We last left off with the trauma of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, but have sensed regained a realistically grounded understanding of normalcy. Continuing East we stuck to interstate 90. Biking on a major interstate is not the best, but it was South Dakota, and for the most part there is nothing to scenic about any of it outside of it's cities and towns. Our main goal was to get to Sioux Falls quickly in order to pick up a new bottom support frame for Ryan's trailer that had broken just after we left Sturgis. We stuck to Hwy. 90 just in the event that the trailer broke all the way, knowing that it would be easier to hitch hike on a highway that was busy. The trailer held up just fine until we reached the sporting goods store in Sioux Falls that had the replacement piece. As luck would have it, I somehow broke a spoke on the rear wheel of my bike, so we had to hitch hike anyway.
After two hours of waiting around on the side of 90 a guy with a pick up full of sound equipment and supplies from a Sturgis beer garden he had been running pulled over to give us a lift. Damion, our new best friend, had been at Sturgis the whole week slinging beers, working too many hours a day, and partying, but picked us up despite his fatigue. Somehow we tactfully piled our trailers and bikes into the bed of the truck with everything else. Damion was a great guy to hang out with for the two hour ride into Mitchell, South Dakota. He had great stories and tons of enthusiasm. He drove us roughly 180 miles. Mitchell had the nearest bike shop from where we ended up breaking down. He saved us from roasting all day in the heat of SD!
After a night of sleeping in the city park there we got in contact with our first Warm Showers host, Dave. He let us stay two nights with him in Mitchell. Sleeping inside for the first time since Gillette, WY felt wonderful. Showers, clean laundry, a nice dinner out, and meeting some of Dave's local friends was hospitality that went far beyond our expectations. Our second night I cooked the three of us a dinner and we had a blast exchanging bike stories. Thank you so much to Dave in Mitchell for allowing us to stay in your home.
While in Mitchell we also made a point of seeing the worlds only corn palace. This gives you an idea of the grandeur that is small town South Dakota. Pretty corny........yes.
Just three days ago we crossed into Minnesota after picking up Ryan's new frame piece for his trailer in Sioux Falls and reassembling it. I will not miss South Dakota despite some of the people we had the good fortune of meeting. It is treeless, rains everyday ( this summer), is flat, and did not have the most interesting things to see. So far Minnesota has been beautiful. It is farms forever out here in the most southern part of the state. They unroll down the smaller secondary highways for miles. There is an abundance of trees, old classic farm houses and barns, and towns that spring up out of the corn fields every 10 to 20 miles. Everything is incredibly green here as well; farms, and open spaces in the cities.
Yesterday we left heading down secondary two lane highways that run along interstate 90. They are a million times better than a major interstate because Minnesota is much prettier then South Dakota and the traffic is far less then even we thought there would be. State law prohibits bikes on the interstates here. After 46 miles, at an average of 16 miles an hour, (we were making great time) we came to the town of Fairmont and saw a prairie dog exhibit by the side of the road. We pulled over to look at the completely uninhibited, completely fat, prairie dogs sitting outside their tunnels. A local drove by and told us about a bike shop in town and that we should stop by. It was off of the main street we were riding on. Ryan and I pulled around the corner and rode up to the shop. The owner, Larry, was outside working on a bike, surrounded by kids, a couple of friends, his dog Shadow, and a bunch of bikes he had out for sale. We pulled into his driveway. He came marching up and immediately asked where we were biking from and how far we had gone. We told him and he just about fell over. He looked at out trailers and kept shaking his head and told us that we were crazy for hauling that much so far. We quickly warmed up to Larry who is hilllaroius and spent the rest of our evening with him and his wonderful lady friend Margo. They were both far to generous to us. They treated us to food and an evening at the county fair. This morning we went to breakfast with Larry. Being the nicest guy in Minnesota, he also gave us each a free bike tune up.
Ryan and Allegra
Larry, Margo, and Legs at the Fairmont county fair.
Rabbit who desperately wanted to be petted at the fair.
"I'M ON A BOAT!!!"
In the canoe Larry let us take out on the lake next to his bike shop.
Prairie dogs at the Fairmont Prairie dog exhibit.
Bike sculpture in a park at Jackson, MN.
Lot's of corn, forever.
Oh look! Windmills in the corn.
Town of Luverne, Mn.
Rolling farm land as we entered Minnesota.
Church that we camped next to our first night in the state.
Arriving in Minnesota.
Gangstas love deep thought.
South Dakota, where it rained almost every day that we were there.
Legs hugging corn in Mitchell, SD, the self proclaimed mecca for everything corn.
Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD.
Badlands of South Dakota form Hwy.90.
Dinosaur outside of Wall Drugs.
Ryan on a Jackalobe at Wall Drug, SD.
Inside Wall Drugs.
Huge spider in SD, We looked it up and apparently it's a common garden spider.
One of a MILLION tacky signs along Hwy. 90 you see before Wall, SD.
Alleyway in Sioux Falls, SD.
Our silly video we made.