Rode 81 miles across the great prairie. Rolling hills covered in waving grass. Huge beeves or red angus cows that have huge shoulders and a frame built to carry lots of weight. No spindly-legged dotted milk cows. No sir.
When I woke up this morning, I didn’t think I could ride an inch. Yesterday put some serious hurt on this ol boy with 60 miles into a strong wind.
I stayed at a $55 Super 8 that told me at checkin that they had bag breakfasts available upon request.
I went down and got my bag. What a disappointment…one small kid’s juice box, small fruit cup, and a water. So walked across parking lot to gas station general store. All these small places have sandwiches and microwave and are cheap. Sausage and egg on a muffin works for me.
Next step is to brew up coffee in little machine in hotel. Couple cups and definitely feeling better.
Go Big or Stay Home
I knew today that I had to go big or stay home. There aren’t any hotels or campgrounds between Aberdeen and Eureka. Vast prairie is all.
I could not bear another night in this hotel. The air conditioner would start with such a racket it likely woke up neighbors next door.
Decided to lighten the load a little. I have been shedding items since I started. Today I threw away an old pair of sweats I had brought and also disposed of extra light that I had not used even once.
Had to go for it. I stopped at small store and bought pint of blueberries, small tin of canned meat and some bars. I was on the road by 8:30 headed due west!
All day I saw pheasants, deer, and yellow-headed blackbirds.
Pothole Lakes & Yellow-headed Blackbirds
Yellow-headed blackbirds are everywhere when you are riding by what is called pothole lakes. These are shallow lakes formed by glaciers and refilled by snow melt. This area has one around every bend and typically you find the local cattle drinking or standing on the edge for relief from the heat. The birds are unique because they actually have an orange head, black body and wings except the leading edge of their wings are white. They make a weird clucking noise as I flush them from the edge of road.
It is so desolate out here. I can bike for an hour without being passed by vehicle at times. Towns are 30 miles apart and often don’t have any stores or gas stations. One place I stopped had all dirt roads and 75 cent coke machine at the main corner. I was so relieved when it worked ….warm water gets sooo old.
Eureka – I Made It!
Arriving in Eureka felt good. Longest mileage day so far. No major issues. Survived a tough day.
As I entered town I met an older guy who has lived 70 plus years in Eureka. He told how to find the only camp ground which was 1 mile west of town on a lake. He also warned me the restrooms were still closed due to Covid. I would have to bike into town and use facilities in library which are open 24 hours. Great…I will find a tree!
It’s 9:30 as I write this and it’s still light out…the days are so long here.
Tomorrow I should leave South Dakota and cross into the Northern Dakota.
More adventure tomorrow.