7/18 - De Smet to Watertown - Day 33
The theme for the day must have been; “you can’t outwit the wind”. For the past several days, we have been battling the southeast winds as we’ve been traveling east. The route for today called for us to head north. In theory the winds that we have been fighting should have been helping us. BUT Noooooo that was not to be. We woke up in time for breakfast at 6:30 and on the road by 7AM. The winds were calm, the sky was heavy with clouds. Rain was clearly a possibility today. As we got underway we could see a weather front was moving south from the north, just the direction we were heading. By the 10-mile mark, the wind really started to kick up. I’m not sure how hard it was blowing, but it sure slowed our group down to a crawl!! At least the temperature was cooler than other days, maybe in the low 80’s.
We were about four mile out from the first water stop in the town of Bryant when much to our surprise, a white car pulled along side of us and shouted through an open window, that the women driver was with the nursing home in Bryant and she invited us in for coffee and cookies. She then sped off. The word was passed up and down the pace line. We didn’t know what to expect but sure enough there was a nursing home and a bunch of us pulled in. We were welcomed warmly and we all had cookies, tea and coffee and visited a bit with the staff and patients. It seems that for the past couple of years, this nursing home has been playing host to the cyclists. Each year Cycle America has passed by the Parkview Care Center on a Thursday about this time in the month. See we were expected! After a short visit we were off.
By now the sky was more threatening than ever and cooler as well. It seems the front was going to bring welcomed cooler temperatures. We continued on almost twenty more miles to lunch, arriving by 10AM. We left by 11AM and headed north, only 20 more miles for the day. Less than five miles out, the rain that had been threatening, hit us. We had a chance to get our jackets and get back on the road before the brief down poor hit. It must have been over within five to ten minutes. For the rest of the ride, the wind shifted and became a cross to tailwind. Nice way to end a ride.
We arrived in Watertown by 1PM and found a nice restaurant with lattes and hot buns. Tomorrow we leave South Dakota and enter Minnesota. We’ll end up in the city of Montevideo. We’ll see how the winds treat us.