Transition Day

In Rapid City it stayed warm enough all night that I never woke up chilly. I slept great with the tent flaps open. That was the good news. The bad news was that that meant it was going to be hot. See the 2018 post for the sculpted trees at the fairgrounds.

It was a short (74 miles) relatively flat day, with mostly tailwinds. We are headed for the Badlands, riding through what one rider dubbed the “Worselands”. The plan was to finish before noon and before the temperature reached 90 degrees (32 C). I succeeded in the former, but the temperature was 92 degrees. It is 97 (36 C) as I write this. At 97 degrees there is no windchill.

We had picnic in Scenic. I’m guessing they gave the town that name in an attempt to draw tourists. It didn’t work. It is a ghost town. I think we saw the half dozen remaining residents sitting in their back yard.

Welcome to Scenic
The other side of the street – all buildings are abandoned
The scenery

At the first water stop, The Datameister informed us of the number of feet we had climbed and the percentage of the day’s climbing we had completed. Another rider said “Too much information” and I asked what percentage of the day’s fun we had had. I got a couple of knowing smiles. I’m not sure how to measure Fun Units or Fun Units/hour. That’s okay as it is entirely unnecessary.

Our last water stop at 66 miles featured ice water. Drinking lukewarm or warmer water gets old. Cold water was great! Even better was the water after arrival in Interior. The first water was cold, sweetened, and caffeinated (Dr Pepper) and the subsequent water was filtered through malted barley and hops. I did my best to support the local economy with a honey weizen from from Montana and a lager from South Dakota.

Setting up the tent was big fun, with a 15-20 mph gusty wind that tended to change directions, trying to fly the tent in different directions. It dried the laundry very quickly. I hung out in the air-conditioned campground office/store/restaurant chatting and hydrating.

We’ve had the same caterer for a couple of days, following us across the state. She’ll be here for dinner again tonight. Tomorrow will be breakfast in the Badlands after a short ride, then we explore the Badlands before visiting the famous Wall Drug on our way to Philip. See the 2018 post for the plumbing here, with a urinal that includes iron, brass, and copper all within a few inches, and a bubbler (drinking fountain) valve to actuate it. If you’re not a plumber, that may not interest you.

The campground has a pool, but that requires being in the sun. With my biker tan, the newly-exposed areas would likely burn ni minutes. On the other hand, the shade I’m currently using is disappearing quickly. My hands are still in shade, but the screen and top row of the keyboard are now in sun.