August 12, Day 41 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014
Leaving Murdo, South Dakota, after a rest day on Monday supercharged us for cycling up and down more of South Dakota’s rolling hills. We were moving east through tiny towns and farmland, cycling a frontage road paralleling I-90. Agriculture was evident everywhere we looked. Storage bins, processing plants, large equipment, and gargantuan fields were all around.
Chamberlain and a return to the Adventure Cycling Lewis and Clark Trail was our destination. We deviated from ACA maps in Missoula, Montana, their headquarters. But thanks to their tour director, he provided alternative routes to get us on the Lewis and Clark Trail.
The terrain definitely has changed from the Northwest, and we have the feel of the central plains and Midwest with open space, lots of corn and cattle, and very low traffic. Thanks to our rest day, the 70 miles seemed easy, almost uneventful. Before we knew it, we rode into Oacoma, Chamberlain’s sister town on the west side of the Missouri River, and searched for accommodations.
Hotels and motels in this state are surprisingly expensive, at least along the I-90 corridor. In Murdo, Tim offered the hotel attendant a considerably lower price for two nights, and he accepted our offer. Tonight, however, camping was our best option. It didn’t look like there would be a mad dash for motel rooms in the Chamberlain area, but negotiating in the franchise motels does not work as well as privately owned ones. We opted to camp at a lovely campground in town.
I had a rare treat at the campground. Tim ran into a couple from Phoenix on his way to the shower who were staying at the campsite in their “coach.” They came over to me to pick up a card for our blog address. The man kept pointing to his coach so I asked to see it.
Oh my goodness! It was so hard to get into Big Agnes tonight after getting a tour of their home away from home—an RV with a king-sized bed, a fireplace, 1 ½ baths, washer/dryer, dishwasher, couch and chairs, 3 TVs, AC and a ceiling fan, and an adorable dog to go with them on their journey. We ride 8-14 miles per hour on our bikes; they get 8 miles per gallon of gas! I prefer our method of travel, but not our method of camping quarters. In life, however, there are always tradeoffs. I prefer exercise over luxury, but if I could have taken a nap on their couch, I would be a more rested camper…not just a happy one.