Today is a much needed rest day and I spent the time with Dot and Ken who continued to chauffeur me around. Following are some comments.
Lost Day: Not only did I lose an hour going into Pierre which I am still upset by, but also seems like I have lost two days. It is now Day 28. Until I checked, I thought it was Day 26. The reality is if Dot and Ken had not been here, I would have no idea the day of the week or calendar date. Two nights ago, Mary was emailing her mother on the hotel computer and came running asking where we were - she had no idea.
South Dakota: SD is a beautiful state, but no one will be sad to leave it. From climbing through the Black Hills to battling headwinds most every day, rain one day and excessive heat the next two it has been a very tough week. Everyone is tired, but there is a sense of accomplishment, especially for getting through the 117 mile day into the wind and rain. I cannot imagine a harder ride on a bike.
Lewis & Clark: More or less we have been following L&C since leaving Astoria and now leave them for good. I have always been amazed by their collective achievements, but after biking in the type of weather we just biked through, I cannot imagine walking, pulling a barge in all temps wearing buckskin. Also, no air conditioning or massages. Amazing.
Great People: We have very bright interesting thoughtful individuals on this tour from many walks of life. To name a few, a social worker now in grad school but did suicide watch, an organic chemist, software consultant, nurse practitioner, consultant in global real estate deals, an IT marketing consultant, an IT attorney, two engineers from the Netherlands, a teacher from Ireland, a water engineer, an IT engineer, owner of a small manufacturing company, a math teacher who had a career as a electrical engineer, an ordained minister who specializes in grief counceling and a physician. It makes for very interesting and thoughtful conversations. Individuals are secure, respectful and interested in the opinions of others. I have not heard any demeaning comments when opinions are different, which is unique and refreshing in our polarized society. I doubt if anyone here gets their information from TV networks or talk radios. The only radios shows I listen to are extensive interviews with qualified academics, authors, journalists or professionals in a specific field. I may not agree, but at least I can learn something.
Friends: It was great to spend time with Dot and Ken. The picture is from the falls in Sioux Falls which are very impressive, especially with the river running so high. I have heard that if you have five real friends in a lifetime, you are truly blessed. I have at least two and am truly blessed.
Tomorrow we enter Minnesota and the forecast is hot.