Today was day 5 of our trek. As we looked at the weather report, we figured we had to hustle this morning to get going. We’re getting better at the morning routine, so we were able to get the wheels-a-turnin’ by 7:07am. With the temp at a cool 52 degrees, and the wind out of the Northeast at 6mph, we were set for another great day of riding.
The trip was all smooth sailing for the first half of our ride. The roads were great and we had a nice wide shoulder to ride on as we went West on Hwy 34 and turned south on Hwy 81. If you’re keeping track, the start of our ride (1449 10th Street S, Fargo ND) was just 2 blocks off of Hwy 81 (University Ave) in Fargo. Due to road construction just south of Fargo, we meandered our way out of Fargo, through Moorhead, and South on Hwy 75. Eventually, we went West to connect again with 81 going South. Now, a state away, and over 300 miles away from our origin….we’ve found ourselves on Hwy 81 again.
Right before we turned right on Hwy 38, we stopped at the local Cenex Station in Salem, SD, for a quick snack. The nice cashier re-assured the rest of our route to Mitchell, and warned us to watch for the trucks coming from the rock quarries in Spencer. Sure enough, the trucks were truckin’ on by, but fortunately for us, they gave us plenty of space when they were passing. Just beyond the quarries, we started to feel a few drops coming down. I asked Michael if he thought we should get out the rain gear. He said, “Naw, I don’t think it’s going to do anything”. I agreed, saying “Yeah, the oncoming cars aren’t running their windshield wipers. About a mile or so further, it was clearly raining and Michael said, “I think we should pull over and get the rain gear out”. Good thing, because we had rain for the remainder of today’s trip.
After what seemed like a somewhat short amount of riding, we came upon an Epiphany, and it is this: 18 miles used to seem like a long way, but when you already have 47 miles behind you for the day, it’s pretty much right around the corner…OK..maybe the next corner….maybe next one…next? Ok…18 miles is still a ways. On this leg of the journey, we passed Lobo Solo, what appeared to be a town with a population of one. From the looks of it, this person had moved into town…a different town.
So…we made it through our first “Get the rain gear!” drill and ended up only slightly soggy, but still smiling when we got to Mitchell (pop: 15,484), home of the Corn Palace http://www.cornpalace.org/index.php
After getting a little bit of work done, we ventured out to the local Ruby Tuesday. Our waitress, Brittany, was excellent. She made sure we had everything we needed, and she even helped point out some of the “must dos” while we’re at our next stop tomorrow, in Chamberlain, SD.
So…if we could only find the lobby to our hotel, we’d be able to get to our room and get everything set for departure tomorrow. Wish us luck!