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Minot to Bowbells, ND 70 miles

Besides nearly a 12 hour ride with wind in my face for 70 miles, the greatest experience was mechanical. Why do I say “great”? Northwest North Dakota is sparse with few towns—actually only three in 70 miles that have any surviving retailers. A new Cenex truck stop/convenience store in Carpio is where I stopped for a breakfast sandwich after fighting wind for 25 miles. I was less than a 100 yards on the highway again and I noticed my gears grinding. A quick check found the right pannier support resting on the gears. Without that single screw holding it, I could not go on. Searching the highway and parking lot proved futile. Reluctantly, I went back into the store and asked if they sold nuts and bolts. I was escorted to a full hardware section. They had the exact Allen wench headed metric screw I needed!  The 26 cent screw didn’t blow my maintenance budget, so I bought two more in case it happens again. I could have been anyplace on today’s 70 mile leg, or in any U.S. city, and not found a retailer to help me in the two minutes it took to resolve my problem. One guy asked about my problem. After telling of my breakdown, he said, “I guess you were lucky.” It is more like Devine intervention!