Day 33: Bonesteel to White River

Chasing 2nd Century in a row

After my big mile day yesterday, one of two things could happen today. Either I’d be physically broken (as tends to happen after extra-strenuous effort) or I’d be super-motivated to push for even bigger miles.

I woke up late, physically tired but we’ll rested and with a sluggish time repacking was gone midday before I started cycling. All evidence was pointing today to being the former possibility.

Yet when I started peddling, with the wind fully pushing me along, the miles just seemed to stack up effortlessly.

I stopped for a very quick late-breakfast/lunch and not-lingering, was back cycling in no time.

It seemed like the more hills I raced up in the high gears, the more motivation I was pressing into my battery of physical reserves. I was flying. And I was enjoying the ride. And because I was enjoying the ride, I was cycling yet faster.

By mid-afternoon I came upon the town of Winner (another great town name – and mandatory selfy!). This was about my 100km point for the day, so was my minimum target.

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But I wasn’t done riding!

Shortly after Winner however, the road changed. No longer directly west-northwest, but zig-zagging due north to due west – which meant the tailwind was no longer as beneficial as before.

But the motivational reserves kicked in.

Passing the hamlet of Witten, I started to flag. I seriously considered calling quits for the day, except for 3 considerations:

  1. My competitive spirit said “No.”
  2. There was still the slightest of tailwinds – counter to all the headwinds I’d had thus far – and didn’t want to “waste” it.
  3. There was – quite literally – nowhere to stop! All tall-grass wild prairie fields (“probably with snakes”, I told myself!).

So I just kept going.

I had it in my mind that White River should be my target for the day. Showing up more dominantly on Google Maps, I figured this town would be slightly more significant than the few other hamlets I’d passed infrequently; and this would leave a more manageable distance for reaching the Badlands the following day.

While correct on both accounts, calling White River “more significant” still requires some stretch of the imagination. There is a gas station, a motel, a restaurant (which was closed at both dinner time and breakfast time, but open between-times!) and a pub/casino (ie, pub with slot-machines).

After refusing to pay the $60 asked for the motel, I headed for the town Park where camping is allowed.

Passing the pub/casino, I figured I might as well grab a quick beer and food before settling into the tent for the night. Chatting with locals, they informed me of the tornado warning that was in place for the area.

So I called back to the motel and took the offered room there after all. Then went back to the pub and settled in for the night…

Check out my ride on Strava.

Relive my ride.

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