Day 23 - Rapid City to Wall SD
Mileage: 57 miles
Weather: Mid 60s to start. Mid 80s to end. Clear blue sky. Winds out of the SSE.
Highlights of the day:
Ok, so 80s with the strong sun of South Dakota isn’t exactly cool. But 80s in July in South Dakota?? We will happily take these “cooler” temperatures and say thank you very much!
Today is a relaxing recovery day on paper. Only 57 miles with not too much climbing, relatively speaking. We started the day with a stretch on a quiet bike path along Rapid Creek in Rapid City. It was quiet and quite wet in places, as in flooded. Rainfall here has been way above normal. Quiet bike paths along the river are frequently flooded and something that is on our radar in upcoming towns on our route. Staff on bikes plus brightly colored arrows directed the riders around trouble spots. Did I mention that the above normal rain has caused a boom in the mosquito population? I guess South Dakota is trying to steal Minnesota’s state bird.
After the bike path, riders worked their way onto a service road of I-90. The service road and subsequent roads gave a little intro to the rollers of South Dakota. These are not very long or steep climbs but hills that come one after another and eventually add up to some work. The vista has changed since we’ve come out of the Black Hills. The tall pines are gone along with the spires of black rock. As I indicated yesterday, the horizon has opened waaaaay up with fields of grass, bales of hay and lots of cows for as far as the eye can see.
We had our one and only SAG stop of the day at a place known as the “World’s Smallest Biker Bar.” Based on the font and heavy use of orange & black, I’m guessing they are talking about bikes that require petrol and make lot more noise. We still had fun with it. That was a nice diversion while we figured out where the heck the riders could ride.
A few more rollers and 33 miles later, we arrived in Wall. That was a short day on the bike. Now it’s time for the laundromat, Dairy Queen, and Wall Drug – all within walking distance of the hotel. Have you dug Wall Drug??