomorrow stuff starts getting good, and I can’t wait!!!

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