Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride

Thursday, August 07, 2008
Platte, SD to Bonesteel, SD
45 miles (7209 total miles)

A much shorter day today, but bright and sunny like yesterday. We started out at 8:10, just because our restaurant opened at 7 and we weren't in a big hurry. Our first order of business was croosing the Missouri and going up the hill on the other side. It was long (2-1/2 miles) and steep (about 5%), just as we expected. We probably shed a pound of sweat each, going up. But the good news was that we got the worst hill of the day over with right at the beginning. There were certainly more hills, but none as long or as steep. We entered Gregory County on the other side of the river and quickly got the impression that this county was serious about its rules. We first saw a sign the the county was zoned and building permits were required for any building. Then we saw a sign about having all your livestock's brands inspected before leaving the brand inspection area. We must have turned off before we got to the inspection area though, because we didn't see one.

We then meandered along some county roads, enjoying the vistas and farmlands. We came to the town of Burke, about halfway through today's route and managed to find a grocery store where we stocked up on bananas and Gatorade for tomorrow. We asked about a restaurant and were directed to one a couple of doors down that served very good burgers. While we were still on the street, a couple from Chicago who were visiting there stopped to ask about our trip. After lunch in Burke, we got onto SR 18 where we stayed for the rest of the day to Bonesteel. 18 was in remarkably good shape and as we rode, we started to notice that the cracks seemed to have been recently sealed and were covered with strips of what seemed to be toilet paper, presumably to keep the tar from being stuck to the tires of all the passing cars. As we rode, the tar in the cracks seemed to get fresher and fresher until, finally, we saw Road Work signs ahead. We eventually came upon a crew of guys who were blowing debris out of the road cracks, filling them with tar, and then rolling toilet paper over them, using something that looked like a long-handled paint-roller with a roll of toilet paper at the end of it. We stopped and asked one of the flagmen whether it really was toilet paper (I couldn't believe it) and he verified that it was, in fact, Charmin one-ply and they used it because it was the only brand that completely disintegrated in the rain so it didn't litter the highway (take note, all you readers with septic systems!). We were very impressed with the operation and wished that they had been working on SR 50 yesterday.

It was a pretty hot day, going up to 93 by the end of our ride. We were lucky to have more cloud cover in the afternoon - it felt quite pleasant when we were under a cloud. We didn't have much wind today, like yesterday, which was good becuase it would have been a headwind. However, we did have a little breeze now and then which helped a little with the heat as well. We arrived at our motel in Bonesteel at 3 pm, having done 45-1/4 miles in a little under 5 hours of bike time. We were lucky to have internet access, although our cellphones don't work. We're hoping tomorrow's stop will have good reception, especially since we'll be spending a rest day there.

The view of the Missouri from our cabin at Snake Creek

We;ve seen these flowers along the road, and found a good batch to photograph here

Heading out - here's the entrance to the marina from the river...

and the view of the river upstream

View of the hills on the west side of the river, upstream...

and downstream

The bridge itself

Closer view of the hills upstream...

and the river...

and the downstream hills

A sign on the west side of the river - we didn't see the inspection area though

Up in the hills across the river

A little pond/wetland area...

with a resident family of ducks

More giant fields and rows of hay bales

One of the killer road cracks

Pretty views of the land along our road

The crew fixing cracks along County Road 18

Blowing debris out of the cracks before sealing them while a big truck passes by

Masses of hay bales