Monday, January 9, 2012

Divine Wind

Saturday, July 12th. Big surprise- I slept in again today. But, Grandpa Josh did as well so at least he wasn't pissed. A hot shower and shave and we prepared for departure! We decided to stop by and say goodbye to the old lady who owned the place. Josh found her particularly endearing and actually took a video of her saying hello to Josh's girlfriend (Jen) and sent it to her. I'm sure the lady had no idea what was going on (seeing as she was probably more familiar with dinosaurs than the internet) but it was still cute.

I felt really good after an awesome night's rest, but I really was not looking forward to cycling again after yesterday's headwinds. Not that I typically look forward to cycling any morning for that matter. But I was particularly negative about it today. So, I just evaded the whole issue by coercing Josh into eating a massive breakfast. We went to the local grocer and loaded up on bread, meat, cheese and pickles and made some monster sandwiches. Being fat > being active/productive.

Sadly though, no matter how much I put it off we eventually had to bike. And man did I feel like an idiot once we started! We made our way to I-90 and quickly realized God was finally smiling down on us. Our headwind from yesterday had shifted a full 180 degrees. We had the fastest tailwind perhaps ever recorded by a cyclist! The wind was HOWLING! Screaming. Josh and myself giggled like school girls as we rocketed down the road at 20mph with ease. The slightest effort and we would break mid 20's... 30's... 40's.... Look for yourself.

We made more distance in two hours than I had expected to all day! Didn't take long until we made it to our next 100th mile...

Milestone 17 of 35ish!

The miles flew by effortlessly. Probably the toughest part of the day was evading all the roadkill (ever seen a porcupine? They're huge!). Early in the afternoon we we right outside of Chamberlain, SD. It was a pretty little area with a good size river running through it (the first body of water we've seen in the state). Talking to a few locals we discovered this river cut the state more or less in half and more importantly divided the "hilly" side of South Dakota from the "flat" side. This day keeps getting better and better!

We hiked up a barely significant hill (the wind was temporarily blocked by some high rocks and trees right off the road) but a mile or two past the river the locals forecast came true. Flat. And I don't mean "flat compared to Wyoming or Montana" or anywhere else that had some variable terrain. I mean "calibrate your lazer level" flat. I knew I was going to love South Datoka!

"Hilly" vs flat. I wonder if that river marked a fault line or something?

We were apprehensive about stopping for the day. We had spent ~5.5 hours actually pedaling and already made 120 miles for the day! But between slights breaks for food, water and bathrooms the Sun was sinking low in the flat South Dakotian horizon. We were only about 30 miles from the next town and we both were eager to try and push for a 150 mile day but we knew it would be dark and I-90 in the pitch black seemed like a stupid idea even by my foolishly lackidasical standards. We decide to at least check a campsite or two just to feel them out before we continued on since we were pretty much in the middle of no where.

We pulled up to the campground and I was pleased to see it was called "Gordy's Campground" (note similarity to my address GORD the Seemed like a good omen to me! I mean, the sign reads bikes and tents welcome? We rolled into the campground and a group of children ceased playing long enough to stare at us like some other-worldly creatures. I suppose two gross dudes laden with bike equipment is rare for these parts. We met some of the owners who offered us a camp site for 10 dollars which was a bit too sweet of a deal to pass up. I suppose a lowly 120 miles for the day would have to be sufficient.

We talked with the owners for about five minutes and learned the campground was family owned getaway from their day to day grind in Souix Falls. They seemed really nice and were very curious to hear of our adventures! After chatting maybe 15 minutes the family patriarch returned to the campground dirty from an afternoon of four wheeling. The man told us we were the second group of cyclist to come through this summer (I guess gross dudes laden with bike equipment isn't as rare as I thought here) and he insisted our money was no good here. He offered to let us stay in one of the mobile campers they owned on the property. We couldn't had been more gracious!

Most generous family in South Dakota!

We talked and made merry until about 1 am when everyone decided to retire for the night. We showered for the second time in two days and crashed hard. What an absolutely perfect day!

Trip Summary
Day's mileage- 119.6
Total mileage- 1785.4


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