July 1, 2015 –Sunny, 80 degrees
Miles Today: 5
Miles to Date: 3,417
States to Date: 15
I spent the day tootling around Rapid City, one of the nicest places I have been. I slept until almost nine; my warmshowers hosts were all gone by the time I awoke. I let myself out and pedaled downtown, where I found Jessica at her Canvas 2 Paint shop for a proper goodbye. I also stopped by her bike shop next door. Downtown Rapid City has actual scale sculptures of al the Presidents on each corner, a nice touch that animates the place.
I had a morning interview with Rob Timm, Director of the Chiesman Center for Democracy. Afterward I enjoyed lunch at the VFW, a super good deal and an opportunity to talk with veterans and active service men. After lunch I met folks on the sidewalk, including Gerard Black Elk, a fascinating Native American. I headed out the Mount Rushmore Highway, passed a few ‘Think’ signs that mark roadside fatalities and are absolutely everywhere in South Dakota. I stopped at Mostly Chocolates, where Jessica’s children work, said Adieu to them and enjoyed a couple of delicious chocolate covered Oreos. I might not be cycling much, but my appetite is still big.
I spent a few hours catching up on the Internet and then spun the short but incredibly steep ride up Woodside Drive. Rapid City has a steep ridge that divides the city, and my second warmshowers hosts live in a solar house that overlooks a gorgeous canyon. Sherry and Fred prepared delicious fajitas with homemade salsa and offered chocolate-dipped macaroons for dessert. They cycled the West Coast in 2008 and gave me many good tips for my upcoming route.