Last night after supper as I was reading my book & falling asleep my cell phone rang. David is a friend of mine from way back who hails from Perry, Iowa, and has lived in Japan for many years. We were classmates at Phillips Exeter. There have been sporadic communications between us, in recent years by email, but we live on opposite sides of the globe, and have not met face-to-face in more than thirty years. David has been in the US this summer, traveling and visiting family with his partner Mika, and we have been converging on a time and place to rendezvous. The time was now, they were in Sioux Falls headed west, I booked another room for them at them motel in Platte. This is very cool.
As my family will attest, it takes something special to keep me up much past 10pm, and on this trip sleeping is one of my big activities along with eating, drinking, and turing the cranks. But when David beat on the door around 11pm, I rose to the occasion, and the three of us stayed up for a couple of more hours visiting, sharing experiences, and imbibing some good Wisconsin beer. We made plans to go out for breakfast in the morning, then go our separate ways.
Turned out there was not a quality place to eat a sit-down breakfast in Platte, SD on Sunday morning, so we ended up driving about 30 miles north to Kimball (I left the bike at the motel). Riding shotgun in their Honda after a month of not being in a car was sort of like putting cycling South Dakota on hyperdrive fast forward. All the cornfields, birds, old trucks & tractors were going by at breakneck speed, I couldn't properly process things. Or hear or smell any of it. And the suspension in the car smoothed out all the bumps.
We ate at not your average truck stop off I90 whose name escapes me, a family owned business of multiple generations, and the feast accorded itself quite well. More great conversation, we delved into areas of the American condition, political and otherwise, that I have deliberately not touched upon in my narrative of this journey....
not my average breakfast.....
Back at the motel around noon, there were parting embraces & photo documentation, then I headed south out of Platte, on a kinder and gentler road than the one I rode in on. David and Mika headed off in search of the guy pulling his canoe down US83.
off into a bad-ass looking sky
So here I am starting the day's ride at a ridiculously late hour of noon or so, belly full of Belgian waffles and other stuff, sky full of grey clouds. But there's no wind, and there's no traffic so I can have the whole road to find the least jarring path. The temperature's in the 60's, hey, this is great day to ride!
I do mostly easting, some southing, following paved county roads that parallel larger roads where everyone else is. There are actually trees here that are not lone wolves struggling for survival out there on the sage range. There is green grass growing on the highway right-of-way that has not yet been cut and baled. The non-irrigated corn crop is hurting for rain.
Around 6PM I pull into the town of Tyndall.
It's been a good day.