Sunday, August 11, 2013

From Iowa to South Dakota

It felt like I flew across the farm fields, leaving the desolate, lost, under-thriving farm communities of rural Iowa behind as quickly as possible.  There was an air of desperation in the people there.  One woman stopped me outside of a Walgreens Drug Store to say she 'admired me, and that she'd always wanted to hop on a motorcycle and just GO'…then she told me that "the toys were the first thing to go"…I listened to her story as she smoked her $6/pack cigarettes and I noticed she'd purchased a carton of them.  I wondered to myself why she spent the money smoking that could have filled up a motorcycle tank several times.  And the 12 pack of Busch Light she hefted into her late model Saturn would have paid for the almonds and bottled water I was buying for my lunch and dinner.

We all make choices in our lives, and they take us down the roads of our lives.  She says she wants my life, but does she?

I moved it down the road, after mailing my son-in-law's birthday card and gift card, having almost forgotten to do so until my daughter helped me remember.  Miles flew by as I crossed the Upper Mississippi River, The Wisconsin River, and several other rivers in my haste to make it into Sioux Falls SD before nighttime.  And I made it by 6:30 p.m.

I had a delightful dinner with an author friend of mine, Wayne Fanebust, as well as his visiting daughter and granddaughter and learned about the latest book he's writing on the the Wild West Frontier.  This one will be on Judge Shannon, he tells me.  I think its his 9th published book.  Others he's written in the past are about civil war heroes, a missing body, and the Wild Wild West. 

I crashed early, stuffed with steak from Minerva's in downtown Sioux Falls, and awoke to ride to the Badlands, which are stunningly beautiful.  I pulled off the road several times to take photos of this wonderland, another place where God has been playing in the clay.  Unlike Bryce Canyon's red hoodoo's and mountains , this area is sandy colored craggy mountain ridges with deep gashes in the Earth, as if an earthquake had split this section of land wide open in many places.  I pulled off many times to stare at the beauty,  drink in the miles and miles that I could see of open prairies and wondered about the people who saw this area first.  What must they have felt and thought?

I moved on toward Sturgis, SD and smiled at all the riding partners appearing out of nowhere to ride into "Bike Week" there.  Each bike, had happy travelers, macho bursts of Harley Davidson sounds roaring around me, mine included.  Bikes were thick as I rode down the main street, headed to the various wild-ass clubs, such as Easy Rider's, Full Throttle Saloon, One-Eyed Jacks, The Knuckle Saloon, The Chip, and Loud American Roadhouse.  This town knows how to have fun.  I'm on a bike and taking it easy with the partying, however, as I intend to make it safely beyond Sturgis.  I've got the Black Hills and beyond on this ride.  

Last night, the bikes roared into the Lamphere Ranch Campground until 4 a.m.  where I'm staying for 2 nights, and I might have gotten 2 hours of sleep total each night.  I kinda knew this would happen, though, so I planned for a "down day" of napping, reading, eating and writing.  Many bikers left at the crack of dawn this morning, as their party-week is probably OVER.  Minerva Luella Sneetches, the traveling cat, continues to remain calm in all circumstances, except on freeways with truckers (I ride few miles on freeways) and I sure enjoy her versatility and adaptability wherever we go during her wherever we travel.  She tells me often "the main thing is to remain calm".  I agree, as I take my Bach Flower Remedy every day before I take off for the wild blue yonder.

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