Thanksgiving, Ice Cream and Badlands. Chamberlain, SD- Rapid City, SD 6/24-27/2010

Our ride to Chamberlain, SD was fun.  I wanted to ride fast.  Our group was Conor, Greg, Eamon, Nate, and Kevin.  Kevin doesn’t normally ride super fast, so today he decided to challenge himself.  It was fun to push him and make him tired.  His work today was remarkable.  Today we experimented with different riding formations and discovered the double echelon.  At one position in the double echelon, the rider would feel no wind at all.  Amazing.  On our way we tried to befriend some curious cows with an olive branch of grass.  Along with the cows were some buffalo who quickly scurried off to run some laps around the field.  No wonder they are so lean and no fat.

Our early arrival into Chamberlain allowed us alot of time to walk around town.  Lauren and I went on a mission to a drugstore to pick up medicine.  On our way to the drugstore, we found a couple of other places we would like to visit- including pizza hut, the river valley and the South Dakota Hall of Fame- which includes Bob Barker and Lawrence Welk cool?  We scored 7 pizzas off of pizza hut and made our way to the Missouri River Valley.  In a very lame attempt to hop a fence, Lauren and I quickly changed our minds to walking around the fence.  We never made it to the water, but we enjoyed a beautiful view. 

Because it was the 25th of June, the I4k thought it would be appropriate to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Thanks to Eamon, Diana, Mary and other helpers, our meal was excellent with spaghetti, oreo turkeys and apples.  If dinner wasn’t enough, I had a McFlurry afterwards.

From Chamberlain, it was on to Murdo, SD, a four block town with a gymnasium in which I was knockout champion and an ice cream shop from where I ordered two “Cyclones”  in one sitting.  Call me fat.  The ride was pretty exhausting even though it was only rolling hills.  Lauren’s knee hit its threshold at mile thirty.  It was tough to see her fight through hills that she knows she can get up on any other normal day.  At our rest stop we came along a guy who was also riding across the country with his daughter driving his sag van.  He was going to ride with a lung cancer foundation of some sort but the ride that he signed up for fell through.  I think his name is Andy.  Last but not least, Jordan and I briefed the team on snake saftey.  Oh boy.  Murdo- it was nice knowing ya.

The ride everyone was excited for was the ride through the Badlands to Wall, SD.  The clouds were ominous as Conor, Pi, Greg and myself zoomed through the first 60 miles to reach the badlands.  We also enjoyed some 90′s dance lessons from Lauren.   At the gas station  before entering the Badlands, Conor and GORGED on food.  My snack was a buffalo hot dog with the works, a quart of chocolate milk and six cinnamon rolls.  I think I had almost 2200 calories.  Hmmm….  The Badlands were sick.  It really is just a bunch of pretty rocks and hills.  It is one thing to drive through the Badlands and it is another thing to physically push yourself through the Badlands.  The final view (which I did not have my camera for) was so satisfying, a type of satisfying that I do not think I would have felt if I had drove up them bad boys.    This is a picture of Ana looking over some pretty rocks.

Some crazy headwinds later, we enter the city of Wall- home of the famous Wall Drug.  Wall Drug is really disspointing except for its coffee for 5 cents.  Thats right people, 5 cents.  Let’s just say I spent 50 cents on coffee at Wall Drug.  The reason Wall Drug is such a buzzkill is because there are advertisments for it almost 150 miles out- making it seem like a huge deal.  NOPE.  It’s a department store.  Lame. 

Max’s bike broke a spoke two days ago and he had sagged in the van for a day because his bike was not rideable.  I did not want him to be off his bike for more than one day without even being injured, so I offered him my bike for the ride to Rapid City, SD which he graciously accepted.  He looks pretty good in blue eh? 

Our arrival in Rapid City, SD was a relief.  Rest day ahead!  Jordan and I headed up a very positive concerns meeting in which we discussed how the group had been mixing riding groups more often.  The night ended with a sad trip to a closed Dairy Queen.  My legs couldn’t be happier for no activity tomorrow.

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