GREAT FACES, GREAT PLACES Note: See Day 20 also posted today.
Photo: Ft Casper
There was no rainbow as we left Lusk, WY in the morning rain, just dark skies and scattered showers all day. It rained for the first 30 miles– and the last 10– of today’s 92 mile bike ride to Hot Springs, South Dakota.
I rode most of the day with Keith (Iowa), Dan (CA), and “new guy” Dave from Syracuse, NY , who joined the group in Casper. We kept up a good pace all day hoping to outrun the chasing rains. We did not succeed, but the rain was not a big deal. We could see well and be seen by the limited Sunday traffic, and conditions were not slippery. We simply did the route in rain gear-when needed- and had to clean and lube our bikes well at the finish.
Just outside of Lusk, we got a kick out of a pack of 10 to 12 horses who galloped along beside us before finally pulling ahead. They playfully trotted until restrained by the fence line.
The countryside was a composite of grasslands (Buffalo Gap National Grasslands), mesas and buttes rising from the prairie until we reached the beginning of the Black Hills of South Dakota at the 70 mile mark of today’s ride.
Following the established pattern, we dismounted for photos at the South Dakota line-56 miles into the ride. I love the slogan on the border sign and license plates: Great Faces-Great Places, a reference to Mt Rushmore of course.
After turning onto Rt 18 East at Mule Creek Junction, we had a great descent into the town of Edgemont for our SAG at the 67 mile mark. From there we could see the famous Black Hills of South Dakota, and even see the ascending route ahead. We climbed for 4 miles, then descended at 6% for 2 miles, followed by another 1 mile climb before the final descent into Hot Springs...”Southern Gateway To The Black Hills”. Great day....so we had a little rain.
RECAP OF THE FIRST 21 DAYS:
After 19 days on the bike (and 2 rest days), I thought I’d recap just how far we have come on this ocean to ocean journey:
* We have cycled 1514 miles, averaging 80 miles per day.
* We have climbed over 52,000 feet.
*We have climbed through the mountain passes of the Cascades, the Tetons and have entered the
* We are in our 4th State
* WE ARE HAVING A GREAT TIME!