Day 45: Huron, SD to Brookings, SD: “East Meets West in De Smet” June 22.

Daily Miles: 80 Total Miles: 2731.

After a “lovely” night sleeping next to an RV and the city golf course, where a group of noisy teenager mauraded through at the “Indecent” hour of eleven, we were up and gone from Huron by 9 AM. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to visit Huron, you are missing nothing other than the largest pheasant statute in the world. Huron is what happens when a city exists without any forethought–just haphazard farm equipment dealerships plopped randomly throughout the town and along highway 14.

We took off promptly at 9 as we had plans to meet up with Chris and Miriam Jackson, and their two kids Amanda and Noah. Chris is Matt Jackson’s younger brother (see prior blog entries) and had been in Madison, WI for Miriam’s brother’s wedding. From Madison, they were driving west, and because Amanda is into the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House books, they were visiting De Smet, SD (the home of the”Little House on the Prairie”) today–the exact day we planned to ride right through De Smet. Such coincidences cannot be ignored, so we stopped and had lunch with them before we continued west to Brookings and they continued east to Huron.

We didn’t have the fantastic tailwind of yesterday, nor did we plan to bike as many miles. We went another forty or so to Brookings, because we heard that (a) there was a park to camp in and (b) you could get Univ. of SD Ag School ice cream in town. Being from Madison, I had to check out rival Ag School ice cream, so we biked into Brookings and searched for what we had been told was a cafe next to a bike shop. When we found it, imagine our dismay to see the sign stating “we are not selling ice cream today.” Turns out their freezer broke, and now the ice cream wasrock hard. We sat outside at their table, consoling ourselves with ice lattes and bemoaning the deprivation. Sensing our depression, the woman in the cafe came out and said that she would take the ice cream out of the freezer for a couple of minutes to soften it up so that we could have some after all. So, we were able to get two huge dishes of cookies and cream ice cream after all. Life really isn’t too bad. Oh, about the ice cream. Not bad. In fact, it is really quite delicious. Not as high fat content, we think, as the Big Dipper in Missoula, and not as many creative flavors as there (e.g., no huckleberry) or as Babcock, but a filling, creamy texture, good vanilla background, and finely crumbled Oreo cookies. Plus, there’s a couple of extra points for the service. In any event, it was certainly worth the forty miles we biked to get here. (I’d say 73 miles, but we had cherry pie at lunch 33 miles into the day).

We are not one day to the Minnesota border, and it really is starting to feel/smell/look familiar to us both. We are both sad that the trip is nearing its end, and happy that the trip has accomplished its purpose–giving Mike and me time together, time to process leaving California, and time to think about what our futures in Madison may/should/could be like. Although in the throes of selling the 460 in San Francisco, we are emotionally prepared to let it go and are excited to start looking for our new home. The simplicity of the bike trip though will be hard to give up, as we transition into our new lives in Madison. It will also be difficult to have Mike be in California and me in Madison for the remainder of the summer, after being no further than two feet from him 24/7 for six weeks. We’ve done long distance before, but never after been two peas in a pod close for so long. In the end, I am really looking forward to having both of us integrated into Madison, rather than one foot in both cities. We’ll get there, slowly . . . that is the point and motto of this trip.

Tomorrow, Minnesota here we come!!!!

2 thoughts on “Day 45: Huron, SD to Brookings, SD: “East Meets West in De Smet” June 22.

  1. Family, ice cream, and the conflicted feeling of ending. Wow. Big day. And people say that nothing happens in the midwest…

    I got my old telescope out the other day. I could see Jupiter and a bunch of moons. That was the first time I ever went out and looked myself for it. Made it feel a lot more real. And that I need a trip. Road trip to Jupiter!

  2. yeah, we’ll be bummed that the grand tour will soon end too.
    coincidentally, i recently watched the ‘extended version’ of lord of the rings, and christened you guys frodo and sam. mike would at first seem to be our sam, but as he is our lord of the tubes, he will have to be given the role of ringbearer. rivendell was of course lolo, and wyoming/south dakota will have to pass as rohan. brewy portland is bree, the big horns were minas morgul, and unless you guys went through any particularly spooky tunnels, i propose as our stand-in for moria the coos bay bridge.

    unfortunately, we seem to be headed for an anticlimactic finish, as madison aint much of a mordor. oh well, i remain happily sippin ale to you here in the shire. too bad sambhav the wizard can’t load up gandalf the mazda with a load of fireworks for the afterparty, but thanks for the fine tale anyway!

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