Monday, June 15, 2009

TDK, Day 5, Thursday, June 11, 2009 – 100 miles

Chamberlain to Pierre

Finally, a beautiful morning! We had a good climb out of Chamberlain to get the blood pumping right away. This hill was no longer a threat after the hills we encountered the day before. And just 7 miles out we had the Chuck Wagon breakfast to look forward to. Cowboy omelet and corn bread made in a Dutch oven – absolutely delicious! I had a nice chat with the Kennedy’s from Beresford; a father and daughter riding the tour together. And I also chatted with Gregg, the Mayor, and Tammy who were also at the table – we were one big happy family chowing down on some good food!
The scenery was gorgeous as we enjoyed the rolling hills north of Chamberlain, the image is etched on my brain.

The 7 miles into Fort Thompson on the BIA road was like dodging a mine field of pot holes and road break up. I foolishly was thinking the road would flatten out north of Fort Thompson – what a joke on me! It was a steady climb until Mac’s Corner. Just a little way’s up the road from Mac’s we turned west for the 48 miles into Pierre on highway 34.
I enjoyed the stop at “The Pit Stop,” a cute little bar/restaurant that looked like it had been around for a long time; a little piece of Americana off the beaten path. As I was leaving a group of cowboys came in with a puzzled look on their faces, I’m sure they’ve never seen so many people wearing spandex before!
The road was rough but we had a tail wind to compensate so it was all good. I now felt a century would be doable. Next rest stop was at the Cattleman’s Club for a banana before heading onto Pierre. Our route took us around the Capitol and then it was time to decide whether to take the route to the camp ground or around the dam to complete a century. Easy decision on a gorgeous day; and I was off to Lake Oahe. Smooth road and a long descent to the dam after a short climb made for an easy ride. The dam was very impressive; as we have made our way up the Missouri River the dams have continued to get larger.

Charlie drove up to Pierre to join me in camp for the night and after a quick call I found out he had just arrived so I anxiously pedaled the remaining 9 miles (into the wind). Camp was along the river in Steamboat Park, what a beautiful camping site. And Charlie was a sight for sore eyes after not seeing him since Sunday!

We visited with Shuttle Guy camping mates; a few were not riding with us the final day, and enjoyed pizza and a beer. Later, and after a shower, Charlie and I, and the Brady’s and the DeVelder’s (Liz and kids were now also in camp) went to the Cattlemen’s Club. Great food and conversation and we were warm and dry as it started to rain.

The rain cleared as we went back to camp, just in time to see a spectacular sunset over the Missouri.
Argus Leader stories:
Sun reveals sun splendor
Tour ending but memories to last a life time (note the story of the man with the Bike Friday on TDK)
Photo Gallery


Anonymous said...

Love that last picture, I must have been asleep already to have missed it! I have a couple of photos of the Little Cowboys on my blog. When I saw them I was SO reminded of that John Wayne movie.
That was my favorite day on the bike of TdK '09!

Cathy Jo said...

It was my favorite day also! I loved your pictures of the little cowboys, great expressions on their faces! I just watched that movie The Cowboys a few weeks ago. It is sad to think that TDK is a whole year away again!