Day 3: South Dakota Safari (Beth)

Thursday we rode out of Iowa and into South Dakota, making the Badlands our mark.   It was a LONG day.  Thursday goes down in the books as our personal best for covering ground though: 500+ miles.  The first half of the day was work for Ryan.  Iowa handed us some nasty crosswinds… that needed an attitude adjustment.  We had to lean the bike into the wind just to stay on the road.  Drivers passing us probably did a double take because I don’t think we stayed perpendicular to the road for any extended length of time.

Ryan taking a well-deserved break. Love this picture of him.

Despite the wind, I did like Iowa.  There were windmill farms everywhere and houses here and there.  The only time trees popped into view, they surrounded houses.  I never gave it much thought before, but it does make sense to do that as a natural wind-breaker.   As a passenger though, a very enjoyable ride.

Windmill colony

The wind-swept South Dakota prairie

Once we hit South Dakota, it was wind, wind, and more wind.  The Dakota prairie was pretty, but a lot of the same.  Once we got past the wind, the landscape got more interesting.  We saw a lovely sunset and tons of animals making their way out of the woodwork.

Animal Sightings:

  1. Peacock – I know.  This random fugitive was trying to book it across the road at a half scamper, half waddle, plumes in tow.
  2. Deer – Just a couple, bounding across the prairie.
  3. Wild Turkeys – Cluster of 5, the last of which almost got eaten by our front tire.
  4.  Coyote – Heard these guys howling as the sun was setting.

Near the end of the ride, both of us were looking forward to being off the bike.  Unfortunately, the last 30 miles were on windy road at 35 mph.  Part of it was through the Badlands though.  It was dark, but you could see the silhouette of part of the landscape and to our left we spotted a lightning storm.  If we weren’t so ready to plant our feet somewhere, it would have been much more enjoyable.  Looking forward to posting some pictures of the Badlands for everyone once we get out to see it all in the daylight.

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