June 20, Wednesday. We actually got out of camp early this morning. But we all needed tires and this slowed us down from getting out of Medora, ND in a timely manner.

20120620-233244.jpg
We climbed out of Medora for our first full day of cycling in North Dakota. We had to take the Interstate a couple of times because there is no other paved road. Here is a view of Painted Canyon from up on the highway;

20120620-233536.jpg
I have really enjoyed the “bad lands”. But as quickly as they appear, they disappeared and North Dakota got flat.

20120620-233721.jpg
We didn’t do any horrible climbs and, conversely, there weren’t any fantastic descents. It was rollers and the wind generally at our back all day. We we’re surrounded by scattered showers and one of them decided to chase us. It is nearly impossible to find cover but we raced into a small town and sought shelter under the covered patio of an understanding resident. The wind howled and heavy rain soaked the roads. We bundled up in our rain gear that would not be needed as we successfully “threaded the needle” the rest of the day.

20120620-234631.jpg
Everyone we talk to mentions the influx of “oil money”. If you have a population map of North Dakota that is more than three years old, double all the population figures. Our map said Dickinson has 18,000 residents: it is closer to 30,000 now. People are getting rich overnight and workers are flooding into the state. Housing prices have skyrocketed and the oil companies are leasing entire apartment buildings and hotels for their employees. One women told us that her and her husband sold their home four years ago for $75,000 and couldn’t buy it back for less than $300,000 now. The ratio of men to women is 3:1 and all the stores sell mace and pepper spray that is marketed to the female residents.
These effects are felt all the way out here in tiny Hebron, where we are camped in the town park. We went swimming in the heated town pool. The tornado siren goes off at noon and 10:00 p.m. The train (two tracks) runs right through the center of town adjacent to Main Street. Here is a photo as we pulled into town;

20120620-235615.jpg