7/17 - Miller to De Smet SD - Day 32
The theme for today was: “A Little Ride on the Prairie”. The destination for today is De Smet which is the home town of Laura Ingalls who wrote the stories in the "Little House" book series ( http://www.ingallshomestead.com ).
Plans were made last night to get up earlier that usual in order try to get in before the heat becomes too hot! I was up by 4:45AM and in the school having breakfast by 5:30AM. They were nice enough to have the breakfast early today. Erika, Jim, Lauri and me headed out by 6AM. The sun wasn’t even up yet! When it did rise it was a bright red ball, almost worth getting up for. The road was great, smooth, fast and very little traffic. As we’re heading east, we’re going to be starting to hit more towns.
The first one is in fifteen miles (Wessingtion). We told that a nifty shop called “ABCraft ‘n Things” would be open for us. We were there shortly after 7AM. It turns out the shop had great espresso, the first that I’ve had in a while. Many other bikers soon arrived and we visited with them and the local residents for almost an hour before getting on the road again. By 9AM we had traveled thirty two miles.
The land has started to become more and more flat. No significant climbs. You can spot the upcoming towns miles away, by spotting the water towers or grain silos. We hit the picnic stop a bit after 10AM and were out within an hour. By the time we left lunch we could really feel the heat coming on. The crosswinds from the south had picked up as well. By now we had five folks in the group, Erika, Tom, Jim, Lauri and me all taking turns at the head of the pace line. We had thirty more miles to go and wanted to get them out of the way. Again, like yesterday, the water stops were critical in keeping us going.
We then we the very small town of Iroquois. A cozy cafe called the Checkered Apron looked very inviting. We had sodas, floats, malts and pie. Nice break. We got back on the bikes with the toughest ten miles remaining. The road to De Smet was slightly uphill, not much typically, but with the heat it was a lot of work. Coming into De Smet we found Wards V Store that had great Iced drinks and internet access. I’m haply typing away, with an Iced Latte in an air conditioned building. I think that I’m in heaven!!!
Tomorrow we’re heading north to Watertown. We hope that the winds from the south that we’ve been fighting for the past couple of days will push us all sixty miles. If so, we’ll all be happy campers!