Today is our rest day in Sioux Fall, SD--that means, no biking and sleeping in till 10! I also got a pedicure and manicure and did some miscellaneous shopping at Target and Walmart (need those Power Bars to keep going)! I just figured out that I've been on the road for 31 days in 28 motels! The low temps for biking have been 45 degrees on 3 mornings and the high temps, 100 degrees, going into Boise, ID and yesterday, going into Sioux Falls, SD! There are lots of farms and plains in South Dakota--sometimes, I've been excited to see animals, as when I petted this miniature horse! On Friday night, some of us went to a rodeo--great local fun--in Mitchell, SD. Earlier in the day, we visited the corn palace in Mitchell, which is huge enough for basketball games and graduations!
Let me divert and tell you about two random acts of kindness on this tour:
When I was biking into Casper, WY, I was suffering from a physical and emotional meltdown--just couldn't cut the mustard any more. It's exciting to be biking across the country, but it can also be exhausting. Another cyclist, Margot Weinstein from Greenwich, CT took it upon herself to bike at a much slower speed than normal to ensure that I finished for the day. It's not easy to cut back on one's cycling speed to help out someone else--I'll never forget how kind Margot was to take this selfless task on. I was able to bike on and finish for the day!
On day 24, when we were biking from Wall to Pierre, SD, I was leaving the rest stop at mile 58 when Barb, one of the tour leaders, said, wait a minute, I have something for you. She went to the cab of her truck and gave me a picture postcard from Ellie with Leki and Ellie swimming in the condo pool. The sun was strong the day I took their picture, and Leki has one eye closed. For the next 21.3 miles of biking, we encountered the strongest headwinds I ever encountered on a bike--it was just like biking against a wall. But I had put the picture postcard in my mapcase on the front of my bike, and whenever I felt totally discouraged, I'd look down and see Leki winking at me, telling me that I could do it!
Without these two acts of kindness, including numerous e-mails, I wouldn't have been able to bike the 2,074 miles so far! Tomorrow, we bike into Minnesota, our fifth state! We are more than half-way home!