Two Yamaha sleds
I’ve never even sat on one, but snowmobiles look like a lot of fun if you’re in to speed and thrills. It would certainly be a good way to occupy the winter season.
The ditches along Highway 83 between Bismarck and Washburn is a designated and marked trail for snowmobiles. Those orange diamond markers you see in the photo above are indicators where are to safely ride.
I imagine it’s a moderate amount of excitement, but not what it’s like to zoom up the trails in the Turtle Mountains, or in the woods of Minnesota or Montana.
Still, it gives a picture of life in North Dakota that I caught while driving to Bismarck — a bit of a challenge to drive down the highway with the window open along side a slide keeping it in focus as the scenery blurs by.
Don’t tell on me.
Winter’s first blow
Wow. Winter didn’t pull any punches with its introduction. It hit us hard, and it’s still two months until the first calendar of winter.
The blizzard rolled all day and tonight it’s slow going on Highway 83 at Wilton. Trucks are still doing their thing, but a few have decided it’s not worth it. So, they pulled in to the Wilton Cenex truck stop.
I wasn’t sure what I’d find to photograph when I went out, but had hoped to catch some snow plows working Highway 83. I gave up after about 10 seconds. I’m not used to this cold, yet. So, I captured these images to show what we are in for until spring.
In a way, I find it a bit exciting to be challenged like this by winter, but it’s also groan-worthy because I know it’s going to be a long winter ahead.
And just as conflicted as I am about winter, I’m conflicted about the Wilton City street crew. Yes, they do a great job of clearing the streets,but dang, a full 6 months of this is gonna be hard on my back — cleaning out the end of my driveway every time the snow plow goes by.
The morning after the night before
(Actually, this shot belongs with tomorrow’s entry, but I thought it was fitting to put it here to give a glimpse of the “aftermath” of this Intro to Winter 101 course.)
Autumn is here, but it’s still construction season, and that’s okay with me. The longer cold weather holds off, the more work will get done, and that includes striping the newly-laid blacktop on Highway 83 between Bismarck and Wilton.
This stretch of highway is estimated to be approaching 75,000 vehicles a day, so it takes a beating. The final step of the summer’s work on the highway was to stripe the lanes. It’s a warm day, but you can’t tell it by the operator of the sprayer. Bundled up heavily. Imagine the neck strain and body aches that comes from sitting in this position all day, especially in breezy less-than-warm weather.
Flooded Highway 83
Coming in to Bismarck from the north on Highway 83, the results of the night’s rain were evident. Though drainage in North Bismarck is much better than in South Bismarck, this
intersection was plugged. Though we get only about 14-16 inches of precipitation a year, including snow, this scene is evident that sometimes it can come in great abundance at one time.
Waiting for water
Bismarck City crews were on hand to open plugged storm sewer lines and open up the closed lanes of Highway 83. By noon, the flooded intersection was only a damp spot on the highway.
Goldwing and gold wheat
Summer riding season is in full swing — a little later than usual. The nearby grain field is turning gold as this Honda Gold Wing rolls by. It’s been a cool wet spring, good for growing not good for going.
Even so, bikes are taking advantage of the weather. Highway 83 which runs past Wilton gets a good amount of traffic. It’s a good road connecting Bismarck to Minot and points in between. A late evening ride, this time of year, could be as late at 9:30 or 10:00 thanks to the tilt of the Earth on the axis toward the sun, and North Dakota’s relative position on the globe and on the time zone line. That means even though the season is short, the days are long, and bikers take advantage of it.
It’s just about every day that I’m out for my 1-a-day pics that I see bikes on Hwy 83, but this time, the light, the fields and the evening proved to be a better than average day for photographing motorcycles.