Good evening to everyone out there on Day 23 of this wonderful trip, Tuesday, July 14,
from Rapid City to Wall, SD. Well, the interesting thing about Wall, I can tell you, is the great Wall Drugstore, which is famous and known from, I guess, all around. It started with them offering free water and that’s how Wall Drug got started, and it’s a major, major chain out here. (See below for links about the store and history)
Leaving Rapid City today we had a very, very wonderful experience this morning that we didn’t have to load the truck until 8 o’clock. So I was able to sleep in until about 6:15 today instead of 5 o’clock, and had breakfast about 7 o’clock, leisurely got my stuff reloaded and my bike ready, and loaded our luggage at 8 o’clock and got on our way. It was a very wonderful morning. We were extremely blessed today with our mileage of just 57 miles, so it was an easy day today. It’s considered a rest day when we only have to go 57 miles. But not only that, we also were on a beautiful service road which was kind of a back road for most of the trip. It was just really, really beautiful, beautiful countryside, back road that was fairly smooth, up and down rolling hills. You get the momentum going up and have to climb a little bit and roll down, climb a little, roll down, it was absolutely wonderful. But added to all that, we had a partial tailwind which made us be able to fly, and at the end we had a total tailwind, which was just really phenomenal. We all got in really early and were able to go shopping at the Wall, SD shops. So I actually did some Christmas shopping, which was really fun for this trip, and had it mailed home. So that was really good.
The only difficulty today was a 5-mile stretch which was, believe or not, going downhill. Because we had a fairly strong crosswind at that point, going downhill off of that service road on Interstate 90, the rumble on the side of the road was way over and we had a very tiny, narrow strip that we could actually ride on. Because it was so narrow and the other side of it was not really a cliff but a break-off into grass, there was a very narrow area that we had to ride our bicycles. Because it was downhill and we had to keep braking as well as with the crosswind, it just easily felt like you could be blown over, or you could go over the rumbles and get caught in a bad way with our thin tires. It was 5 miles of that and I have to admit, I was scared out of my wits. I almost tried to stop and pull over on the grass, but people were behind me and I was afraid that I would cause an accident if I tried to stop and pull over, because there wasn’t even a way to pull over. I just did the whole thing totally afraid. In fact, I was so nervous and so scared for those 5 miles that I was actually crying and praying incessantly that the Lord would just spare me, because I was really that scared. I was so relieved when I got through with those 5 miles, I can’t even tell you.
So out of the whole day, that was really the only stressful part, the rest of it was really beautiful and easy. Not everyone was as scared as I was, some people are just really great at balancing on their bikes, and they don’t really feel worried in the strong winds that they’re going to fall over like I do, because I have been pulled off balance from the wind. I’m just not as good of a rider as some of the people here.
But anyway, I got through it, and I’m thrilled. I want to say I’m very thankful for another safe day. After a bunch of us shopped, I was able to visit and have some down time with some of the riders, with us just talking and having a good time. We all had more time together today and our dinner was really nice.
But we have to get to bed really early tonight because we have to load the truck at 5:15 tomorrow morning. That’s really early, which means that I’m getting up probably between 4:15 and 4:30 in the morning. It will be an extremely early morning. We load at 5:15, eat breakfast at 5:30 and we will be on the road by 6 o’clock, because we’re doing 117 miles tomorrow, from Wall to Pierre, SD. We are supposed to have a tailwind tomorrow, we don’t know if it’s going to change. It would be really great if we do have the tailwind, and we’re supposed to have really good weather. So far tomorrow’s looking good. There’s only one section that we have to turn and kind of go into a headwind for about 20 miles of the 117. But if we just have to do 20 miles and not the whole 117 with the headwind, that will be a true gift and a blessing. So I’m hoping and praying for that, and I know some others are too. Thank you again for your prayers. So I’ll be getting to bed early.
I’m still having a good time, and the laughter between all of us as a team, kind of sharing different stories of things, has really been good. As you know, when you go shopping in places like this, there are always items that you can buy that are really, really funny. I bought a couple of really funny gifts for some of my loved ones, which you guys will find out what they are in the future. We just had a lot of fun. Today basically has been a really great day and it was really needed by all of us. It was a real team day.
We’re almost at the halfway point. Tomorrow is Day 24, so the day after tomorrow is Day 25, which is our halfway point. That’s pretty amazing and pretty exciting.
God bless all of you, and God bless America.
** Walls Drugstore links and history.
Wall Drug Store
Wall Drug is the American roadside wonder best known to people who’ve never been to America. Metro riders in Paris have seen signs for Wall Drug. So have rail commuters in Kenya, bus passengers in London, and visitors to the Taj Mahal.