TravellingStrom

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Day 216 – 12th July 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on July 12, 2009

Sunday – Williston, North Dakota


Well, after my R&R in Miles City, it was time to leave. I was a bit confused as I thought it was Monday for some reason, doh, so when I found out it was Sunday, I was not expecting the earthship crew to be getting up any time soon. I was hoping to go and see what they were building, but although I strung out the packing for as long as possible, no one showed their heads. Never mind, these things happen! This is where I have been staying for the past three days, an older motel, cheap with crap water, but in the end, not a bad location.

I was on the way around 9am or so and heading north east towards Sidney. I kept the pace down because I forgot to get fuel and with the headwind I needed to keep the revs down, I could have turned back, but that is not in my nature 🙂 In the end I knew there was a small town up north of me and eventually I stopped in Terry and fuelled up, I was pushing the limit of the tank mind you, I may not do that again anytime soon.

There was not all that much to look at out here, the road followed and crossed the river a few times, but mainly it was hay country. I have found out that the reason they grow so much hay, is because the land is covered in snow for over 8 months of the year, so they need to feed the cattle.

I got into Sidney about midday and decided to have some lunch and hopefully find some internet to check on emails. Strange, but when you don’t have it, you realise how much you rely on the web, because when it is not there you feel disconnected.

After a nice lunch of chicken strips and chips(fries) and just barely finding a signal to check email, I headed off again. Just outside of town was a historic info spot, but despite running around some dirt roads, I could not find the one they mention at the bottom, maybe they could do with a sign post or two!

Not long after this is the reason I came in this direction, to pick up the North Dakota state sign. 🙂

After this is was a straight run east then north until I chose the town of Williston as a place to stay. I had lost an hour crossing the state border, so it was later than I thought and I was dog tired, it was very hard to keep my eyes open for some reason, so eventually I found a motel and settled in.

I followed up on some details for my trip north in the morning and also did some more research on my GPS, because I decided I would buy the Canada maps, I was going to be there for a month or more, so it would be useful. When I tried to buy the maps (only available online via TomTom website and installed software) it said I already had it????? True, my computer software of TomTom Home said I already had Canadian maps, here is the screen shots to prove it!! The first map is the basic page, then after I have clicked on ‘more details’ it shows more.

Despite what it says, I do not have Canada maps even though it says these are on my device, I do have USA, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the rest it mentions but even if I look at the map on the device, when I zoom out and look north of the US border, it is blank!! So, the timing was right, it was about 11am in Oz, so I phoned TomTom support about the two issues I have. He checked out my account and I sent him the above screen shots, he then advised to delete my USA maps off my computer and download again, the latest version would have the Canadian provinces etc. That sounded good, so I did so, that was when I found the connection to the TomTom server was so slow, to download the 1.6GB maps would take over 10 hours or more! I did not have enough power in my laptop nor GPS to run that long while asleep, I only had one power plug adaptor. The other issue with my broken GPS bike mount, he said I would have to send it back, how &@%^#&#* stupid is that, I need it to hold the damm GPS to my dashboard! It looks like I will have to try and find another mounting bracket and buy it, then get this one replaced when I return home. He did mention Walmart as a place in the US to buy TomTom devices and I just happened to be in a motel right next to one. I went over late at night, it was after 9pm, but, they only have car ones and it would be hard to find a TTR2 bracket I think. This is a view of my motel from Walmart, the sun is still up and it is late at night, this could get hard to get used to methinks.

Anyway, I gave up on the map download, maybe tomorrow morning I could find a direct LAN connection and see if that was faster.

Thanks once again to Jim and Lesley, without the use of their phone account, the above phone call would not have been possible.


Day 199 miles and 320 km
Trip – 24,330 miles and 39,155 km

Cheers
TravellingStrom

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15 Responses to “Day 216 – 12th July 09”

  1. Donunder said

    Mate, it seems like you’ve been having Tom Tom troubles forever. Is it too late/ not feasible with your other gear/ not economical or practical/ whatever, to just ditch the TT and bite the bullet and buy a Zumo? I think you’ve proved pretty convincingly that the TT stuff is just too fragile for continuous bike use, and that their Help line sucks.
    On a brighter note, I’m really enjoying keeping up with your travels.
    All the best,
    Don.

    • Hi Don

      I think that in retrospect, what can I say except that when I finally get in touch with TT, they are good to go?

      What seems to happen is that I get the TT contact email addresses off the internet from forums like ours, but that is not the way TT work, because they never answer!

      I can use the online help thing they offer, but this takes time. In the end I phoned them direct last night. I used a special account number I was given by Jim and Lesley, so after the phone call of 38 minutes at international rates, it cost them/me $1.14c. Apparently in all the phone calls I have made back home, I owe them less than 6 bucks!!!

      TomTom support were great, the chap I spoke to was very helpful, it is amazing that within 12 hours I am believer of their help desk. I still hate the way they do business, because I should not have to rely on a crap server to do a download like the way I did.

      In the end, I get a Canada download, but still no bike mount. I have asked them where I can buy one, hopefully they will answer.

      Nice hearing from you Don. let me know how the whitewash goes

      Cheers Richard

    • Hi,

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  2. Al & Ann said

    Hey Richard, We picked up a RAM mount for our Garmin in Daytona last year and 30,000 miles ago and it has worked great, no signs of cracking anywhere and I know they make mounts for many application. You might want to look them up and find a dealer near you, I think you would be happy with their product. Re:www.ram-mount.com. We are still enjoying the blog. Ride On! Al & Ann

    • Hi Al

      I cannot do that, the mount I am talking about is an electrical bracket/cradle that the GPS gets its power from. The mount is physically intact, it is electrically faulty.

      Cheers TS

  3. Art Wallace said

    G’day Rich. I see you’re riding *eastbound?!* in North Dakota right now. Did you get turned back @ the border or something?? I hope you’re not looking at making the crossing @ Portal… That’s the place I was telling you about my Dad & I getting a shakedown & playing 20 Questions with three different Canadian officers. That place fuggin sucked!!

    Cheers!
    -Art

    • I was turned back at Futura and was told to go to Portal. I have been allowed into the country after many hours of effort.

      It will all be explained on todays date blog entry, either today or tomorrow. I will have to be careful what I say 🙂

      Cheers TS

      • Art Wallace said

        Wow, they *told* you to go to Portal?? Man, you must’ve really pissed them off in Futura-LOL. Followed your Spot yesterday PM and was glad you see it move up the road to Estevan… Looked like you got to enjoy their company at Portal for awhile though! ;o)

        Yes, you’ve got to watch what you say to them at the border. I’ve learned the less said, the better. We were doing fine until I volunteered that we were going to visiting a specific someone in Saskatoon and he was going to travel with us to Alaska… After the grilling we got we wondered if we were going to have an axe murderer riding with us-LOL.

        I wish I’d known you needed a back-up to the TT… I’ve got plenty of paper maps of western CA & Alaska that you could’ve taken. I’m sort of old school and still use “paper GPS” most of the time. The worst that can happen is they get wet & tear!

        • Hi Art

          I told the truth about some old DUI’s I had a long time ago, that caused the problem. It is resolved now though as you can tell.

          btw I still have not had a reply from your Alaskan people?

          Cheers TS

          • Art Wallace said

            Good AM, Richard,

            Have you tried calling them? Roger mentioned a phone call would be the best way to contact him. I recall you mentioned something about not being able to make international calls on your current phone; however, I don’t believe AK is considered as such. Just guessing but if you were able to call me on it, you might be able to call Alaska, too??

            My cell stopped working when I crossed into Mexico in ’05 but it’d worked wherever there was a signal in Canada & AK.

            Rubber side down, m8!

            • Hi

              I spoke to 10Net, my phone is now enabled for international calls, ahh but, it will NOT work in Canada, I was originally under the impression it was good for up here, but no.

              So, I guess I will have to find a pay phone box, or buy some phone up here

              I will see, but it makes it a bit more difficult until I get sorted up here

              Cheers Richard

              • Art Wallace said

                Did you need me to contact them for something in particular?? If you do, let me know via PM and I’ll do my best to get ahold of Roger.

                Have you plotted your route there? If you’re taking the Tok cut-off and riding the Glenn Hwy there’s a guy named Jack in Glennallen, AK that you’ll want to meet. His tours down to Valdez are well known with many of the MTF folks. Dad & I missed him on our trip but Leslie & I were able to catch up with him when we flew up in ’04.

                Keep on keeping on!
                -Art

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