Day 24 July 11, 2012 Wall, SD to Pierre, South Dakota

Boy, what a difference a day makes.  When we got up at 4:30 AM today we could hear the wind.  We were sure the day was going to be as hard as we imagined. But, we would divide the 118 mile ride into four 30-mile quarters.

Leaving Wall, South Dakota … early morning grazer …

Route 14East somewhere in South Dakota

We had to do about 3 miles on the Interstate before we picked up 14East … what a great entrance!  Very little traffic so it was easy on and easy off.  The road paving we were told was 11 miles was only 5 miles – and the road construction crews were the only vehicles on the road so we could pick our spot to ride. Once back on smooth road we realized we were clipping along!  OMG a tailwind!  Too good to be true!  We actually had 80 miles of a good tailwind.  We had hazy skies that kept the heat down.  It was going to be a MUCH better day than expected.

It is rolling hills the entire way … by the end of the ride the ups seemed harder but they probable were not.

Mostly farm land:  there was lots of corn, wheat, and hay.  Intermittent cattle and horses and lots of nothing.  The farm houses seemed older and well built – not too many prefabs.  We still see the often times artistic, vintage western entrances to properties.  I could stop at everyone and photograph them (like the “doors of New England”)

We made a right turn onto 14E/34E at mile 80 and the winds were now side winds.  AND after our last SAG stop at Mile 84 the sun came out in full force.  It was HOT. The wind was often HOT BUT we only had 30 miles to go – so go we did.  What a welcome relief it was riding across the Missouri River with cooling winds.

Bob on the Missouri River .. Deadwood Trail

We had plenty of water – the ice melts so fast it is hot in 1/2 hour.  So we were very glad to finish the day – with the reminder that it could have been worse. Tomorrow we head out again on 34E to Chamberlain, South Dakota.  We don’t get to leave as early so we expect another hot finish to the day.  The mileage is only 85 but we do have some hills to climb.  AND we lose an hour sleep!  But, it is a BIG day tomorrow as it will be the half-way point in our trip.  Not only for days on the road but also for number of miles. We are getting close to 2,000!  We totally cannot believe it – time has flown by (except those last 20 miles each day!) On our trip today we did a Poker Run.  Those wishing to play paid $1.00 and got a card.  At each of the 3 SAGS we got another card and at RAP tonight, a “community card” was selected.  And no, we were not winners but it was fun.  We also had our 2nd birthday cake this week – good frosting!  So we should be powered up for the ride tomorrow.  Weather looks hot, the winds look like they will be side winds and there is 40% chance of thunderstorms!  What more could we look forward to.  Happy Day!

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