Sioux Falls, South Dakota: It’s been a great past few days — perhaps the best three days of the summer – because I’ve been able to hang with my son, who joined me in Mitchell, South Dakota along with grandpa and grandma (ie my folks). It’s also been an intense immersion into Americana over the past three days, starting with the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo on Friday night in Mitchell.
As rodeos go, this was a dandy, full of patriotism and humor and some brave displays of horsemanship with cowboy talent from across the United States. It was my first rodeo in about 35 years (I think I’m good now for at least another 25) and my son’s first rodeo ever. The Corn Palace Stampede rodeo is a big deal for the people of Mitchell.
The oppressive heat (high 90′s fahrenheit) made Saturday’s ride into Sioux Falls more challenging. Two highlights for me on this 73 mile ride. About halfway into the ride we crossed the 2,000 mile mark on this journey. Here’s a picture with Don, Sandy and Leo commemorating the occasion:
The other highlight is I saw a couple barns that were photo worthy. This one near Alexandria, SD may just get on the shortlist in my quest to find the Prettiest Barn in America:
It’s amazing how the landscape has evolved over the 2,000 miles I have cycled so far, from arid high desert in Oregon, to mountain, to vast ranches and grasslands. As we head East, I expect to see many more family owned and operated farms, and more pretty barns too.
Once in Sioux Falls, I had a proper weekend/rest day with my family. We attended Jazzfest, an annual outdoor jazz/blues festival, and also visited the Museum of Natural History. We also did errands such as laundry (laundromats are a great glimpse into real America), pick up some things at a local bike shop, and managed to even visit Dairy Queen for some Blizzards.
Tomorrow it’s back to work. I say goodbye to South Dakota and to my family as I resume pedaling to Minnesota, the fifth state on my journey.
Days 27 summary:
Days 27 Route: Mitchell to Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Days 27 mileage: 73.13
Cumulative mileage: 2,039.23 miles per my odometer
Days 27 Climbing: 1,000 feet
Cumulative Climbing: 66,500 feet of climbing