Day 32 – Howes, SD to Sturgis, SD

We were back on the road at 5:45, each eating an apple as we went. That sounds early, but we would later regret not leaving earlier.
Between the two of us, we probably drank about 4 gallons of water by noon. And that was in no way excessive! We had been looking forward to a tailwind today, and it was certainly nice at times, but most of our route had the wind coming at us from the left, constantly trying to push us off the road. And it was amazing (though incredibly frustrating) to be passed by trucks – especially the “oversize load” ones carrying enormous hay bales. Each time, we would have to cling to our handlebars, grit our teeth, and steer our bikes through the wall of wind that came just after the truck passed. Thankfully, the road was relatively quiet, so we didn’t have to deal with that too often!

…Somewhere in the black minin’ hills of South Dakota…

The landscape began to really change as the morning went on. The hazy blue hills in the distance became darker and clearer, and despite the growing heat, it was so exciting to see real hills again – and we’re getting close to the mountains…

Well. I just skimmed over the heat we experienced today. Even the breeze felt a bit like the rush of air that hits your face as you open the oven. Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that bad. But it was hot, and we pushed ourselves to get to Sturgis (a 73.5 mile morning!) before taking a mid-day break. 
We escaped the heat in a coffee shop, bought a smoothie, and sat there dazed after the biking this morning. 

Just as we set out to leave the parking lot of the coffee shop, some dark clouds were rolling in… And there were severe thunderstorm warnings. 

So we reconsidered the situation, biked to a Korean restaurant, and ate so much food. So much food. 

It started to rain about 10 minutes after we sat down, and then it started to hail! 

90 degrees outside, and little bits of ice falling from the sky! There were warnings for softball-sized hail in an area not too far from us, so we figured somewhere with shelter would be a good idea. We started talking with some people at a nearby table about camping options nearby, and as they brainstormed for us, the people next to them offered to let us stay in a cabin of theirs a few miles away! 

We got a ride to Katmandu with our hosts for the night, who said that they figured our parents would be happy to know someone was taking care of us. We showered and are in a great little cabin with bunks. Even if it decides to hail again, we’ll have no problems. Thank you to our new friends for your hospitality!

Aidan’s missing his tiny house now! This little cabin certainly has a similar kind of charm. 

13 thoughts on “Day 32 – Howes, SD to Sturgis, SD

  1. Laura/Mom July 19, 2016 / 4:49 am

    Wow, that was an impressive weather warning!

    You can tell your hosts that yes, your parents are very glad that someone is taking care of you out there in the black mining hills of South Dakota! Thank you, cabin hosts!

    Love, Mom/Laura

    P.S. Why is there a barber shop sign on the cabin?


  2. Dad / Chris July 19, 2016 / 9:41 am

    Yes!!!!! Thank you, kind cabinsharers!!!!

    Love the shadow photo so much.


  3. Dad / Chris July 19, 2016 / 9:46 am

    Yes!!!!! Thank you, kind cabinsharers!!!!

    Love the shadow photo so much.

    Been singing Rocky Raccoon all week.


  4. Dad/Chris July 19, 2016 / 11:45 am

    A heart-felt thank you to the generous cabin owners.


  5. Sue and Jim July 19, 2016 / 12:13 pm

    It is so neat that there are so many wonderful people in this country when all you hear is bad on TV. Bless the United States of America.


  6. brittnielsenpwBritt July 19, 2016 / 3:01 pm

    I’m just disappointed there’s not picture of softball sized hail. I’ve never seen that. Glad you were safe and dry and most importantly that you got to eat so much food;-)


    • bikesoveramerica July 19, 2016 / 3:49 pm

      We didn’t see any that big, but if we do we’ll try to get a photo!


  7. Wendy Bratt July 19, 2016 / 5:41 pm

    Hail! South Dakota: hahah! This is SD’s state song! Gratitude the size of softballs to the tiny house cabin host angels! Please come to Vermont for a visit to our little house (I hope Aidan showed you a photo of its cuteness).


  8. Wendy Bratt July 19, 2016 / 5:45 pm

    Above from Wendy/Aidan’s mom:)


  9. Greg Murphy July 19, 2016 / 8:32 pm

    I have been enjoying your progress throughout this journey and I think your route and my 1980 route are about to converge. We crossed Wyoming on route 14 over the Bighorn mountains before entering Yellowstone Park. We experience relentless winds whipping down the valley as we entered the mountains. Pedalling as hard as we could in low gear just to keep rolling at 4 mph. We camped atop the Big Horns and it snowed on us in August. Your entering a very cool part of the trip though. Hope you go through Bend Oregon. It’s a very hip town.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Andrea Kerin July 19, 2016 / 9:28 pm

    Like others, I look forward to each new post, and am thoroughly enjoying living vicariously.
    Today’s photos of SD are just beautiful, my new favorites, probably to be outdone by tomorrow’s photos, if the pattern of the trip holds true.
    Thank you for taking the time to daily add to this great blog.
    Wishing you comfortable tailwinds


  11. Al July 19, 2016 / 10:15 pm

    WOW! You’re in Sturgis! We’ll done!

    So glad you had shelter when the storm hit! As I’m sure you know, if you’d been on Route 34 it would’ve been very hard to find any shelter except in a culvert or under a bridge. And that might be shared with prickly pear and rattlesnakes. The locals love to tell rattlesnake stories but in all my cycling out west I’ve only seen one and it was road kill.

    Give a wave to Devils Tower for me. You’ll still have lots of long lonely roads in WY. But you’ve completed one of the most challenging stretches with flying colors!

    After Moorcroft, WY you don’t have to ride I-90 for the whole 28 miles to Gillette. There’s a dirt side road about 10 miles out of town. Although it’s perfectly legal to ride a bike on the interstate in WY it’s best to use alternates if possible.

    On to your first western mt. pass in the Big Horns! You’ll love it! You deserve it! And you’re ready because you’ve put in some very tough miles! Happy Trails!


  12. Leslie July 19, 2016 / 10:20 pm

    Glad you were safe and snug in that darling cabin….are they on Airbnb??? These photos are gorgeous. Also glad you hit Sturgis well ahead of the Harleys. You made amazing time across SD.
    Sending you lots of love
    Auntie Les


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