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July 9


Monday,July 9††† Rapid City, SD††† to†† Wall, SD†††† 58.1 miles††† 1,770 feet of climb


What a fun ride!Here we are in famous Wall, SD and I have been to the WallDrug Store, of course.†† This humungous tourist trap has a little of everything.I had to take a photo of the sign just outside of town ( Iíll postit later when the photos get home ).It said they had homemade pie, I was SO hungry after this 58 mile ride, I went directly to the place after checking at the motel if our rooms were ready. They werenít and wouldnít be for 3 hours.I got in at 11AM today,Wow, just like a day off, almost.I ate lunch at Wall Drug and like all visitors, I had a few glasses of their free ice water.The Husteads who operated Wall Drug in the 1930ís started offering free ice water to all and they still do to this day. I stopped in the nice chapel inside the drug store.It is a design taken from a chapel in Iowa made by the Trappist Monks in 1850.I may have to go back later in the afternoon and visit the donut factory.


††††††††† Getting outof Rapid City this morning, we sure had to watch our route map closely.Since we were staying on the west side of town (usually we come in and go across town) last night, we made our way through town and out east.We had 18 left and right combination turns before headingout on Hwy 1416.After passing the entrance to Ellsworth Air Force Base,traffic became practically none.What fun the roads were the continual short rollers.From mile 12 to mile 31, I felt like I was going on a giant roller coaster.What was so fun was delighting in my increasing strength and speed.We have done so many hills that is it any wonder that Iím having so much fun now because of this increased physical conditioning?


††††††††† I got stung by a bee on my hip this morning while riding down Interstate 90. Ouch!Now, it itches like crazy.After we finished the roller coaster country road we entered on to I-90 and rode for 25 milesright up to the exit to Wall, SD.The road was clear and smooth, but we did have to stay clear of the continuous rumble strip that ran right to the left of our bike wheels.I lost focus for a few seconds as I was looking over to the left at some scenery and I rode on to the rumble strip.My God, I thought my eyes and brains were being rattled around in my head.


††††††††† And now for the road kill count.South Dakota is full of those horrible rattlesnakes and the 6 I saw today were big ones!I had to pee pretty bad and I rode on as long as I possibly could before parking my bike along the Interstate and walking down the side of the hill to find a spot to squat.Believe me, I would have left my shorts right in that spot if one of those icky snakes slithered by!


††††††††† It was so unbelievably hot this afternoon, I was very thankful I didnít have to be out there in this heat and humidity.It rained here this afternoon.Storms seem to come up quickly and pass quickly too.Sure so hope it isnít like this tomorrow.We have 116 miles Ė an all day trip for me.


††††††††† I was sitting in the motel lounge writing this journal entry and Fr. Jim came in.He had to tell me to go over to St. Patrickís Church.He stopped in and saw and incredible art collection.I walked the 3 blocks over to the church.The former Pastor left his fabulous art collection for all to enjoy.Just amazing.From all over the world, he collected crosses and each and every one is unique and different.Many were of rare woods and various metals, each one a study.Looking out from the beautiful Blessed Sacrament Chapel was a beautiful flower garden with some unusual wood carvings.Iím so glad he looked me up and told me to make this visit.Truly a quiet and peaceful highlight of this lovely day. God is good. Deo Gratius