Day 36: Still Zero Pheasants

Today we rode for Joe and Doug who we recently completed portraits with. Both of them are prostate cancer survivors. And also Pastor’s Matt from Miller whose step children whose father passed away.

The 20mph headwinds finally let up today making today’s 73 miles so so much better (even though we still had 10mph winds). The scenery we’ve ridden past has remained pretty much the same in recent days, except the sky has been noticeably bigger and the few cars that we do see passing on the interstate seem to vanish into the never-ending horizon.

As we pulled off for ice cream across the street from First Methodist Church, where we are spending the night tonight, we encountered a cancer survivor. Although our interaction with him was brief, he thanked us for our commitment and summed up a cancer survivor perspective better than anyone else with “it scares the sh*t out of you” as he walked off.

Later in the evening Jay, an exceedingly interesting man and church member of First Methodist, took it upon himself to entertain us for the night. He set up a backyard bonfire and provided us of-agers with some cold ones as he impressed us with his extensive knowledge from everything to famous architects to obscure Romanian dictators. As a veteran teacher with 49 years experience under his belt, he was well rehearsed in public speaking, and we all listened intently as he outlined his life for us, from his years teaching Latin in Germany, to students he still keeps in touch with. We were all starry eyed during his somber, yet lighthearted portrait documenting his experience with prostate cancer. To cap the night Jay  served the 21+ people his finest selection of tequila in his ‘That So 70’s Show-esque’ basement. As we were all leaving his place we exchanged knowing looks with each other that this was one of those ‘I4K’ moments that we will never forget.

South Dakota you continue to surprise me



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