Day 1 – Chamberlain, SD – Pierre, SD

We had pancakes for breakfast and I got my bike ready. My son and his girlfriend were SAG’ing me for the first day so he took me in to Chamberlain to start the ride. We stopped at the corner where he and I finished the first leg of the Lewis and Clark Trail ten years ago, and we took a picture together.

While we were setting up to take the picture, a man walked by and said hi and, “Here’s a quarter.” He handed each of us a quarter and with a “God bless” walked on.

After the picture, I got on the bike and began the ride while Keith went back to the campground to break camp and pick up his girlfriend who was preparing Sloppy Joes for lunch. With a nice tailwind, I was able to make it to the little town of Stephan before they caught up with my. I got some snacks and tightened my cassette which had started to come loose. Before I left home, I has swapped out the cassette on this bike for one on another bike so that I would go from a 32 to a 34 tooth low gear. For some reason this cassette does not like to stay tight for very long.

After we make the corner in Stephan I had crosswinds which slowed me down. In addition the road engineers had designed the road in a way so that every 40 feet or so there was a crack across the road which of course was a small depression.

We met for lunch in at a high point along the plateau. It was great to have water and food available and the high protein Sloppy Joes were great! From there the road stayed level for a few miles, then descended to a lower plateau and then finally to the river/lake level. Once we got down the river the road improved and I actually had a tailwind for a while because of the wind eddies along the bluffs.

By this time, my son had gone ahead to find a campsite. He found that the campground we had wanted to stay at was full, so he went on a checked the city park in Pierre. They had free camping. Basically a big lawn that you could find a place and setup a tent. The only downside was that there were no showers and a not-so-nice restroom.

After unloading all my gear from the car, my son and his girlfriend headed back to Lincoln and I went town to the river to take a dip. While the river/lake wasn’t muddy, it wasn’t clear either. I got an ideas what Naman must have felt like. But it was cool and refreshing. I setup camp, ate two suppers and went to bed. It was hard to get to sleep because it was still warm and took a while to cool off.

– Photos coming

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