Today, at some halfway point in the day, we reached the halfway point. Yay! 29 days to finish the trip, and by the end of today, we will have finished 15 days out on the road. We are also the same distance from the west coast as we are from the east coast. Who knew South Dakota was right in the middle?
It's hard to think that 2 weeks ago yesterday, we were all on board to Seattle, eagerly awaiting the start of the trip. Justin arrived early and hung out with Patrick and our friend Kristen.
Don and I slept on the plane (the chamois in my shorts made a great pillow) and arrived in Seattle at night, bike boxes in tow.
Now, we have completed half of the trip. We are exhausted, sore, and ever-hungry, but it's been an amazing journey so far. So many miles (and mountains) behind us, but still so any more.
Let us fill you in about today. Last night's sleep was interrupted and restless because of the heat. The rain fly was off, sleeping bags bunched at our feet, and shirts used as a barrier between us and the sticky ground pads. After finally getting solid sleep in the wee hours, we decided to sleep in a little and hit the road at 8.
To our relief, the road (SD 44) was much smoother this morning than it was yesterday.
We stopped for breakfast in Platte, SD at a cute bakery. We ate donuts and breakfast sandwiches, downed some coffee, and chatted with some local guys who meet there daily. They call it "Old Man Coffee." Most have lived in Platte their whole lives and grew up together. Look how well Don fits in!
We made a dash to the next grocery store 44 miles away to avoid a threatening storm. We managed to only get rained on for a few minutes.
By the time we left, the storm had blown over. We continued on SD 44 for miles and miles, taking a break under the only tree in sight.
We also played Cyclists of the Corn.
Near the end of the day, we took a break at a convenience store and found two other cross-country cyclists. These guys are doing the tour more traditionally, with full gear. We chatted routes and gear over cold drinks.
At some point in the day, I managed to get stuck in some wire fencing. Fortunately, we came equipped with Dr. Donald Hess, experienced wire fence detangler.
After 114 miles, we made it to Lennox, SD. Dinner was at Pizza Ranch, which is apparently an Iowa chain that serves buffet meals. We destroyed some food (mainly the salad bar) and easily got our money's worth! Really, it was $10. Craziness.