Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bike America Day 31: No Brie on Bastille Day

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day's distance: 63.01
Overall distance: 1,594 miles

It was Bastille Day and, sandwiched between the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and Badlands National Park, we could not have felt any further from France. We were graced by another pretty view of sunrise from our campsite and we began our ride before 7AM for the first time all summer. As we rode away from the Wanblee convenience store, though, my mom noted that we’d soon be losing an hour and 6:30AM would turn to 7:30AM when we entered the central time zone later that morning. Still, it was cool and the sun was low for the early part of the day. We pedaled over many hills and passed some more scatterings of badlands-type formations amongst the grassy hills.

 My parents switched at mile 32 and my dad and I braced for the horrible heat that was headed our way. We rode 15 painful miles to White River, SD where we sat on asphalt with our backs leaning against the shady side of a casino. We made more tomato, avocado, and swiss sandwiches and re-filled our water bottles with ice and Gatorade powder.

The final fifteen miles into Wood, SD were really hard. The heat was dangerous and the hills were many. My heat rash was back in full force and we did everything we could to just keep pedaling. My mom was waiting in Wood with the car and she reported to us our options for lodging: rent a hunting lodge in Wood that would cost $150 for the night or drive 30 miles up to I-90 and rent a motel room that would surely be cheaper. We opted for the drive and motel.

I rubbed calamine lotion on my legs and then fell asleep in the backseat of the car. When I woke up, we were pulling into the Landmark Inn parking lot in Murdo, SD. It was a cute, family-owned motel off the interstate and we got a small room for $67. It was the strangest motel room I’ve ever stayed in but it was cold and cozy.

My mom and I made a quick trip to the local drive-in to pick up dinner. I wanted a baguette, brie, nutella and a glass of sancerre but none of that seemed to exist in the small town. Instead I got a turkey burger and a mixed berry smoothie which I ate with tortilla chips. While eating and blogging, we watched Double Jeopardy and Sleepless in Seattle. There was something comforting about watching movies in bed. Another hot day down, many more to go...

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