Day 25, July 15
Miller, SD, to De Smet, SD
Today as we passed through the center of Huron, SD, we completed half our adventure. Somehow it doesn't seem possible. Only yesterday we were ready to start; now we're already halfway home. Except for the brutal heat and wind of the last few days, and the tragic accident, it's been a great trip. We came together as strangers; now we're almost family.
Peter fixes a flat during a rest stop.
Since the weather forecast was for temperatures above 100 degrees and south winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour, most of us started about 5:30, before the sun was up. Breakfast was moved up to 5:15 so we could eat before we left. The early hours were relatively easy, except for a lack of shoulders and the big trucks with which we shared the single lane. Unlike Montana's truck drivers, the drivers here were as accommodating as they could be. Fortunately, we soon had a shoulder to ride on.
By mid-day, the heat was unrelenting, and the cross winds so strong they sometimes blew our bikes a couple of feet sideways. After lunch in Huron, where leader Ryan Kaplan provided ice cream for dessert, we pedaled from convenience store to convenience store where we cooled off and consumed great quantities of Gatorade before pushing off to the next stop. Local farmers were using the stores as well to dodge the heat. At one, there was a lively card game at a table in front of the cash register.
Tonight we are in De Smet, a pretty little town where Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of Little House on the Prairie and related books of historical fiction, lived for many years. In town one of her stories is being presented as a pageant. Local people say that tourism is second only to agriculture as a pillar of the economy.
Earl reclines in his new "deluxe" chair during a rest stop.