Halfway across the USA

The wind roared all night. The hardware on the flagpole was an out-of-tune wind chime that never stopped. I left the rainfly off the tent so the wind blew through it rather than trying to flatten it. The flies and mosquitos in Miller have adapted to the wind – wind that would keep them grounded in most places – but the flies were biting at night and the mosquitos were biting before dawn. Breakfast was at 6:30 and by 6:40 there was almost no one left in the cafeteria.

Sunrise, Miller SD

The tailwind that blew us in Monday had shifted 135 degrees and was now blowing in at 10 o‘ clock. I cursed the router for the first 13 miles, as we continued on the road that had provided that tailwind. I covered 12 miles in the first hour and 80 in the next 4 after making a right turn. The wind varied but was usually helpful (coming in at 8 o’clock for a while, then 6, then 5; at worst 9 o’clock near the end for a brief period, but always at 25 mph and gusty).

We reached the halfway point today. It is now shorter (by our route) to get to the Atlantic than to go back to the Pacific.

2158 miles to either coast this AM

Four years ago, there was a giant horse sculpture in the town where we celebrated that halfway point. My phone camera wasn’t working. Today I went to take a picture of it but it is gone. Still there is this cross. I wonder what the folks at the Bible academy would think of it.

We passed the World’s Largest Pheasant (see 2018 post for photo). Life must be slow out here, so whimsical and large sculptures are the order of the day. I don’t know if this is the World’s Largest Bison, but it is a lot bigger than the SUV behind it.

Is this the World’s Largest Arrow? It is made from a telephone pole and, as you can see, fell short of the target.

We are now in De Smet, SD. Its claim to fame can be seen in the next photo.

This is the town where, four years ago, they didn’t have beer on tap, and bottled beer meant Bud, Miller, and Coors. I found an exotic Pabst. I also learned here that cornhole (AKA bean bag toss) is a professional sport.

We are camped in the town park. Since my tent is mostly mesh, it seemed a little exposed here so I put the rainfly on and the wind immediately tried to turn it into a kite. Once I put all my gear inside it was heavy enough to stay put.

Wednesday should be a short (60 mile) ride into Watertown. Wind should be favorable again – currently westerly @ 28 mph here and there. I am in a little gift/ice cream/coffee shop in De Smet. Limited ice cream choices but beggars can’t be choosers. At least there is no wind in here.