Loving the ride report, and my new favorite description:
"Not finding any place to stay, we ended up riding until after dark that night, it was the first time we experienced Minsk headlights. You would probably be better off duct taping a Fig Newton to the handlebars and hoping the moonlight bounces off of it and onto the pavement..."
Reminds me of my old MG. It had solar powered head lights. They only worked when the sun was shining.