|Travelogue -- Dr Bob's Northwest Territory Motorcycle Ride|
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1 June 2015, 10:30 PM CT, Fargo, ND
I made a mistake yesterday. And nobody caught it. Yesterday I showed this picture.
And I said, "Are these birch trees? ..."
They are NOT birch trees. Why didn't somebody point out my error? I spent all day today wondering if they were birch trees. They continued throughout my journey today, and I was bothered by it, thinking that they might not be birch trees. I could hardly ride so consumed was I with this issue. At one point I stopped and plucked some leaves from one of the trees. Over lunch I did an Internet search. I kept thinking that they might be a tree that I have seen in the west, Colorado comes to mind. I couldn't remember the name of that tree. One of the problems with getting older is that you cannot remember things as well. Well, that's not exactly true, I remember perfectly, I just cannot pull it from my memory. It is there, just not accessible. All morning I tried to remember what that "western" tree is, but I finally had to resort to Google. I discovered that the tree name I could not pluck from my memory is an "aspen". That's what I was trying to remember. So, over my lunch, I did a search on how to tell a birch tree from an aspen tree. Both have white bark. Both have green leaves. So what's the difference. I went back to my pictures from yesterday. Not only did I take the picture above, I took a closeup of the bark and a closeup of the leaves. I am showing both below.
Closeup of bark from yesterday.
And another picture I took of bark today, after my lunch time Internet study, to make sure.
Notice the straight sides of the black spot, almost like a triangle? That is an aspen.
Closeup of leaves from yesterday.
And another picture I took of leaves today, after my lunch time Internet study, to make sure.
Notice the almost circular shape of the leaves that are not serrated? That is an aspen.
So readers, I apologize that I mislead you into believing that an aspen was a birch.
Now to today. I rode 273.0 miles. I am in Fargo, North Dakota. I have been here before, on the same motorcycle, on my US Northwest Ride. Two years ago I entered from the west, this year I entered from the northeast. As I entered Fargo, I rode over a bridge that I recognized. Here is is, from two years ago. The date was July 1, 2013. I crossed the bridge from west to east, today I crossed in the other direction, from east to west. I have to say the bridge is much more impressive in real life.
Can you believe it, I have ridden so many miles on my motorcycle that I am crossing bridges I crossed before 2,500 miles from home? I am trying to make each ride be different. But, I guess when you keep riding you will cross points you have ridden before, although in a different direction.
Today was not cold like the past two days. I did not have the five layers I showed you two days ago. Missing were the two liners of the summer jacket. I wore only the summer jacket and windbreaker, and I took off the windbreaker later in the day. Tomorrow I will probably wear only the summer jacket.
I left International Falls later than normal, I had a business call to make first. Then I rode 110 miles and it all looked like the picture below.
The same thing, for miles and miles and miles. At mile 65, there was a tiny village, about a dozen buildings. Otherwise, nothing but a house every few miles. I passed two vehicles in the 110 miles. None passed me. Other than those two vehicles, I did not see a single other one in my direction of travel. To put it mildly, I was alone out there. But, there were vehicles coming towards me, maybe every five minutes I saw one.
I crossed the Big Fork River. I had to stop, on the bridge of course. Here's a view looking downriver.
And a view looking upriver.
Do you think that might be a railroad bridge?
I have seen many highway mirages in my time, and I never get tired of looking at them. They are amazing. The road acts like a mirror, or it looks like there is water on the road. Here's my highway mirage for today. Do you see the reflection of the vehicle on top of the hill?
A car came toward me with its headlights on. I could see the headlights directly, and I could see them in the mirage. Simply amazing. I kept on the alert after that to get a picture like that for you, but it was not to be.