day 23

it took me about five minutes to remember where i stayed last night…everything is sort of blending together. alexei and i stayed in winner, sd. we even had pizza hut for dinner. this morning we had to wait for the storm to pass before we could continue riding. currently there is a massive storm that stretches from here to michigan. on the radar, it looks like it’s swirling around us, like a giant tornado. that’s going to be a windy ride. the first chance the rain let up, around 10:30, we took off. we finally had a tailwind! after a few days of riding into the wind, our ride was easier.

the hills were easy to glide over with that added bonus of wind. i kept thinking that if we get far enough southeast, we’ll be done with the storm. after riding for about 60 miles, it began to sprinkle. we stopped in a small place called bonesteel, going inside for a snack and coffee. the second we got inside, the rain came. it poured. i hurried outside to cover my saddle and wool blanket, making sure that neither was going to soak up the rain.

here’s a few things about rain. first. i didn’t go with fenders on my touring bike because i figured: if it’s raining, i’m going to get wet. there’s no way around it. i will be riding for eight hours a day and i won’t be able to avoid some storms. second. i hate cold rain with a passion. if it’s not warm or hot rain, i can’t stand it. it was 55 degrees out when the rain came, and the drops were like ice water. third. the rain here has changed my opinion of what’s needed. i really don’t need the rain. all of the farmers, residents, homeowners, everyone really, they want the rain. they need the rain to help with crops. they need the rain for everything. i’m just a guy that doesn’t want the rain, they are people that need the rain to survive. they seem to matter more, and i’m glad they were able to get rain. i’ve seen at least a dozen bridges that i’ve crossed just to find out the river below was dried out. even more than that, there have been rivers that have significantly lowered water levels.

while we were in bonesteel, we looked over our route about ten miles, there was a junction that went northeast or south. we were supposed to turn northeast, but if we went south for a mile, we could go to nebraska. neither of us were supposed to be in nebraska, but we thought since we had the chance, why not cross the border for a minute. yes, it added an extra mile of riding straight into the wind, but when, if ever, would i be in nebraska?

after crossing the border and recovering the extra two miles, one there, one back, we only had nine more miles to go. thankfully, even with the wind, it was all downhill. halfway there, we passed the storm. everything looked so beautiful. we arrived to the campsite and decided to take shelter from the wind in a covered picnic area. to our excitement, we also had a drinking fountain and power outlets. yes, that’s exciting. tomorrow it will be really interesting to see the dam, but there’s a giant hill on the other side that looks daunting. i know i’ve been over mountains, but i can’t wait for the plain states. day 23 done. oh, i think this is also my halfway point for days as well. cheers!




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