August 15, Day 44 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014
After yesterday’s stiff wind and short day, we opted for an earlier start to the day today. We were off toward Pickstown just shortly after 7:30. By 10 am, we rolled over the Fort Randall Dam on the Missouri River and into Abby’s for breakfast, with 26 miles to our credit. Skies were overcast, yet the wind still relatively calm. We felt justified in our earlier start.
The locals and staff at the restaurant were friendly, courteous, and most interested in what we were doing. Several inquired and expressed concern about the threatening weather. And, incidentally, if you’re ever in Pickstown, make sure you eat breakfast at Abby’s. The cook did a top-notch job on the entire breakfast, particularly on the jumbo pancake.
Our return to the road an hour later was accompanied by more ominous clouds. Yet, we seemed to stay one step ahead of the downpour all day long. As we cycled through an Indian reservation, it began to sprinkle on us, but this served as mobile air conditioning for much of the remainder of the day. The reservation was filled with much of the same greenery and lush crops that we have seen in South Dakota.
We cycled toward the Missouri River again and followed it for miles until we left the reservation. This portion of our travel was completely devoid of traffic, promoting a leisurely ride through beautiful countryside, while the overcast skies and light rain quelled the wind. The easier pace of travel was welcome relief after the last several wind-filled days. Once we rolled into Springfield with nearly 70 miles under our belts, we dealt with the accommodation challenges. The next city up the road had a special weekend event and vacant rooms had vanished.
Supper at Do Wa Diddy’s was served up with some sound advice as well. We were told about a “primitive” camping site down on the banks of the Missouri River. There was an outhouse and running water, so this would suffice. Elderly locals frequented the restaurant and were piling in for a Friday evening treat before their weekly dominos night out. They were most friendly, interested, and supportive. Soon, the 6’9” chief of police came by to pick up an evening snack, a large box of pizza. He was as friendly and helpful as the other patrons.
We arrived at the campsite shortly before dusk and set up the tent. The bug-infested site was otherwise well-suited to our needs. Committed to an early start for the next morning, we made fast order of setting up camp and nestled into Big Agnes at a record time and speed. We may not be young, but we’re still adaptable to learning! You’re never too old to learn.