Thursday, July 07, 2005

Yesterday Dad and I prepared the grandparents' shingled roof for new metal roofing. It was a hell job. Ninety-four degrees F. on a 45-degree slanted shingle roof for eight hours. I thought I was going to die of heat exhaustion and roll off. My dad was belaying me from above. I'm getting soft working mostly inside the museum every day.

After work I learned Teresa's tent had arrived and she was ready to continue east. I was planning a working trip to Bismarck, so at 9 p.m. we barhopped our way to the Missouri River. By 1 a.m. we reached Hazen and drove to a campground 14 miles north. We camped under shooting stars and bastard, whining mosquitos.

At 5 a.m., with bug bites and all, we got up to visit three historical museums near Bismarck. We had to wait until 9 a.m. before any of them opened. The museums are a lot slicker than the one I work in, but I like the funkiness of our little museum more.

By 1 p.m. we were thrift store hunting in Bismarck. Today was the first day of Bismarck's downtown street market, so we ate some $3 veggie burgers and listened to street musicians.

I didn't know that North Dakota harbored any hippies, so it was a nice surprise to smell patchouli and see blonde dreadlocks again. In Olympia I might have rolled my eyes at these furry freaks, but here I had an aching desire to make fast friends and bang wildly on the communal peace bongo. I am a gypsy myself.

I decided to drive Teresa to South Dakota, so we headed out in my hot sauna of a station wagon. We stopped along a desolate stretch of road and skinny-dipped in the Big Muddy. The water temp was sublime.

At around 6 p.m. we arrived in Mobridge, SD, where I bid adieu to my brave companion. Teresa is 5' 2" tall and she carries a big backpack. She has a metal screw holding her right ankle together from getting backed over by a Honda Accord one night a few years ago in a Florida parking lot. Yet she will now continue walking across the nation towards Orlando. I'll try to scan a photo of her soon.

After exploring the town for a bit on my own, I drove diagonally across the Standing Rock Reservation back to North Dakota. Then straight to Killdeer.

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