Thursday, July 10†† Wall, SD† to Pierre, SD†††††††††† 117.7 miles††††††† 3270 feet of climb
††††††††† I was never so glad to see a river!† When the Missouri River came into view from the top of the last and final hill on the day, I breathed a great sigh of relief.† Only two more miles to go to the destination in Pierre, S.D..†
What a day!† A day that builds strength,† perseverance and character on this bike journey.† It was 117+ miles and I have great admiration for the pioneers that had to cross South Dakota in a covered wagon.† A bicycle is just a little step up.† But the rain and wind challenged us both.† Since it was such a long day mileage wise, luggage truck opened at 5:15AM.† Larry was just a few minutes late ( first time! ) opening the truck.
It started to rain cats and dogs just as some of us got on our bikes and headed out.† I didnít† go for the breakfast.† I ate in my room.† A Nutritional drink from a can, a huge sticky cinnamon roll and a power bar.† I wasnít going to sit in the cafe and then get a late start.† Besides we lost a whole hour when we passed into the Central Standard Time zone.† That made the day really long.† The rain was coming down hard for the first ten miles.† We were drenched but I didnít mind riding in the rain.† It was actually a welcome change from the blazing heat.†
By the first SAG stop at 25 miles we put the rain gear away.†† We lucked out and it stayed cloudy and pretty cool for almost the entire day.† What a boost that was to have the cloud cover.† We were rolling up and down non stop.†
Then things changed dramatically at mile 84.† Head wind.† We were riding right into it for the last 35 miles.† What a challenge.† But Iím so much stronger now and it didnít mentally defeat me like it did back a week ago. Sure was glad to get to the top of the last climb through the changing wind- side wind, head wind back and forth.
††††††††† So were here in the Capital† of South Dakota.† Everyone was really dragging tonight and when we found out at route rap tonight that we have a 20 mile detour , we all groaned.† 95 miles to Chamberlain tomorrow.
††††††††† Road kill today:† 2 rattlesnakes, bigger than any Iíve seen!
††††††††† The land is now being used for smaller crop growing.† Not so many cattle farms.† Things look nice and green and there are lots of corn fields in this area.
††††††††† Good night.† Iím ready to sleep quick and look forward to a new adventure tomorrow as we cycle following the Missouri River.