So Much South Dakota

South Dakota is a place I have been hearing about for the past 4 years from a great friend of mine, Gina Althoff. I never expected I would have the opportunity to spend a week and bike the length of the state and truly enjoy it for what it is worth.

Upon my arrival in Sioux Falls, Gina’s family was patiently awaiting my arrival. They treated me with the kindest hospitality I could have ever asked for. They offered to wash the whole teams’ jerseys which was needed for sure! They opened up their house for me to shower and cooked me an incredible dinner. I even got to meet the infamous family dog, Dancer, that I have been hearing about for years!

That night, I got to see the Great Sioux Falls, which were so beautiful. The next morning, we made our way into Mitchel, South Dakota, claim to fame – the Corn Palace. Every town has to have some claim to fame …

Next came Chamberlain, SD, a beautiful town nesting on the Missouri River. We spent time splashing around in the cool river and hanging in the sand after our great dinner, provided by the church. A few friends and I sat on the river watching the sunset and then walked home via the Main Street.

After Chamberlain, we went to the state capitol of South Dakota, Pierre. The ride started out with incredible picturesque down hills – absolutely breathtaking headwinds were absolutely awful and the ride was long, but we made it. We got a lot of free food in Pierre … and that is really about all that happened – great, nonetheless.

From Pierre, we took off on a 95 mile ride to our smallest destination yet, Kadoka. It was a long, but enjoyable day. We were glad to find the cute little stayover in the town.

Our trip from Kadoka to Wall was probably our best day yet in South Dakota, and maybe even the whole trip. It was certainly like nothing I have ever seen before. We met so many people; it was great, even some from the Chicagoland area. People are so supportive and interested in what we are doing. Our motive to keep on riding was the Wall Drug, a convenient drug store souvenir shop that is advertised for miles on I-90. I spent a lot of time and money in there …

We are now in Rapid City, and we have an event day tomorrow, and after that, we will be making our way through the Black Hills and seeing Mount Rushmore.

All of my rides in South Dakota have been amazing and so memorable, challenging, but worth every mile. I love South Dakota, definitely one of my favorite states I have rode through. It smells a lot better than Minnesota did. The people are great and are happy to share intense stories and pride in their state.

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