Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride

Sunday, August 10, 2008
Springfield, SD to Vermillion, SD
59 miles (7343 total miles)

Today started out cool and muggy and quickly got to warm and muggy. We left Springfield at 7:30, having had some egg & bacon sandwiches at the only "breakfast place" in town, the local gas station/convenience store. To our surprise, it worked pretty well - we weren't hungry until we got to Yankton, 30 miles away, at 11 am. It was more or less uphill from Springfield to Yankton, nothing serious, just enough to wake our legs up from their rest day and remind them what they were there for. It was fairly easy going and the wind was light, keeping us cool. It was a head wind and would be so all day. The afternoon was more or less downhill or flat but the headwind was strong so it still felt like we were going slightly uphill. What a waste of a good downhill stretch! Again, though, it kept us cool and the clouds built up, as usual, so we got some cloud cover now and then. Without the wind or clouds, the sun felt pretty hot; it seemed less muggy in the afternoon, though.

This morning we rode along the Missouri for a bit. We saw some beautiful wetlands along the river with several fishing boats out in them. There were other smaller wetlands during the day as well, with ducks, herons and other waterfowl (we think we saw a seagull in one!). And there were lots and lots of crops - corn, soybeans (and we're not even in Iowa yet!), wheat, hay, and others. We also saw a small plane swooping around a field. We couldn't tell if he was practicing taking off and landing or if he was just having fun. Our stop in Yankton, midway to Vermillion, was a combination lunch stop and bike checkup. We had called a bike shop that was part of an Ace Hardware store. We didn't have much hope for their repair facilities, but to our surprise they were quite knowledgeable and professional. We needed to have the chains replaced and sprockets checked, which they did. We were also having a little trouble with the front brake which they couldn't figure out, but it's working well enough. Coming out of Yankton, we saw a couple of interesting cow sculptures, proclaiming Yankton to be the Cow Capital of South Dakota. They were at a stockyard type of place. When we passed Gayville later in the day, it was claiming to be Hay Capital of the World. A little overhyped, perhaps, but we did see lots of enormous piles of hay bales around there!

Not much else to report for today. We passed the Vermillion River coming into town, a brown little river, but there were 2 people fishing on its bank. We got to our motel at 4 pm, having done a little over 59 miles in a little under 6 bike hours. Certainly would have been a better time without the wind.

Some historic points in Bon Homme County

Our Apple Tree Road turn was clearly and uniquely marked!

Corn fields, looking back on the town of Springfield and its water tower

The Nebraska hills, across from the Missouri River

Wetlands along the edge of the Missouri

A small plane swoops around a field

Another wetland on the other side of the road, with shore birds around the edge...

and ducks swimming around

A farmhouse with donkeys in the yard

Other historic sites in the 3 nearby counties along the river

The Dakota seal on top of the plaque

Long vistas across the fields


A scrawny steer sculpture in Yankton (Cow Capital of SD)

And an all-American cow

The James River (isn't that in Virginia?)

Corn fields

A farmhouse in the distance

The sign for Gayville (Hay Capital of the World?)

Well, they do have a lot of hay here

A historic marker about a fur company post near Vermillion

A grass field - note the wind in the grasses near the road

A strange thing to do to a truck

More hay!

Coming into Vermillion

The river...

and the fishing couple with their dog and truck