August 16, Day 45 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014
“Beep, beep, beep,” echoed the alarm at 4:30 a.m. through the confines of Big Agnes. It was pitch dark outside as we proceeded to pack up our belongings and head to Yankton to pick up various packages awaiting us at the post office. Why did we leave so early? Three reasons come to mind: the post office is only open until noon on Saturdays, our confidence in our bicycles is lagging, and there are no hotel rooms or camping sites available in Yankton for the entire weekend. So we started pedaling the anticipated 30 miles to Yankton at 6:10 in hopes of arriving in plenty of time.
As dawn began to break, we felt like we were bicycling in New England or maybe Seattle. It was foggy, cool, and damp outside with overcast skies. Of course, we have never been up this early to bicycle so everyday could have started out this way without us knowing it! The deer were out and we got a close up view of a doe and her fawn jumping across the road right in front of us. It’s a good thing that Tim and I will be reunited with our helmet cam this morning in Yankton so we can catch those awesome moments that we can’t capture when we need to stop and dig out our point-and-shoot cameras.
We were pleasantly surprised that our trip to Yankton was shorter than anticipated. I love it when that happens. Tim kept on saying, “we could have slept another hour or so.” We actually arrived BEFORE the post office opened!
As we rode through Yankton we found ourselves in the lineup of the big parade in town as part of the Riverboat Days celebration! It is a gleeful to whiz through traffic on a bicycle while cars are at a standstill. The policeman gave us a personal escort across the main drag in town to help us avoid the parade and related traffic. The post office had all of our expected bounty. After stopping for a late breakfast, we headed out of town.
The rainy forecast for the area thankfully never happened. We enjoyed a delightful ride to Vermillion, home of the University of South Dakota. This is our third town we have visited with state universities in them. Can you remember the other two? A quiz for those following our blog!
Upon arriving in town, we had a most unexpected, but timely, encounter. Tim was bicycling ahead of me and stopped at the traffic light in the center of town. As he rolled up to the crosswalk and applied his brake, a gentleman was passing directly in front of him on foot in the crosswalk. Had Tim not applied his brakes, he would have hit the man. The man was unfazed, but looked back and saw our heavily loaded bicycles. He then identified himself as the owner of a bicycle shop located just down a side street. He was not officially open for business, but offered his services to us if we needed anything. Within a few minutes, he had adjusted Tim’s rear brake to eliminate some periodic rubbing. Chance encounter? Not a chance! In fact, you might call it a “not a chance encounter.”
As soon as we checked into our hotel, we jumped into a warm shower. It is amazing how much you appreciate the little things in life when you don’t have them every day.