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The "Gee its good to be out of Montana state"

North/South Dakota state map

Our last group state sign picture, we broke up before we left SD

6/28 66.6/1461.7 Bowman, ND - Lemmon, SD
Boring day, but the cycling was not too bad. We took yesterday off, did the museum and a movie (Raising Helen- it was cute). We left out of Bowman around 7:30 and stayed on rte12 all day (hmmm I'm sensing a pattern here). Some rolling hills but nothing to tough. We took the required shots at the Welcome to... sign and rolled into Lemmon. We're camping in the city park, right across the street from a very disappointing "petrified forest"...thingie- I don't even know what to call it. I thought it was gonna be a stand of petrified trees or something, but turns out they took the petrified wood pieces and cemented it into different shapes, I think little kids would probably like it. I took my stove to a auto shop and blew out the line. When I got back to camp I asked Paul to bless it for me (hey you never know) and what do you know- it worked. One major problem down and 2 to go (my cell phone and world peace). We did some route work, I cooked a very anticlimactic dinner and did some laundry. I was in bed before it got dark. Moni's planning on leaving early tomorrow. The riding is getting better, but I don't think my speed will increase much from here on in.

6/29 40.6/1502.3 Lemmon, SD - McIntosh, SD
I think today was our hottest day, its over 90 degC and its after 2pm. Right now I'm sitting in the sheriff's building. We couldn't get arrested in this town so I guess we'll have to sleep outside. But the Sheriff (Keith) is letting us use the shower and bathrooms. Me and Paul left together this morning, Moni left early. I was rolling pretty good. We stopped in every town for a break. When we got to Watauga we went to the cafe to eat and a woman sitting next to us (Gail from Minnesota) actually paid for our lunch. I told her if I had known she was going to do that I would have been more entertaining. At the cafe-slash-store-slash-laundry-slash-video store-slash-museum they had a museum and tribute room to Gene Autry that was pretty interesting (stop laughing- I like Gene Autry).After lunch we continued our slog on rte12. We got a surprise in McIntosh, they said Moni had been there a while ago, we thought she was well on her way to Mclaughlin, but she was still there. She was as tired as we were and wanted to quit for the day. Well I never need much of an excuse to knock off for the day so we stayed and ended up hanging out with the cops- who incidentally had the sheriff dept patch from my home county.

6/30 64.3/1566.5 McIntosh, SD - Mobridge, SD
Today was hell- and biblical. I had a plague of dogs and a plague of locusts. Me and Paul left around 6:45, our earliest start yet. It wasn't too hot, no wind, but hilly. As it got later it got worse; hot, windy and hilly. Not to mention the 30 minutes I spent on the phone with those Cingular people (have I mentioned lately to STAY AWAY FROM CINGULAR). I can't figure out how you can descend and still spend all day climbing. We stopped at this horrific rest area outside of McLaughlin; litter and broken glass everywhere, overflowing dumpsters, and the toilets...lets just say it was way more sanitary to pee elsewhere. I've never seen a scarier looking place. After that it was back to hell. By the time I crossed the Missouri (and a new time zone) I was tapped out. I found Moni at the library continuing her tentpole saga (she broke one yesterday and is getting one sent to a post office ahead). We went to the police department to check on camping in the park- no go, but they did set us up with some free camping at the state park, unfortunately it was 3 miles away and of course uphill. So we ate some chinese food and dragged to the campground. We met some Kayakers from Wisconsin doing the Lewis and Clark - Tom and Arvid (upstream ouch). Moni wants to do 70 something miles tomorrow, I'm not sure if I can pull that off, or even if I want to. There's supposed to be some thunderstorms coming through here tonight, but there's a nice nearby shower so I will at least be clean when I get electrocuted.

7/1 44.3/1610.8 Mobridge, SD - Bowdle, SD
Yet another difficult day. We didn't break camp til 7:30. It was cloudy, but that was the only good thing. We had a massive headwind all day. Right out of camp we did a 3 mile climb. After that it was a carbon copy of yesterday without the sun. We did meet a guy who's been seeing us on the road for awhile, a trucker named Dale who runs between Billings, MT and Selby, SD stopped us at the gas station in Selby. I guess we've been entertaining him for over a week. Moni lit out 1st and I didn't see her for the rest of the day, she said she was going to Ipswich because of the tentpole. Me and Paul weren't so sure we were going to make that. And we didn't, we stopped in Bowdle. When Paul called her in Bowdle she said she had stopped in Roscoe(15 miles further) and that she was going to Webster tomorrow. I'm tired, Paul's tired so we're going to Aberdeen tomorrow (50ish miles) and then take a day off. I'm not sure how we're going to hook up with Moni after that. We're staying in the city park. More stove trouble. I give up, anyone out there want to volunteer to make me a pepsi can stove and send it to me I'll gladly reimburse you for the trouble.

7/2 60.3/1671.1 Bowdle, SD - Aberdeen, SD
Today wasn't too bad. We hit the road around 7, had breakfast in Roscoe, lunch in Iswich. When we went looking for the library(closed) some local folks started talking to us and we got interviewed by a reporter from the Ipswich news. After that we got a tour of the candle factory, they make beeswax candles for mostly religious applications and mostly beeswax. It was more interesting then it sounds. The winds were not bad and the road was almost flat. We made good time into Aberdeen. On the outskirts of town, on a lark I tried my phone- I got reception! My phone is working!! So I drift down the road, a danger to myself and others, yaking to various family members. When we got into Aberdeen I called Moni thinking she's 20-30 miles ahead; she's in Aberdeen, in a motel, something must be crazy wrong. We met at a burger king and there is something wrong. Moni's father died and she's exhausted. We're going to take tomorrow off so we check into the same motel and I proceed to channel surf to my heart's content-and watch absolutely nothing. Moni came by later with a bottle of wine and we drank to her father. She said she's continuing on. I'm looking forward to vegetating tomorrow, and maybe doing some laundry, and of course I'LL BE ON THE PHONE!!!!!!

7/3 Aberdeen. SD
No travel today. Me and Paul went to see the spiderman movie, I was impressed, for a superhero movie it was really good, Peter Parker's lip even quivered a few times with suppressed emotion. The rest of the day was spent perfecting the horizontal and exercising my channel surfing muscles, they've gotten quite soft and flabby on this trip. LATER: Well it looks like we lost Moni. She came in a little while ago and told me she's going ahead. Something about riding styles, I don't really understand. I think the thing with her dad has affected her more than she knows. I hope it works out for her. Unfortunately for me I will now have to spend the rest of the trip looking like part of an interracial couple. The restaurant service is gonna be terrible.

7/4 67.0/1738.1 Aberdeen, SD - Waubay, SD
Overcast and cool all day. Sometimes the wind was agin' us, sometimes it left us alone. we actually had a road to ourselves for awhile, they're doing construction on a new set of lanes. we did some climbing, but not much. It was mostly tedious; dull but not too hard. we're camping at a motel in a nice sheltered pavilion like thingie. We met some Ojibwes here for a softball tournament. They were having a party 20 feet from my tent for one of the kids, it lasted til 5 in the morning. I should have joined it cuz I sure didn't sleep through it. There are a gazillion lakes around this area with names like Blue Dog, Punished Woman and Enemy Swim. How's that for creative? Paul found a SD license plate- good omen cause we'll be out of here tomorrow.

7/5 50.9/1789.0 Waubay, SD - Ortonville, MN
6 states down, 5 to go!! The weather today was beyond skanky, the wind was really blowing in camp, but strangely not so bad on the road. A fog closed in soon after we started and the shoulder all but disappeared. We dawdled at a flea market in Ortley and I sent my mother home some stuff. (So when it comes in Dad don't think she was shopping out of catalogs again). After that it got worse so we got off the road at Summitt and hung out at a truck stop. When it burned off the rain started, but that was only annoying, not dangerous. We hit the state line and took some pix outside of Big Stone City and whimped out by doing another motel, but it was cheap and there's a star trek marathon on the scifi channel.....