Day 29 – Wessington Springs, SD to Pierre, SD

To add to our positive feelings toward our camp spot, we got to enjoy the starry skies and the sunrise too! 

We are absolutely loving South Dakota so far! The landscape has been so fascinating, and we had some surprise sights today. The first excitement was as we looked out at the horizon and took note of the dark clouds: one of which appeared ominously cone-shaped and low to the ground. Before we panicked however, we checked the handy weather radar app on Aidan’s phone, and saw no tornadoes (or any weather issue for that matter) on the map. It turned out to be someone’s burn pile, but we were definitely staring at that smoke for awhile, and taking note of the ditches on the side of the road! 

Soon after the fake tornado, we spotted an animal in a cow field – clearly not a cow, looked similar to a deer, but the wrong colors…we weren’t trusting our eyes much at that point, but we pulled over and appreciated this wild animal which neither of us had seen before. Thanks to google, we later confirmed our wildlife sighting to be a pronghorn! 

Over each rise, we became more fond of this state. 

We biked through the Crow Creek Reservation for a good portion of the day today, and met some really friendly people at a gas station there. Just continuing the pattern of finding kindness all across the country! 

We had a tailwind ALL DAY today. It was a truly wonderful experience, and one that we took advantage of – we almost hit 100 miles by the end of the day! As we calmly pedaled along, Aidan noted that we were traveling 25% more quickly than yesterday! And as we didn’t have to pedal as furiously to keep moving, we got to enjoy the views more. 

We found a place to swim this afternoon – the MISSOURI RIVER! (Grandad, was that enough enthusiasm?) But we honestly were so excited to see the river and realize that it was none other than the Missouri!

We are spending the night in Pierre today, with the grandmother of my dad’s friend Kyle! Thank you Elda for hosting us! 

8 thoughts on “Day 29 – Wessington Springs, SD to Pierre, SD

  1. Sue Abercrombie July 16, 2016 / 2:19 am

    Sounds like an awesome day. Glad you are with someone again.


  2. Dad Chris July 16, 2016 / 2:47 am

    I love that you love South Dakota. That’s cool. Please say hi and thanks to Elda O. from mom and me. And if you meet Rocky Raccoon ask him what page he found the answers on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wendy Bratt July 16, 2016 / 2:47 am

    From children to elders, you are experiencing the caring and curious people of the United States of America. You are inspiring so many of us with your words, photos, stories. The photos of the night sky took my breath away. xoxoxox MOM/Wendy


  4. CDN July 16, 2016 / 2:56 am

    Hi Clara and Aidan! So excited to be following your trip from afar. Don’t know if you ever knew this but my first plan for your 8th grade trip was to take you to the Pine Ridge Reservation in SD, tour the Black Hills and Badlands and do community service at the Lakota Waldorf School. That didn’t work out but I’m so glad you are seeing SD now. I remember the big skies there! Love, CDN

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Laura/Mom July 16, 2016 / 3:28 am

    Did the sky really look like that?? Wow!!
    I laughed about your fake tornado. And I am a little comforted to hear that you have a plan to jump into a ditch if you see a real one. 🙂
    I hope you got to play cards tonight! I bet you are having a blast with Elda. Thank you, Elda, for welcoming our travelers!
    xoxo Love, Mom/Laura
    P.S. So nice that you saw Prongs! 🙂


  6. Stephen Kellogg July 16, 2016 / 10:37 am

    I’m so excited you are at the Missouri River! But the stars took my breath away!

    Love, Grandad

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mary July 16, 2016 / 12:07 pm

    The photos of the starry skies are truly spectacular!!


  8. Al July 17, 2016 / 1:26 am

    Aidan –
    So great to talk to you on the phone today. I’m so glad South Dakota is captivating you. You and Clara are captivating all of us with your wonderful stories and the incredible hospitality everyone is showering on you. Let me know if you need any other route advice. I’m always glad to help.

    The next stretch to Sturgis will be very captivating too. It’s the most remote section so far and some of the most desolate of your whole trip. So if there’s no blog entry I’ll know why – because you won’t have cell or wi-fi service. Isn’t it great there are still large areas of the country without service? Kinda makes you feel like a pioneer.

    Too bad about the 100 degree temps. You have a good plan to ride early and late and seek shade during the middle of the day. Shade will be hard to find for the next 180 miles. I wish I could hop a plane to Pierre tonight. I’d love to ride this stretch with you and to share the expedition to Sturgis. Ride On! Stay hydrated! And I can’t wait to read your next entry!

    Liked by 1 person

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