Av – 10.9 mph
Dis – 51 miles
Tm – 04:40 hrs.
Asc – 474 ft.
It’s a good thing Pierre wasn’t that far away, because I just wasn’t in the groove today. I snoozed for another half hour after my alarm went off at 0630. The wind was blowing out of the southwest, up over the foot of my sleeping bag, and somehow right down my neck. It was a breezy one alright. The sun was trying to rise above the tree line but hadn’t broken over yet. I began changing into my warmer rising clothes without getting out of my sleeping bag. The heat I worked up was enough to get me out of my bag, pack up my gear in record time, and push west on Hwy 14 towards Pierre.
The next 32 miles rolled by pretty effortlessly. I called Dale at the Hwys 14 and 83 junction to find out he wouldn’t be in Pierre until 1830.
The day had finally warmed up enough to strip back down to my short sleeve jersey and riding shorts. I pushed the last sixteen miles to Pierre with a light crosswind and plenty of sunshine.
Pierre was an utter disappointment. I rode what seemed miles waiting for the city to envelope me, and suddenly, between the rural route mailboxes and “Dance with Wolves Filmed Here” signs, I was at the front door of The Governor’s Inn. It was impressive. Fresh baked cookies, iced tea, and coolers full of pop and beer awaited me in the lobby. In exchange for a practically endless stream of Iraq stories, Sam, the suspected semi-gay lobby clerk, hooked me up with more than a few Miller Lites while I waited in the lobby for Dale and Jodi.
When they finally arrived after 1900, citing confusing detours and road construction, we made a beeline for evening chow and retired to the hot tub for discussions of the next three days. We talked routes and time lines, rest stops and layovers, even though I knew full well it would all work itself out one way or another in the end.
I spent another hour or so writing a quick progress report for my website, uploading tour media to my laptop, and tuning up my bike with tools Dale brought from home. And, at almost 2300 and a long day ahead tomorrow, it’s time to hit the rack.