Day 26 July 13, 2012 Chamberlain, SD to Mitchell, South Dakota

Tractor in South Dakota

Today was a “leisurely”  day in South Dakota.  We had an excellent buffet breakfast at a local restaurant.  Oatmeal, sticky buns and fresh honeydew melon.  We were on the road by 6:35 motoring out of Chamberlain on ROute 50 East toward Pukwana. It actually seemed a bit chilly in the mid-sixties but we knew that would change.  The air was a bit humid and the roads were good.  The ABB staff suggested that we might wish to take a short detour into the town of Pukwana (population 285).

Life seems much simpler here in South Dakota. After leaving the town of Pukwana, we biked to the Town of Kimball, South Dakota.  Kimball is famous for its Tractor Museum.  So we went for our friends Bob W. and Jeff who we know could have spent hours there.  It was actually at least six buildings of vintage tractors, farm machinery, some cars and trucks, a doggie treadmill and then a museum of “home products” (meat grinders, egg weights, bread boxes, rotary telephones, etc.

But, alas, that was only Mile 22 and we had 72 miles to bike today and it was heating up.  If we had a wind it was slightly tailwind so that was good.

We made it through the kind of boring warm, sunny miles … to the town of Mitchell, South Dakota, home of the world-famous Corn Palace.

The Corn Palace is free to visitors.  I am not sure how it pays its expenses.  There were crews all around the outside putting up the corn husks into the mural.  Every year it is a different theme.  This year “saluting youth activities.”

The entire outside of the building is decorated with “corn parts.”  We actually went inside and listened to the video on when/where/how it came about.  It was pretty well done and it was nice and cool in there too.  A perfect way to get out of the noon time sun.  So we enjoyed the stop but were ready to check into our hotel and put our feet up for a couple of hours. No such luck.  Our rooms were not ready so we decided to bike down the road for some frozen yogurt (we ran out of recovery drink … so a new alternative.)

We found the place – the yogurt was OK – we added blueberries – and then got thinking it must be time to be picking blueberries back home … something to look forward to. When we got back to our hotel, our room was ready so we could get organized and showered.  We decided to go to “mechanics” today and get our chains checked.  We have now gone 2,000 miles and it is recommended that you get a new chain before you start wearing out your cog sets.  yes, we needed ne chains.  Jim had time to put them on, tighten our head sets (lots of bumpy roads) and check our brake pads .. all appears A-OK.  Good for another 2,000 miles.  Dinner was at a Mexican Restaurant.  Nice people, decent food … We are off about 6:30 AM tomorrow for a 75 mile side to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  And a DAY OFF !   Lots to do ..  mail stuff home we don’t use, check on new bike seats (my current one is shredding since it is my old one), more recovery drink and sleep in and eat leisurely meals!    Until then ….