Hello everyone from Pierre, SD! We've made it just under 1000 miles so far and it's been 2 weeks and a day since we left St. Louis. Anona posted last so now it's my turn... We haven't gotten to a computer since we stayed at Grandma's last week. It's just been small town after small town up until now, so sorry for the wait!
We left Grandma and Grandpa Dickey's Thursday morning and headed north to Albion to stay with my Uncle Tom and Aunt Jackie. Grandpa gave us a scare before we left. He wasn't looking good all day and Grandma ended up calling the ambulance early in the morning. (We were so sound a sleep, we didn't know what had happened until 3 hours later) As we left York we stopped by the hospital to say our goodbyes. It turns out that Grandpa had pneumonia and is doing much better after a few days in the hospital. A very big relief! Nothing much happened to note on the way to Albion. There was a slight headwind the whole way so we were glad to arrive. Jackie made a delicious meal and some homemade cookies for us! They have this huge bathtub upstairs (I called dibs first!) so I took advantage and soaked for a good hour. This is livin!
The next morning we went by the school that my uncle teaches at and hung out with all the 5th graders for a while. They seemed really excited to see us (I'm sure Tom was talking us up for weeks) and asked a lot of questions. We might even get our picture with the kids in the town paper! After our second breakfast at the Brewed Bean, we set off for O'Neil, Ne. The first 40 miles went by fairly quickly, a little headwind but not bad. We stopped in a town and had burgers/fish sandwiches and shakes at Doogles Cafe, mmmm. Then we took off down the Cowboy Trail for a bit, which was nice but a little too slow compared to the road. We got back on the highway shoulder and had only gone a few miles before we encountered our first "near-death experience". Coming up on an intersection there was a car about to turn left. As it turned, a truck passing us decided to try and pass that car as well. I guess he didn't see the turn signal... We saw it coming in slow motion, like in a movie or something. He hit the car at almost full speed, spun across the road and then flipped over twice, landing rightside up in the ditch about 30 yards in front of us! I don't know how they both were still alive, much less conscious. There were a couple other cars that stopped and people were running to the truck to help. The ambulances took about 30 minutes to arrive, but finally got the passengers out of the car. They seemed to be okay, maybe some minor injuries. We then stayed around another hour to tell the police what we saw. (Anona adds: STUPID IDIOT DRIVERS COULDA HAD US KILLED and CARS ARE COFFINS!!!!!!) Yeah...we were both kinda shaken up the rest of the day. Finally, we made it into O'Neil, about 80 miles for the day. It was dark, we were tired and there was a Super 8 right in front of us. We couldn't resist that kind of luxury!
Saturday we made it to South Dakota! It feels so good to check off another state. It was headwinds all the way and lots of rolling hills though, so we only made it about 55 miles for the day. We stayed in Bonesteel and camped in the city park. The local kids were out in full force that night, playing tag or hide and go seek in the park. We heard lots of "Hey who's camping here?" and "Whose tent is that?". I eventually got to sleep; Anona of course had no problems falling asleep right away.
The next day we woke up with a TAILWIND !!!! To all those who said we were headed the wrong direction, this day's for you! The whole day was so much fun. When we get any kind of tailwind, we try to make the most of it; stopping as little as possible and spinning for as many miles as we can do. I think this is the day we crossed the the river again and where we crossed it was a little over a mile wide! There was a nice long decsent down to it and the long climb out the other side. The whole day we saw lots of sunflower fields and there was hay EVERYWHERE! We flew down the road, ending the day at Chamberlain with 95 miles. (Steve, we stayed at the campground you mentioned - before we saw the comment. Thanks though!) The campground was right on the river and there were showers...so beautiful! Spigot showers are nice, but once in a while a real shower is appreciated. We even got a nice big fire going before we went to bed.
Monday morning we left around 10 (this is turning out to be our typical departure time). There was a nice 3 mile climb out of Chamberlain. probably our longest climb yet. We made it to Ft. Thompson and stocked up at the Dakotamart for the rest of the day. The rest of the day was through the Crow Indian Reservation and there were no services for the next 50 miles. The first 30 miles of the day were pretty much a straight tailwind and went by easily. When we turned west, it became a crosswind and not so easy. The end of the day was rough but we eventually made it into Pierre - 85 miles for the day.
Ok, Dan's fading and starting to get really slow at typing, so I am taking over. We got into Pierre finally after conserving our water and Ratorgade for 50 miles over barren lands. Oh, and we have a person waiting for the computer. We will have to tell the rest later.. ugh..
Well, more about Pierre, the unexpected fruit capitol of the USA, later. Also pictures. They wouldn't upload onto this library's computer. Uhhh.