WINDY! That says it all. Melissa and I pulled out around 6:30am again and after a quick picture in front of the Corn Palace (pictures coming when Melissa returns!), we made our way out of town. Once we turned west we knew what we were in for. We each battled the wind at our own pace and met up again at Mount Vernon. Between Mount Vernon and the next stop at Plankinton, a pace line passed and invited me to hop in which I graciously accepted. At the stop I met up with Mary Jean and Bonnie and we started our own small pace line and slowly made our way to White Lake. At our slow but steady pace we made it but calculating how much longer it would take us to complete the ride, we decided to sag into Chamberlain. Not an easy decision but my reasons were: 1. This was my last day of the ride and I wanted to spend some time at Chamberlain before leaving; 2. From the physical and mental fatigue of the wind I was starting to ride a little squirrley, better to quit on my own rather than have an accident. My motto is "live to ride another day!" I probably was a little more cautious than usual with my daughter's wedding just a few days away and knowing all that needs to be done, I couldn't risk any accidents!
So we sat and waited nearly an hour for a sag to come through and Mary Jean came up with the bright idea of looking into hiring our own sag. We talked with the nice folks working at the food booths and within a couple of minutes we had hired our sag, Joan, who only wanted gas money. So Joan finished up her duties and went home to her ranch to get her pickup.
In the meantime I'm fretting and worrying about Melissa, wondering where she is. And stupid me, I didn't have her cell number. I learned later that she was delayed with a flat tire but luckily the Spoke & Sport people were nearby when it happened. My plan was to ask Joan to go towards Plankinton first to see if we could find Melissa. But just as Joan pulled up with her pickup, Melissa rolled in looking all bright eyed and bushy tailed. She asked if I was riding on and I told her we had a sag hired and she was going with us. I didn't give Melissa a choice but I think she was happy to accept the ride.
So we packed our bikes carefully in the back of the pick up and all 4 of us ladies, along with our driver, Joan, fit very comfortably. Joan was very warm and pleasant and full of conversation. She seems the epitome of a self-sufficient woman rancher.
So even though we sagged in, we had no shame in doing so. I think we should get a TDK patch for being the most resourceful in getting from Mitchell to Chamberlain!
We showered (no lines when we got there!) and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and had a drink to celebrate the end of a long day. My daughter pulled in around 4:30pm to pick me up and after she had a chance to say hi and goodbye to everyone we headed home and my attention has turned to wedding details. I think often of everyone riding this week and my prayers are with you for your safety and may he wind be to your backs!
Melissa - you go girl, you are going to finish this ride this year, and I couldn't be happier for you!