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The Squaw Magnet in North Dakota


mplate

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I'm writing this from a motel room in Bismarck, ND. Originally, I had planned to camp out in the same campsite at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park that I did last summer. Bismarck is the only point of intersection that this year's ride has in common with last years ride. In fact, I just crossed the Missouri River which brought back many wonderful memories from my voyage along the Lewis and Clark Trail. Weather, however, has finally come into play. The clouds started forming yesterday when I left Red Lodge, MT and followed me all day. I spent the night in a KOA in Miles City, MT and the weather forcast was a 40% chance of rain. Made it through the night OK but it was just starting to drizzle when I got up this morning. Dark clouds as far as the eye could see in every direction. Not all that cold, though. The ride from Miles City to Medora, ND felt much like a ride through heavy fog. Occasional light rain but mostly a constant light drizzle. Then, almost instantly, at the North Dakota state line, the clouds parted and I had sunshine and a significant tailwind into Medora where I stopped for lunch. After lunch, however, the sun was gone again and I had to fight a pretty stiff cross wind all the way to Bismarck. The weather forcast does not look promising. My destination for tomorrow, Langdon, ND, is currently under a weather alert for high winds. The route from Bismarck to the Boundary Waters calls for scattered thunderstorms and even snow on Sunday. The Boundary Waters themselves are currently experiencing rain and are forcast to continue that way for most of the next 10 days with 3 of the nights going below freezing. It appears that I may have missed my window of opportunity to do some canoing up there. I have a decision to make. I can hole up here in Bismarck until Monday when it's supposed to be sunny again or I can head out tomorrow and face high winds, rain and, possibly, snow in order to make it to Boundary Waters on schedule. 9 days of canoing in freezing rain does not appeal to me, though. I think I'll call my outfitter tomorrow morning and bounce things off him before deciding what to do next. If I do blow off Boundary Waters, I have to figure out how to spend the 9 days I had planned to be there. Maybe I'll head down to Minneapolis early and kill some time there. We'll see. Anyway, I have my first bed in over a week to look forward to tonight and the rest of the evening to come up with a fall back plan. Take care and I'll talk to you later.

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