Manifest Destiny (East meets West)

The Fourth of July went out with quite a bang for us this year. A bunch of people on the team bought fireworks which kept most of us entertained for the afternoon, but it was Saebin who brought everyone together for his grand finale firework. There’s definitely a correlation between the distance to the fireworks and the fun had while watching them.

The ride from Murdo to Wall, SD was originally around 90 miles, but everyone on the team decided it would be a good addition to the trip to include riding through the Badlands of South Dakota, which added 11 miles to the total route making it right around 100 miles for the day. The ride went easily enough, there was plenty of rest stop action, and only a few flat tires to get to the entrance of the Badlands. They definitely made the ride exciting. We’ve seen a good portion of the country, but this was something else.

If you live anywhere within 500 miles of Wall, SD you already know what we did there. For those who don’t know, we stopped by Wall Drug and took full advantage of their five cent coffee and free ice water. That night for dinner Caroline “dancing queen” Thurn and Justin “the tool man” Taylor with help from Tim and Christa cooked brinner (breakfast for dinner)for the team. It was met with much appreciation after such a long day in the badlands in combination with the time zone change adding another hour.

The next morning most of the team grabbed one more cup of coffee and a doughnut from Wall drug to start off the 60 mile ride into Rapid City, SD. The weather was almost too perfect and the roads were in good condition as we paralleled I-90 on country roads into the city. At the 40 mile stop (lunch!) a group of riders were met by Gus Aus who happened to own a ranch in the near vicinity. The name of his ranch was the “Lazy Heart O” which also corresponded to his brand of a heart on its side above a letter “O”. He was kind enough to share some of his time and stories with us, mostly involving broken bones, as we got a new appreciation for cattle ranching.

We arrived at our stay over in Rapid City only to find that it was immediately adjacent to a Dairy Queen. Sometimes life hands you lemons, and sometimes it hands you a blizzard… We spent to rest of the day doing laundry and recharging. Today was a rest day which gave the team an opportunity reset and explore the quaint, albeit tourist friendly, downtown of Rapid City. To our fortune there were many kind individuals who donated food to our cause. First, The folks at Main St. Market who pampered us with organic and natural foods including two gigantic watermelons. In addition was a donation from Piesamo’s Pacchia of two large, and delicious, cheese pizzas. Lastly, we received an anonymous donation of chips, lunch meat, orange juice, just to name a few. Thank you whoever you are.

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