Northern Tier 2010

August 3, 2010


Filed under: Gear, Minnesota, North Dakota, Section 04, Section 05 — Henry Scott @ 2:00 pm

To Fargo’s credit (and my very slight disappointment), I didn’t see a single reference to the Cohen brothers film today. It is still one of my favorite movies, but Fargo has a resurgent downtown, and there was lots going on without living in the movie’s shadow.

Our ride to Fargo was quite different than our entrance to Minot, the last major town we visited. The winds were at our backs, we didn’t have any mechanical problems, and we covered the 32 miles in excellent time. It was a beautiful day in Fargo. We started with a big breakfast, and I avoided the all-you-can-eat pancakes — another significant departure from our layover in Minot.

After breakfast we went to the fantastic Great Northern Bicycle Co. bicycle shop. The staff were amazing, and they went to great lengths to make us feel welcome, including storing our belongings while we walked around, giving thoughtful advice and directions to do the things we needed to do, and providing expedited service on Seth’s wheel.

The shop itself is in an old train depot, complete with an excellent coffee shop. One of the employees, Judith, remembered meeting Tom, the westbound cyclist we encountered a few days ago in Minnewaulkan, when he came through Fargo. They’ve kept in touch, and Tom had told her we may stop in. She realized who we were from Tom’s description, and we had a great time chatting.

Unfortunately, however, I was a bit preoccupied today, and I spent much of my time in Fargo dealing with an ailing camera. I packed up my Canon S90 and sent it in for warranty service — it cannot get satisfactory focus on distant objects any longer. It has been heavily used since I got it last Christmas, but I’m still disappointed to be having such problems already. Hopefully Canon will repair it under warranty.

Even if they do, however, that leaves me without a camera for at least for a couple of weeks, so I ended up buying a replacement (the Canon 1300IS). It is amazing how long simple tasks such as printing a letter, preparing a shipment, and just getting around take when one has few resources at his disposal. I was glad to be doing something relatively fun rather than, say, looking for a job.

From Fargo we pressed on into Minnesota and are camped for the night in Hitterdal. Tomorrow we may reach the headwaters of the Mississippi, something I’ve been excited to see since my colleague Andy recognized my route would bring me near.



  1. Glad to read about the resurgent downtown in Fargo and
    the friendly, helpful people. Bike riders are obviously
    a strong community! Sorry about the camera.
    Looking forward to reading about the headwaters of the Mississippi
    and seeing pictures of it.

    Comment by Celinda Scott — August 4, 2010 @ 11:41 am

  2. Sorry to hear about your camera. Do you need me to email you the PDF of the new camera’s manual for easy downloading to your iPad? And I must add that in the photo of you next to the Minnesota state line sign, it is quite uncharacteristic that you would be wearing non-baggy bike shorts. Maybe the heat and the miles are getting to you! Cheers my friend . . . and happy trails.

    Comment by Bruce S. — August 4, 2010 @ 2:25 pm

  3. Hey Henry – April posted news about your blog on Facebook today, so I am looking in. What a wonderful trip you are on! By the way, I see that you are in Minnesota tonight. Maybe you will get to see the northern lights if you are in a dark enough area? Good luck and be safe!

    Comment by Anne Brown — August 4, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

  4. I can’t believe you passed on the all you can eat pancakes in Fargo. All I kept thinking while reading this was the scene from the movie when Geaer and Carl are talking about the pancake house and getting laid. hahaha!

    Comment by Lauren — August 4, 2010 @ 7:37 pm

  5. ah, shucks. you two were pretty rad. it was a pleasure to meet both of you. (:

    Comment by Judith Feist — March 29, 2011 @ 9:48 pm

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