Pages

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 26 - Chamberlain to Mitchell


Today is going to be hot!


But I think I'm up to the challenge.

I start out at the crack of dawn.

Big hill at the start...
and I climb it with no problem.



Maybe I'm finally getting stronger!










I wave to the cows as I bike by with ease.














The fields are flooded...





Every state we've visited seems to have had record rainfalls this year.









Al bikes up and joins me early in the ride.

So nice to get to bike with her every now and then.












Some of these country houses are amazing...

Steel roof...

Old barn wood siding....







...and then there are the old family farms...

in the family for generations.

In a week Al I will will visit our family farm in Wisconsin.

It's been in our family for over 150 years now.

We will be burying my Dad's ashes there.




But for now...

We're hungry!

We're always hungry.

So we stop at the Doo-wah Ditty's Diner - open daily unless Dennis goes fishin'.







Great cherry pie...

but no "a la mode".









Check out the headlines - 

Hail damage...

and rain 8 inches above normal.

I thought so!







On the road we have our challenges.


Loose pink gravel...








Headwind and heat!


















Our friendly corner SAG stop...








...has a wonderful martin house.

Oops! I still owe Tom a martin house for his last birthday!

Remind me when the trip is over.











Speaking of birds, we see pictures of South Dakota's state bird...

The pheasant...

...a native of China.




I'm melting, so we stop in Plankinton for Gatorade...

Home of the annual Pheasant Fest.




I keep biking by all of these fields looking for remnants of tall grass prairie.

As you go west to east you get more rainfall...

And the desert changes to prairie...

first short grass...

then mixed grass...





...and last, the great tall grass prairie with its rich black soil.

That richness has been its bane. It's all been plowed.

It is now one of the most endangered habitats on the planet...

and one of the most beautiful!







Tom just sent me pictures of our prairie in Indiana we had planted 10 years ago.


The soft tall grasses sway over Tom's head (and Tom is 6'4").






As we walk the paths of our 33 acres we hear songbirds and smell the sweet bee balm....












Our prairie is a haven for butterflies, birds and people who love nature.

I hope to find some original tall grass prairie somewhere on this journey across America.









In the meantime, I limp into the hotel, washed out by the heat and humidity.

I collapse into bed - too tired to visit the famed Corn Palace of Mitchell.

So you'll have to enjoy Gerard's picture....

Besides, King Corn is what replaced so much of the  wonderful prairie lands.

Maybe it's a good thing I didn't go there.






I do crawl out for route rap...







This time we get our update at the hotel pool where bikers can dip their tired feet in the cool water.

And I get to meet little Huey whose Dad, Todd, is one of our sterling bikers.













After route rap, Al and some of the more energetic of our group go to the annual Corn Palace rodeo.





I pass.

I'll just stay in the room...

go to sleep...



...and dream of prairies...









Post a Comment