Feeling a wee bit Nervous

Finally got WIFI that works,  so sitting in my tent typing away – not the most comfortable but the mosquitoes have come out to play so it is safer in the tent.

If you look back I’ve added some photos of Crazy Horse, Mount Rushmore and The Badlands.

So why am I feeling nervous – 2 reasons – (1) I’m very aware of the time disappearing by and that I have a date with the Statue of Liberty and Dad in New York City – (2) I’ve been incredibly lucky with the weather so far and that could well change and in turn affect how long it takes me to get to New York City.   The area that I’ve been cycling through for the last couple of days had been hit by a 3 inch deluge of rain a few days before I got there – Nick, who I met last night, had to decamp and move to a motel for the night – the motel then got a power cut due to the rain fall.

So in spite of above I took things easy yesterday and had a short day on the bike to Pipestone and visited Pipestone National Monument – this is where the Native Americans,  for generations, have quarried the  red pipestone;  carved it into pipes and to finish it off,  heat it and rub bees wax into it to give it a beautiful finish.   Really interesting museum and information centre and I got to see some of the work in process. The short walk to the quarries themselves (where only the Native Americans can dig) was really pretty with lots of wild flowers.

 

So good progress made today from Pipestone to St James and took a wee bit of time out to look round the End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum in Currie.

I’ve been told that the good weather is going to continue for the next week (unlike the poor folks in Texas) so I’m going to keep making progress and heading East towards La Cross,  where Bertie is going to have a wee check up and I’m going to get a new memory card for the camera – current one seems to have packed in and I’m having to rely on my phone for taking pictures.

Night all and love to everyone back home and everyone I’ve met while on the road.

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Hurrah For Nice Easy Cycling

Sounds boring but I’m enjoying the change – long, straight, flat roads – love it – and it’s green. Lots more wee towns as well so more places to stop and have a breather. The only downside of more green is more flies and mosquitoes!

Did get a fright earlier – big dog bounding towards me from out of nowhere – thought he was going to eat me and then I had to hammer on the breaks as he stopped right in front of me – wee heart was going like the clappers – turned out he was just a very cuddly German Shepherd who’d come to say hello and have a cuddle. So I gave him a talking to – told him (or her) not to frighten cyclists and not to run into the road and that I didn’t want him to be road kill – not sure that he listened to me but he liked being clapped. So after that bit of excitement I set off and cuddly doggie headed back in direction, of what I presume is his house.

Camped in a wee town tonight called Colman – nice wee place and met Nick who is camping here during the week while he works – Nick invites me to dinner and have a fabby meal of barbecued hot dogs, yellow peppers and corn on the cob – cheers Nick, it was delicious.

As I type this a wee truck has wizzed in and out of the campsite and various other areas of the town – it’s pulling a wee trailer which is spraying something out of the back of it – I suspect it might be bug spray but not sure – now wondering what I may or may not have just inhaled??

 

Good Food

So after my un-cooked pizza disaster – yesterday while at the Left Tailrace Campground at Fort Thompson I was looked after by Terry and Jean who cooked fabby proper hotdogs on the barbecue and home made chilli – yummy – and tonight at Woonsocket (which is a gorgeous wee town),  Joanne let me use the shower in her RV (big campervan) and then dined me on home cooked stuffed peppers and chocolate brownies – delicious.

Another big thank you to all the super folks I am meeting and hopefully I can do the same for other folks in the future.

Can’t say thanks in person but thank you to all the motorbikers who give me a wave and thumbs-up on the way past – much appreciated. Did speak to one couple yesterday riding the most gorgeous Indian Motorcycle – they were impressed by my bike ride – I was impressed by how shiney their motorbike was – was very tempted to ask if he would take me for a wee ride but didn’t think he would want my sweaty ass on his motorbike.

Dinner Not As Planned.

My diet has not been healthy – just as well I’m cycling it off. I’ve never been very skilled with campsite cooking and I’m getting fed up with tinned chilli, tinned ravioli or crappy packet pasta and sauce. I’m stopping to eat at most places I come to, partly for variety / partly cause it’s a good way to meet folks – breakfasts are always good but even in some of the bigger towns your limited to Subway or a variety of MacDonalds or Burger Kings, etc. Tonight I’m in Pierre and decided to have a Cowboy pizza from Pappa Murphy’s – I didn’t realise until I was presented with an uncooked pizza that Pappa Murphy do “takeaway to bake yourself” – luckily the boss was understanding when I explained I was travelling by bike and couldn’t cook the pizza – refund was given and I ended up eating Chinese takeaway with a nice view of the Missouri River.

So since I last posted I’ve left Wyoming and am now in South Dakota and this evening I’ve jumped an hour ahead and gone from Mountain Time to Central Time. Last night it was dark by 8pm so should get a wee bit more daylight in the evenings now (I think).

The last few days have been tough but good – I’ll see how tomorrow goes but might need to have a wee rest day. Poor Bertie seems to be holding up so far – lots of pedalling but not much love and attention.   All my bruises are pretty much gone but still have a big lump on my arm – doesn’t seem to be causing a problem though.

So in the last few days I’ve been to Crazy Horse, Mount Rushmore and cycled through The Badlands.

Crazy Horse is the Native American’s response to Mount Rushmore and is still an ongoing project (and will be for sometime) – great to see it, even though it seems very destructive to the mountain; lots of artefacts in the museum but not a great deal of actual information past or present and there didn’t seem to be any Native Americans working there – except for the fellow playing a variety of flutes, made from a variety of different woods – loved the music and he had lots of stories and history to tell – glad I’ve been and would be interesting to know what it looks like in another 10 or so years time but came away with mixed feelings.

Mount Rushmore was heaving and worse by the time I left but definitely worth seeing. My history of American Presidents, apart from recognising names – well that’s pretty much it –  but still good to see and also the methods and tools used to do the sculptures was interesting.

The ride to The Badlands from Scenic was dry and barren. Lots of prairie dogs (who have the plague, according to the signs). Before leaving Scenic I met Alvin, one of the Lokota Native Americans – we chatted for a while about a variety of things – Alvin was interesting to chat to, although I didn’t always understand some of what he told me – what I do know is  that Alvin does not like Crazy Horse and tells me it is just a mechanism for getting tax free money.

I was approaching The North Badlands from the South – most people seem to do an in and out from the north – this meant there was much less vehicles on the road which was great but also made me a little nervous if something went wrong. I took the shorter route, which included 7 miles on a dirt track road – I flagged one of the few cars coming the opposite way, down – just to confirm I was going the right way. By the time I had got into The Badlands proper the sun was starting to go down a little which picked out the amazing colours in the rock formations. As well as the sun going down, despite drinking lots, I was badly dehydrated so it was off to Wall as quick as my weary legs could to pitch tent and get food and drink – but not before getting some photos of the very un-wild wild mountain goats, who were well used to tourists!

 

 

 

PPS

Very hazy again today – very bad fires in the West and the smoke is blowing over – especially bad in the area where I cycled not so long ago – hope everyone in the area is safe and big respect to all the firefighters out there.

Ps

Got asked by a very cute little boy yesterday,  why my bike didn’t have a kick stand – he had a point as I was struggling to prop my bike up against a wall.   “I’m sure you can get one in town” he says – “then I can get some glue and help you put it on”   Bless.

2 Ticks Today!

Cycled to Devils Tower today – on route passed by lots of American Classic cars – and guess where they were going!   Great day.   Up early tomorrow – less than 48 hours until the solar eclipse and don’t want to be cycling when that it is happening so trying to cover a bit of ground tomorrow but think it’s going to be hilly again.   Night folks.