Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 25

On Day 25 we reached a milestone -- we passed the halfway point for the tour.  The first picture is of the mark painted on the road with chalk highlighting the achievement so far.  All day we biked along the Missouri River from Pierre to Chamberlain.  The river is flooding and both Pierre and Chamberlain are dealing with flood issues.  In Pierre a golf course was covered with water and in Chamberlain the only thing visible for a campground along the river was a sign saying vacancy.  All the rest was underwater.  Riding along a county road, it was possible to see trees half covered with water.  Even so, we had some beautiful views of the river and river valley.  The second picture is a view of the river and the bluffs on the other side.  I thought a lot about of Lewis and Clark’s trip up the river and the men whose job each day was to walk on the shore and putt the barge against the current.  It made biking against the wind seem easy.  

An aside, one of my favorite historical fiction writers is James Thom and he wrote a book about George Drouillard who was the scout and hunter for the group.  Many thought he was white, but he was actually half French and half Shawnee and was a trapper and hunter on the frontier which at that time would have been in Indianna.  He could communicate in sign language which allowed him (and Lewis and Clark) to communicate with all the tribes they met on the journey.  The book is called “Sign Talker.”

Today would have been difficult by itself, but after yesterday, it was brutal as most everyone’s legs were dead.  We biked 84 miles into a strong headwind, the only difference is it was hot, reaching the 90s when I reached Chamberlain.  

I found myself thinking towards the end of the ride it is a good thing I am paying to do this, as there is no way anyone could pay me to do what I have done the last two days.  I have to spend more time pondering this.  Will have time tomorrow as it will again be hot and windy.  

PS  I am still torked about losing my hour yesterday.  I want my hour back,  I really need it. 

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