United States 1 July: Baker, Montana - Hettinger, North Dakota

Crossing into Friendly North Dakota

We are very grateful for the complimentary rooms offered by the Montana Motel last night in the town of Baker.

On our morning run we finally entered the beautiful state of North Dakota.

It was a bit chilly but perfect running weather.

One of our first welcomes was by this local bull.

Atul made sure we were well fed before feeding the jealous bull

A group of young Paleontologists stopped their car to run a short distance with Pujari, sharing the Peace Torch and their enthusiastic goodwill.

The flowers were in bloom as we ran with cloudy skies and perfect temperatures.

We started to pass more and more fields of sunflower plants, young wheat and corn as well.

We also started seeing the first oil wells in the area full of natural resources.

We thought of trading in one of our vehicles for this classic old pick up truck but finally decided against it.

Shannon, a reporter from Marmath and her fiancee Jeff waited for us as we passed through her town of 100 residents. She was kind enough to interview us for the Fallon County Times which is a weekly newspaper covering the whole county.

We also were greeted by some of our first wind turbine farms.

In the town of Bowman we were greeted by Sarah, the local librarian who worked hard to get this beautiful library established in her home town.

The women's team were treated to a shopping spree by Malianga and her husband Sveto who travelled 3 hours from Bismark to meet us for the afternoon.

Malianga and Sveto share the Peace Torch with the women's team after buying lots of food to feed the runners for the evening.

Arpan offers Sveto a Peace Run shirt for his kind and enthusiastic support even though he had to leave the same day.

Two Bowman locals were thrilled to share the Torch when they saw us taking photos as they came out of the supermarket.

The women's team was up next to run, strong and ready to go. The fragrant flower fields seems to have given Nayaja some extra power to take on the hills and quickly rising temperatures.

Mananya fills the torches with fuel as they prepare to conquer the long stretches of highways in North Dakota.

Two local cyclists offered some kind words as they passed the team on their way.

This enthusiastic farmer stopped to offer his support and share the Torch.

All the teams finally made it to the Peacock Mercantile Cafe in the town of Hettinger.

Pujari looks content as he sits by the sign welcoming the runners.

Kshema and Nayaja look content as they fill up their plates with delicious food prepared by Pam Burch and her crew here in their new and beautiful cafe and eatery.

The cafe is usually closed on Sunday but they opened up and cooked for us and invited some of the locals to join us. Sidra, a young local runner, joins the women's team for dinner.

We offered an impromptu ceremony and sang for the friendly group of locals who came to meet and greet us today.

Pam Burch and her husband Andrew with one of their children Calista and one of the great cooks receive our little offerings of appreciation for their kindness in hosting us here today.

Pam and Calista are happy to see such a great crowd of people sharing in her newly renovated cafe and eatery.

The locals had an opportunity to pass the Peace Torch and offer their goodwill as well.

Two local physical therapists, Alex and Kathleen Thompson, were very supportive in their encounters with some of the runners here.

Sidra and her mom, Melissa, were also very kind and supportive as they joined us here this afternoon for a wonderful meal and gathering.

Pam's mom, Louise Wood and her husband Gary who was working in the kitchen washing dishes at the time, were very instrumental in getting this beautiful venue ready for business less than a year ago.

Two of the runners find some fun amusement in one of the board games here.

We finally made it to our evening accommodation at the Tip Top Motel. Kayla, one of the managers here, kindly greeted our first team in and offered her great smile and friendly hospitality to us.

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