June 4, 2004

6/4/04 Randall Creek Rec Area SD

86 miles (1064 total)

Woke up to another clear morning. Today I was ready to tackle a 75+ mile day, and was out on the road by 7am. Hardly any breeze as I rode up and out of the river valley. I'm still amazed at the clear blue color of the Missouri. Who would have even thought!

Got to Springfield by 9am. The lady at the convenience store said there's a chance of rain tonight. Left the highway and got back on the county roads that follow the river. Even though I left the lake behind, the river is still blue. It was on this road that I saw an RV pulling a car with a tandem on the roof.

Seeing an RV on this back road was unusual. Later I saw ahead where they had stopped and one person got out to ride, while the another drove off in the RV. The winds helped me a bit, but it still took me five miles to catch that rider. And then it was only because she had stopped to take some pictures.

Barb Butz and her husband Rob where traveling with a friend, Bruce, as they rode from Chicago to Billings, MT. One would drive the RV while the other two were out on the bikes. Actually, a very good arrangement.

When they stopped for lunch just past Marty, they invited me in for grub and a chance to talk. And who should also ride up but Steve and Bob. I thought they were ahead of me.

Met Steve and Bob again on the road

We were traveling through Indian country. And if I'm not mistaken, they waved more than most folks as I passed. The countryside reminded me of the rolling hills of Texas, only greener. Saw a lot more cattle today, most being part of small-scale feed lots. The one image that is simply amazing here is the ripples in the tall grass made by the wind. Almost reminds me of pictures of the ocean bottom near a coral reef.

Rob and Bruce catching up

Kind of a rendezvous at Pickstown just before the Fort Randall Dam. They said I could camp with them. Cool! But I missed the turn off for the campground. Everyone commented on how poorly it was marked. Anyway, after five miles, mostly uphill, I decided that I missed the campground exit. Man, was that psychologically painful to ride back those five miles. But I did find the campground and my new friends.

Almost a small ocean - huge!

We all met Steve and Bob back at their motel for dinner at the local steakhouse next door. Rob had some great stories of a cross-country trip he did in the 7th grade with one of his teachers back in 1977. Back at camp, we all decided to travel the same itinerary at least until I take a day off in Pollack at Ron and Joyce's place. It will be so good to have the company.