Williston, North Dakota
October 1, 2014
Today was a tough day on the road.
I picked up my bike at the Honda dealer at 9:30 am. There was a light drizzle and the sky was dark and foreboding. I stopped to see Sharon’s Aunt Patsy in Minot. After a short visit, I donned my headphones, fired up the music on my i-Phone and headed West on Highway 2.
It rained most of the way to Williston, which is where I have stopped for the night. At times, it was a downpour and I had to seek any shelter I could find. I handled the rain and freezing cold pretty well. It was the wind that got to me. The heavy winds pushed my bike all over the road, and the gusts and cross-winds nearly knocked me over. I’m lucky my bike is big and heavy, which allowed me to keep the rubber side down and the steel side up.
The 18-wheelers are a real nuisance. When they pass in any direction, I have to brace hard for the violent wind-force that ensues. When these trucks pull back in front of me, I’m showered with road rocks and pebbles that spray like buckshot. How I wish I had a windshield. One good thing about not having a windshield–I get a full load of protein from the bugs.
The weather forecast, calling for an early winter season, is not encouraging. Snow, 50-plus mph winds and temps in the 30’s are predicted. I plan to reach Montana early tomorrow and then head South for warmer climes.
I’m concerned my bike won’t start tomorrow morning. My Honda Shadow is notoriously cold-blooded, and likes to sleep in. I need to depart early to out-run the weather. The engine performed well today, but the battery seems weak. It is brand new, but it went through a lot of abuse in Egeland as I tried to start the bike. We’ll see.
Here are some photos from day 1.
Be safe! I remember going back to Bozeman to pick up my folks from Ennis and it was snowing! You are in our prayers. Please be careful!
Yikes! Those big trucks and the heavy winds sound scary, Bill.
Fortunately, you are very experienced, and extremely capable!
And, as always, your determination, attitude, and spirit is so very inspiring.
“Bug Protein” haha 🙂
Hoping your bike starts with no problems, that tomorrow there is no wind, and that you have a wonderful, and safe trip!
Brrrrr! Looks freezing!
The no windshield issue would bug most.
A yak might be lower maintenance.
Man, I hate those huge trucks coming and going. The Shadow looks terrific, beautiful profile without the windshield. I’ve got an 1100 cc ACE, and dorky as it looks, I wouldn’t remove the windshield for anything, just too valuable. Be safe and here’s hoping you outrun the weather.
Following you on the map every twist and turn. I know nothing about bikes but is it possible to install or rig up a temporary windshield for the bike?
Having crisscrossed the area, why not drop down like a rock due south from Williston if that will escape the inclement weather? As a bonus of sorts, the 2-lane federal and state highways, compared to the Interstate highways, don’t attract the behemoths like the 18-wheelers or 3-truck units. Today’s LA Times’ weather page reports the Williston Billings route is in for a good dosage of rain today. Gee, you won’t meet your bug protein quota!
Keep on keeping on and, as with all your posts, reading every word of them as I ride is a figurative “buddy seat” of ther bike.
Bill, the motorcycle is a beautiful machine. Keep talking to it– encouraging a safe trip home. Whatever route you choose, there will be some long, desolate sections (possibly with adverse weather).
Travel blessings on the road.
May God Bless you on your journey & keep you in His loving care.
Love & Hugs,
May the traveling grace of God keep you safe,Enjoy your trip,
Bill – Looks beautiful and free. May god keep the wind to your back and not in your way.