Yankton to Wagner
It was a wet, cold morning around 50 degrees, and luckily at this point I didn’t know it would last most of the week, or it may have dampened my spirits. But I was happy because Craig and Kevin had suggested breakfast at HyVee where it was nice and dry AND they have a Starbucks – life is good!
The route took us out by the Lewis and Clark Lake, a beautiful ride, but I forgot how long the climb was out of the lake area. Reaching the top of the hill the Missouri Valley Cyclist had hot coffee and cocoa ready for the riders.
As I pushed on to Tabor, I seriously was wondering if it might start to snow?? and I was passed by a group of about 30 motorcyclists followed by a pickup pulling an enclosed trailer that read Chariots of Light. Evidently they are a Christian motorcycle group, they made quite an impressive site riding two abreast in neat formation down the road.I was excited about the Tabor stop as I’m very proud of my Czech heritage! I had a poppyseed kolache in memory of my Dad and had my picture taken with the Czech Queen. Later I heard that some of my friends had bought two kolaches, so they would have a plastic baggie to line their cycling shoes to help keep their feet dry and warm, very clever! It reminded me of grade school when all the kids came to school in the winter with Wonder bread wrappers lining their boots.
Pushing on to Tabor, against the cold north wind, I arrived a few minutes before Dairy Queen opened. A corn dog and raspberry sundae was an early lunch.
Avon seemed to be an uphill climb but well worth it once I arrived. This turned out to be one of the favorite pass through towns of the bikers. The town was very welcoming, kids giving away TDK tote bags full of goodies. Unfortunately we couldn’t carry the Frisbees, but I took the bag and scrunched it into my handlebar bag and found the bag to be very useful the rest of the week to hold the overflow of stuff I was accumulating. A cheddar jalapeño brat fueled my ride to the next stop at the junction of Highway 46. This rest stop was sponsored by the folks of the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Dante where my Dad was baptized in 1922. The church is holding its 125th anniversary later this year and will celebrate with a polka mass, I may need to attend.
Only 9 more miles to Wagner but it seemed a bit longer as I grew weary of the northwest wind….amazing how many days the wind was out of the north in June.
But just as I entered camp which was at the Wagner school, the sun came out and it was a most welcomed sight! After a shower and a massage of the hamstrings by the wonderful Laura Brady, I was refreshed. I joined the “Watertown Ladies plus Butch;” Mary Jean, Sandy, Bonnie, Janet, and Butch at the beer garden which was in a lovely park a couple of blocks from the school. Then it was time for a pasta dinner back at camp followed by some time to relax at camp and visit with fellow Shuttle Guy campers, who like me, come back year after year.
I purposely focused very hard on NOT thinking about the hills up ahead. I saw Radar Hill in the distance as we arrived in Wagner and it looked like a wall of asphalt, little did I know it would be an easy hill in comparison to some of the others following that day and the next.
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